The fifth season of the popular HBO series Game of Thrones will see scenes filmed in emblematic locations in southern Spain and auditions continue this week for extras in those episodes. With portions of the next season to be filmed in the iconic city of Seville as well as the town of Osuna in Seville province, there were many hopeful Spaniards, queuing for hours in the hope of getting a part.
With the current and continuing economic crisis in that country together with rampant unemployment, even the mere 50 euros per day would be welcome, despite the fact that it means being at the beck and call of producers from around 4.00 a.m. through to 8:30 p.m. including stints in hair, makeup and wardrobe.
Back in July, auditions were on for the sections of the show to be filmed in Seville with many in the queue hoping to be filmed with heroine Khaleesi at the beautiful Alcázar Palace in that historic city (pictured above). Tuesday and Wednesday this week saw a similar situation in the ancient Iberian town of Osuna, in Seville province, with 4,500 hopefuls queuing up, but this time rules and requirements were a little tighter than previously.
To be chosen as one of the 2,500 people initially required meant that applicants had to be slim, with no visible tattoos, bodies should be darkly tanned and hair should also be dark, with no highlights or artificial coloring. Men should be well-built apparently, but not excessively so.
The extras will be hired to portray the local inhabitants of the town of Dorne, a fictional kingdom mentioned in the series of books by George R.R. Martin which suits the historic town of Osuna down to the ground.
According to one of the girls interviewed by the local news service, El Pais, applicants had their photos taken and measurements were taken of their various body parts.
She said they were asked if they used WhatsApp and the popular social media platform Facebook and were even asked if they would mind appearing naked in the series. The girl said they answered affirmatively to everything, but that she might hide if it came to the naked scenes.
Reportedly after the auditions continue in Spain, of the 2,500 preselected applicants only 500 will actually appear as extras in the next season of Game of Thrones or Juego de Tronos as it is known locally, but hopefuls will be grateful to receive 50 euros a day while spending time in the company of their favorite characters in the series. Filming will apparently run between October 10 and 29 and extras will only be paid for their time on location. They will be responsible for the costs of traveling to the city and for their accommodation, if required.
Casting for the upcoming episodes of Game of Thrones has also had some bad side effects with a recent telephone scam run by some con artists who saw an opportunity to get rich. Basically, while the initial auditions were running in Seville, Fresco Film, the company in Málaga hired by the producers of the show to find extras, had set up an email address for applicants, email@example.com. What the crooks did was to set up a website using the same name as that contact email, www.castingjuegodetronos.com.
Visitors to that website were then offered a fake hotline number to call and apply for a part as an extra in the show. What the hotline actually did was to keep the callers holding on for at least six minutes while, without their knowledge, callers were billed at a premium call rate. All they got in the end for their patience was an automated message, advising them of the valid email address to use when sending in their application.
This netted around 100,000 euros ($134,000) for the con artists, but after many complaints to the Spanish consumer rights organization, Federation of Consumers and Users of Andalucía (FACUA), police finally tracked the crooks down and arrested them in Ibiza in the Balearic Islands. Fortunately everyone who was conned will be receiving a full refund.
It seems there is always someone out there to make a quick killing on the crooked side of the good news. In the meantime, more honest applicants are hopeful that they will be successful in gaining a part in the Game of Thrones, as auditions continue for the episodes to be filmed in both Seville and Osuna in Spain.
By Anne Sewell
El Mundo (Spanish language)