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Harry Collett


Madison Drew | 24/06/24

Things are heating up in the highly anticipated season two of HBO's House of the Dragon and for the young actor, 20-year-old Harry Collet, who plays Jacaerys Targaryen in the show. After several scrapped spin-offs to one of the biggest shows of all time, Game of Thrones, HBO finally landed on House of the Dragon, a prequel about the Targaryen's battle in the succession of the throne- plus some dragons. It proved a massive success, with over 4 million UK viewers tuning in for the launch of season one alone, placing it amongst the show giants of Stranger Things and The Boys. Season two sees Rhaenyra Targaryen's eldest son, Jacaerys Targaryen, played by Harry Collett, taking a much bigger focus in the war brewing as he goes to Winterfell, one of the most iconic locations for GoT fans, to find support for his mother's claim to the throne in the fight against her stepbrother, now King, Aegon II Targaryen and his mother, her ex-best friend Alicent Hightower. A battle between the family that has captivated audiences and, finally, their two-year-long pleads for the next instalment is over, with season two dropping weekly over the summer.

Harry has had a taste of admiration from fans for the show. We sit down after the cast and himself have just completed their whirlwind press tour for the show in Paris, New York and London- in addition to his cover shoot that he just spent the morning in snakeskin and rhinestone looks, all fit for a prince. I ask how this tour has been for him. "Amazing. I mean, to do the show anyway, feels like a dream come true." Harry continues, "It's quite nerve-racking because now's the time to really know yourself and the show rather than being stuck in a studio, playing a prince, which, don't get me wrong, is great! It's been great seeing what kind of impact this show has on people around the world." He calls the experience "crazy in the best way possible. It's just mental," and expresses appreciation for overwhelming support he's received from the fans and the writers.

GoT is known for having such a dedicated fanbase, and HotD's matched it almost instantly. With season two, it's only gotten more prominent for the cast and Harry himself, as people online hyperfixate on the TV shows that are currently airing, making memes, fan edits, and sometimes finding their 'actor of the month'. Since season one was released, Harry says the craziest thing he's experienced so far is people asking him on the street about his hair for season two and people wearing T-shirts with his face on. "For me, that's a bit like, I'm just a kid from Essex and people wearing my face on their body…I mean, it's flattering."

Before the unofficial Harry Collett merch, at six years old, his acting journey began. He didn't have the best time at primary school, so instead, he focused on things he enjoyed, like street dance. He would finish his school day and go to the studio owned by British dance group Diversity to practice his moves. Whilst performing in a show with the studio at a shopping centre in Essex, an agent in the crowd approached his parents after spotting Harry. Asking his mum and dad if he'd be interested in acting, they weren't so sure if Harry would want to, but as an audition came in, "mum and dad said, might as well go see if you like it."

That audition was for Billy Elliot the Musical. "Before I did it, I went to walk out because I wasn't feeling it." His dad told him to just try it and then "they called my name just when I was about to walk out the door.". That audition bagged him the role on stage in London's West End, starting his professional acting career. He remembers his time in Billy Elliot being fun: "I basically came on for like, two minutes each night, I'd come on right at the start and then come up at the end, say a couple of swear words. At six years old, I loved it".  Collett went on to star in a couple more theatre shows: Matilda the Musical and Elf. However, being a child actor came with compromises: "I missed out on a lot of childhood friends, parties and things like that because you're dedicating pretty much your life to it". On the topic of him returning to theatre, it's about when and not if. "Not right now. I think I want to focus on film and TV now. I would love to do a play. I've never done one before. But theatre, I would leave that for later".

Chatting a few days before season two's release, Harry reflects on his time as Jace Targaryen so far. I was curious about the most challenging part of filming this epic show. Harry says it's speaking like a prince: "I had lines last season, but I have much more screentime this season. I have amazing dialect coaches. I'm from Essex, so it's about pronouncing your H's and your T's, but I got used to it quite quickly, obviously, with all the help. And also, sometimes the long hours can be a bit draining, but you can't complain about that with my job because so many people wish they could do it and you're so lucky and it's just fun, isn't it? I ride dragons!"

