With the long-awaited prequel House Of The Dragon in full swing, it’s time to get familiar with its cast. The series tells the story of the Targaryen civil war, and is set some 300 years before the events in hit series Game Of Thrones take place. 36-year-old Sonoya Mizuno plays Mysaria opposite Matt Smith’s Daemon Targaryen. The actor, model, and ballet dancer, who describes her character as “a self-made woman making a lot of mistakes,” hadn’t actually watched Game Of Thrones before starting the audition process. After exploring the show, she came to understand why people are “so obsessed with it.” But what else do we know about Sonoya Mizuno?
You may well recognise the actor from La La Land, Crazy Rich Asians, or Devs, and she’s also modelled for brands including Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Despite all these film credits under her belt, Mizuno started her career as a ballet dancer, after studying and training at the Royal Ballet School in London. She had her first big film break in 2014’s sci-fi classic Ex Machina. The House Of The Dragon star played Kyoko, an android, and even put her dance background to good use in one surreal but memorable scene with Oscar Isaac.
And she’s also a dab hand at juggling. At the same time as handling press duties for House Of The Dragon, and starring a production of Tennessee Williams’ classic play Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, the actor has been shooting Shortcomings — a project directed by comedian and actor Randall Park. The film also features Rookie founder Tavi Gevinson, Disney regular Debby Ryan, and Veep’s Timothy Simons. “There was a day last week where I filmed the movie during the day, and then I did the play in the evening,” she told WWD. “I loved it; it felt like a real test.”
Despite having such indisputable talent, Mizuno has said in the past that she felt she had to prove herself. Speaking to High Snobiety, she mused that at the beginning of her career, she felt the need “to show that I'm not a dancer and I'm just an actor.” Mizuno went on to add that she now realises her broad talent is “what makes me who I am.”
But what does Mizuno like to do when she’s not on screen? Well, primarily, she likes to hang out with her cat. In a Q&A with Interview in April 2022, when asked when she last lied, her response was: “It was probably about being busy when I wanted to stay at home with my cat.” The actor was born in Tokyo, but grew up in Somerset, and thanks to her gruelling training at ballet school, Mizuno has quite the unusual souvenir. "I have a permanent fake toenail on my big right toe,” she told i-D. “It's not that pretty.”
Otherwise, Mizuno keeps her private life under wraps, and doesn’t speak publicly about her relationship status. In fact, she doesn’t have any public social media accounts, as it seems she prefers to keep a pretty low profile when she’s not working.
House Of The Dragon airs on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW.
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