Jeremy Podeswa still can’t believe he earned an Emmy nomination for directing his second-ever episode of “Game of Thrones.” As he tells us in our recent webcam chat (watch below), “it was such a spectacular season and we had so many amazing episodes.” This long-time TV helmer, who also worked on HBO’s “The Pacfic,” says this fantasy epic series is “ambitious even for itself” and admits, “the main thing is to realise you are part of a much bigger whole, working around all the actors schedules, flying all over the place.”
And, he reveals, “when you sign on to do this show, you are signing on for half the year and that’s just for two episodes.” His nomination is for “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” in which is established both the House of Black and White in Braavos and the world of the faceless men. The episode also features the wedding of Sansa Stark and Ramsay Bolton and an unsettling wedding night rape. On crafting that scene, Podeswa says he had “a certain sensitivity in dealing with the actors on the set” as well as “trying to understand how viewers are going to receive it. We always knew from an audience point of view it was a very difficult scene because the audience of the show has really grown up with Sansa, and there’s a lot of investment in the character.”
Because of both the unsettling nature of the scene and that it marked a stark divergence from Sansa’s role in the books, it stirred up a lot of talk. For Podeswa, “it created a really interesting and really valid discussion. But I think we all stand by the show. I think it’s great to have the dialogue. It’s really great to have the fan reaction and critical reaction.”
He reveals that next season both the producers and fans will be in uncharted waters. As he explains: “Right now in season six, what we’re shooting currently isn’t based on anything in the book. It’s fully based on discussions the writers have had with George Martin. Because the series has now surpassed the books in terms of what’s available.” To that end, “the writers have been diverging off the books for the past couple of seasons, knowing full well that they have to take the story beyond the books.”
As for whether Jon Snow actually died at the end of last season and if he’s in the first two episodes Podeswa is directing for next season, he teases, “I’ve got nothing, watch the show it’s going to be great. Jon Snows death was another huge storytelling thing. It’s the definition of a cliff-hanger: where does the story go from here?”
Below: Watch our complete interview with Podeswa and then use the easy drag-and-drop menu to tell us if you think he will win Best Drama Directing.
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Photo: “Game of Thrones.” Credit: HBO/Everett/REX