There’s hope for the Starks: Isaac Hempstead Wright, the 14-year-old British actor who plays the crippled prophetic dreamer Bran Stark in “Game of Thrones,” follows the markets.
“I have an app on my phone, a simulator, so you can buy stocks,” Wright said in an interview last night at the show’s season four premiere hosted by Home Box Office Inc. “I put all my ‘money’ in Twitter when it came out, and it doubled, and I was like, I should have really invested in that. I was kicking myself.”
His interest made him an anomaly on the red carpet. “I have a lot in mutual funds,” said George R.R. Martin, the author of the novels on which “Game of Thrones” is based. “I long ago gave up on picking individual stocks. I figure there are plenty of casinos in New Mexico where I could have equally good odds.”
Wright, who turns 15 next month, may not keep acting, even after his hit show. He’s planning a career in finance. “I’d like to study physics and then go into quantitative analysis, using math to project financial markets,” he said. He subscribes to e-mail updates from the Financial Times.
On the show, which resumes on HBO on April 6, Wright plays a prince with a dire wolf, forced to flee his home and wander in dangerous forests in the company of two siblings from the Reed family.
“One of the great things about Bran is what he’s been through,” Wright said. “He’s not the most exciting or glamorous. He’s lost his legs, he’s lost his family, he’s on his own, basically, with these two strangers. I think the strength of that is a hugely important lesson.”
Already, Wright seems to be living the financier’s life, or at least enjoy some of its trappings. “I like to buy clothes,” he said. Last night he wore a Vivienne Westwood suit, “because I wanted weird and cool and fun,” he said. His shoes, orange with black stripes, were also by Vivienne Westwood.
Wright, who lives outside London in Kent, usually heads into the British capital to dine. The Social Eating House in Soho has “the most incredible starter. It’s ham, egg and chips, except it’s a duck egg, and really cool ham and really nice chips,” he said. At Polpo, he orders the meatball.
For six years, he’s played the piano. “I love the Romantic era, so Liszt is a favorite. I love to listen to what I play -- Chopin, Brahms, Schumann.”
No Katy Perry? “Oh no,” he said.
On a 120-foot-long red carpet accommodating 84 press outlets, Wright joined more than 30 cast members in the show including Emilia Clarke (Daenerys, Mother of Dragons), who said she’s been reading “The Years” by Virginia Woolf; Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), who said she’s interested in playing “broken women, someone who has a story;” and Liam Cunningham, Davos Seaworth on the show, who said he recently bought a Smiths best-of album and invests “heavily in alcohol.”
Gathered in Avery Fisher Hall, the program began with a subdued performance of the “Game of Thrones” theme music by about 30 members of the New York Philharmonic, conducted by composer Ramin Djawadi.
“The music on the show has such power to lead and mislead,” Djawadi said earlier, adding that the theme for the Lannister family will cue the next wedding.
After a screening of the first episode, HBO brought guests with red wristbands by bus to the American Museum of Natural History. The festivities took place in the hall with the whale, lit up with fire (now that would have been a visual for a London Whale story). Ice came in the form of frozen cones, such as the blue raspberry-flavored “white walker.”
There were lines to sit on the throne, and longer queues to “ascend the wall” by entering a booth and putting on virtual reality goggles and headphones. The journey transported guests up an elevator to a lookout deck, offering views of icy mountains and incoming, lethal fireballs.
The DJ, Marvin Coleman, wove in songs that nodded to show themes, such as “Burning Down the House” by the Talking Heads and U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (the show airs on Sundays). He also played a rap song from “Catch the Throne: The Mixtape,” “Arya’s Prayer” by Dominick Omega.
The actors who play Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and her sister Sansa (Sophie Turner) sat at a table decorated with silver antlers. Turner, searching for her high heels, said she’s been listening to Nirvana, The Naked and Famous, and Justin Bieber. Williams found them under the table, and the pair, long separated on the show, were off to circulate.
Out for Blood?
Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) chatted with humorist John Hodgman on a white couch covered in fur blankets, near a bar serving the new Fire and Blood edition of Ommegang Game of Thrones beer.
John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly, a member of the Night’s Watch, analyzed the Beatles songs appropriate to his character.
“If I was going to do a violent scene, it’d be a John song, and if I was going to do scene where I was confessing my love to Gillie, it’d be a Paul song,” Bradley said.
Rose Leslie, who plays the wildling Ygritte, said she’s been listening to the American rock band Haim. She wore a white gown and star-shaped earrings and rings by Rosa de la Cruz, whose designs she finds “very simple and chic.”
Her character, whose fur-pelt costume was on display at the party, is “out for blood” this season, Leslie said. “The war is very much a real threat, and that’s going to be exhilarating when it plays out.”
John Oliver, soon to be the host of a new HBO comedy talk show, speculated on when the whale above them would turn into a dragon. His favorite character? “I like King Joffrey, because I like to see a British person with low muscle mass ordering people around.”
Kristofer Hivju, who plays Ygritte’s wildling leader Tormund, shared his party strategy: “Don’t break the dinosaurs!”