‘House Of The Dragon’ Actor Steve Toussaint Recalls Racism From Viewers
HBO’s House of the Dragon actor Steve Toussaint has been receiving praise for his role of Lord Corlys Velaryon, but not every viewer has the same outlook on the character portrayal.
In an interview with Men’s Health, Toussaint, 57, told the publication that many fans of the series said his casting was not true to the book’s depiction of members of House Velaryon.
“It seems to be very hard for people to swallow,” said the British actor of his character role, who is the richest man in Westeros. “They are happy with a dragon flying, they’re happy with white hair and violet-colored eyes, but a rich Black guy? That’s beyond the pale.”
House of the Dragon series is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and tells the story of House Targaryen, a family of Valyrian descent who at various points of history ruled the seven kingdoms of Westeros.
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In the book (“Fire & Blood”) that is sourced as the raw material for House of the Dragon, Lord Corlys is never said to be a white man, but he is stated to have hair that is “Targaryen white-blonde.”
“When they asked me to stop shaving, I was like, ‘Oh no!’ I’m not a big fan of the beard, but it’s part of the look. It’s striking,” he said of his character. “Even if the show doesn’t do well, I will look good and that’s what’s important!”
One Instagram user said the show is using “forced inclusion” under Toussaint’s post.
Despite the harsh comments, he’s received on social media, there have been plenty of positive comments sent his way, too.
“What has been wonderful is for every toxic person that has somehow found their way into my timeline, there have been so many others who have been so supportive and been like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t wait, this is going to be great.”