Jace is sporting a new look this season. To confirm for those asking, Jace's hair is Harry's real curls. In the break between season one and filming for season two, per request by the show, he grew his hair really long, "I looked like I was old school [2015] Harry Styles vibe with the hair". However, when the team got together at the beginning of season two, his Harry Styles dreams were crushed: "I got there, and they were like, 'We've got a mood board to go by'. It was like just pictures of Jon Snow and Rob Stark and all that which was really cool". Then they cut his hair accordingly. "And snip snip. Bosh. Here we are, new Jace has arrived."

"The new costumes, sets and hair made me transform as Jace. In season two, we see him going from a boy to a man, and the change has helped me change Jace in a way that suits people."

As the war between Team Black and Team Green intensifies, some characters, including Jace, set off around Westeros this season. The cast filmed their scenes separately, with Harry rarely seeing those on the opposing team like Olivia Cooke, Ewan Mitchell and Tom Glynn-Carney unless it was outside of filming.

However much the production schedules and marketing promote the fierce rivalry between Team Black and Team Green, Harry reassures that the cast gets along well like a big family. "It's really refreshing to have a massive ensemble cast that all love each other, and we all really get on."


Jace's parents on the show are the legendary Rhaenyra Targaryen, the possible heir to the throne, and stepdad Daemon Targaryen, played by Emma D'Arcy and Matt Smith, respectively. Being around actors of this calibre can be pretty daunting, especially when as young as Harry when he started on the show at 16. He speaks fondly of the pair, calling Matt and Emma his "off-screen parents". "They both took me under their wing. Especially as I got the role when I was 16. And now I'm 20, I've been there a long time. Even though it's only hourly episodes. You've kind of grown up there. For me, Matt and Emma really came over and made me feel comfortable with them." On-screen, there's a pretty touching scene between Rhaenyra and Jace dealing with the aftermath of Luke's death in the season two premiere.

Speaking on his feelings before season one was released, Collett was worried about meeting the high expectations of the Game of Thrones fandom. "Because you're coming off a big show like Game of Thrones. You know the fan base is going to be there forever. People will enjoy it. You're going to get the views. It's just rare that people will stick with it for season two or…wherever". He was also nervous for people to meet Jace near the end of season one. "There was anxiety on my part because I wanted people to like Jace. If I was a writer, I'd be shitting myself. Because it's your story. All I do is turn up, dress up as Jace, and play him the best I possibly can. But it's incredibly written, and I think we all had confidence in it from the beginning."

"But you never know how it's going to go, and it's gone really well". Season two has seemingly impressed showrunner and co-creator Ryan Condal, "[Ryan's] just said to me the other day how happy he is, and you want to do well for Ryan. It's refreshing to come from him". We hopefully should be in for a treat in these next eight episodes of the saga.

The show boasts a massive box office budget to film per episode in season one, and the scope has to get grander with every season.  For this upcoming season, the actor says the sets have gotten bigger "and it's much more detailed. We've got new locations. The scale has just been doubled. It does really help, and it feels really immersive". He speaks highly of one of the season two filming sets. "There's a really beautiful library location; I believe it's new, actually. And every single scroll and every single book in that room was written in Valyrian, well, at least a few pages. The details are insane." He remembers in season one, "When you'd pick something up to play with, they'd say, 'Oh no, we can't show that on camera'. So, [on season two] everything was so detailed, and I could just pick a scroll up, move it about, and no one would have an issue with [me] opening it up and reading it. They wouldn't have any problem with it catching on camera".

Being on such a vast show, details of what happens, such as who lives, who dies, and so on, are incredibly tight, with actors strictly prepped on what they can say. Spoilers are a big thing for this generation of TV watchers, including me, who's terrible at accidentally giving them away to friends. But Harry has been pretty good at keeping secrets since the HotD media training. For example, when people at the pub plead for spoilers, he always responds that he "doesn't know" what happens. "But you have to be really careful. Because it's such a big show. It's also you're like, I don't want to lose my job, but it's also the fact that you don't want to spoil it for people." On the topic of people asking for spoilers, he doesn't understand the phenomenon: "I can't actually tell them what happens!" I tell him that people love being spoiled and search it out online before the show airs. "Isn't it like an impatience thing? Where they don't want to wait until episode-whatever-number maybe, and it is weekly, isn't it? Especially when they end on cliffhangers."

Harry brings up the infamous season one finale leak where he recalls most of his friends telling him they saw the shocking death of Luke Velaryon (Jace's brother) on TikTok before watching it on TV. "Which is really sad because it just doesn't show any previous bit of the story; they just showed Luke's death". He doesn't enjoy spoilers himself personally. "I don't know why people would enjoy it". I agree that it's not as exciting knowing what happens before watching it.


I have to ask about a season three for HotD, and Harry is unsurprisingly coy about it, responding with the typical tease, "We'll have to see," and a smile. HBO confirms a season three renewal for the show the day right after we speak. Case proven that Harry can keep his lips sealed.

We also discuss the behind-the-scenes of his TikTok videos, which have been blowing up online. He does like the app and filming random things which sounds like his videos are very spontaneous. "As soon as I can I just chat rubbish at the camera and people love it." The feeling is mutual that TikTok can be so bizarre as he talks me through making one of his latest videos, a 15-second-long clip of him showing a bottle of champagne he'd been gifted. "I literally just was in my hotel room. I just had a massage. And I was like, 'Ahhh, I've come back to a bottle of champagne, but I've got no one to share it with.' So I'll just show them on TikTok.  So, I just showed it, and it's got 100k likes, and I'm like, 'how?' It's mental." The video currently stands at 342K likes, with another recently gaining over three million views with his co-star Bethany Antonia (who plays Baela Targaryen) during their press junket. Who knows when Harry's urge to TikTok could strike again.

Outside of acting (and TikTok), Harry enjoys DJing after discovering it during the season one break. "I needed to do something for myself, and I knew that it would take a little while. I bought my first pair of decks and started producing music, and it was just a fun little thing to do on the side." He recently made some tunes on his flight to New York for the season two press.

"Acting will always be first for me, but I've made a lot of friends through DJing as well, and I love House music." When thinking about other things that bring him joy, his immediate answer is his job: "Probably a very cliche answer, but I'm very lucky. I genuinely do what I love, so it's really nice -and my family, obviously. "

Now that season two is finally being released, Harry is excited for people to see Jace in Winterfell. "Because it's such an iconic place and it means so much to the original Game of Thrones fans," he explains. "For Jace to be there was sort of a big thing for me.  So, I had a little bit of anxiety, but hopefully, me and Tom Taylor (who plays Cregan Stark) have done a good job, and hopefully, people enjoy it."

During his break between seasons right now, the actor wants to go and watch all six series of Games of Thrones as he confesses that he hasn't seen the original predecessor to the House of the Dragon. I do admit that I prefer House of the Dragon, which he laughs at. I also blame my lack of enjoyment because the ending to Game of Thrones was spoiled for me very long ago. He says he doesn't know what happens at the end of GoT and gives me permission to spill, but I do not.

As we wrap up the conversation, we continue to discuss the ending of Game of Thrones. Harry has an inkling about the Targaryen's legacy since being one himself. He again asks me to tell him what happens at the end, allowing me to spoil a show once again for someone, but keeping to my new pledge of not spoiling shows, I successfully (and proudly) do not budge so that he can really enjoy the show over his break from House of the Dragon, which will come to an end with production on season three starting soon.

House of the Dragon season two is now streaming weekly on Sky and NOW TV.

Words Madison Drew

Photography Kiera Simpson

Styling Chloe Oldridge

Styling Assistant Amelia Connolly

Hair & Grooming Josh Knight

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