Sleeping outside on a blow-up mattress; braving downpours, skipping classes... such are the lengths that some Spaniards will go to for the chance to appear for a few brief moments in the hugely successful television series Game of Thrones.
“I would even pay to appear in it,” says Víctor Rosado, a self-declared hardcore fan of the HBO show. “I wouldn’t mind at all.”
Rosado is one of more than 4,000 people who gathered in the village of Malpartida de Cáceres, in Spain’s Extremadura region, in the run-up to the series’ seventh season – the third to be partly filmed in Spain.
“It’s rained on us, we’ve been buffeted by the wind, and now it’s boiling hot, but it’s all worth it,” says Rosado.
Hundreds of people lined up all morning outside the local sports center on a grey Monday morning for the chance to be selected as Game of Thrones extras by casting subcontractor ModExpor Internacional.
A total of 2,400 men and 600 women made it through the first round. “They checked that we didn’t have tattoos or braces on our teeth. And that we didn’t have dyed hair or highlights,” explains Fátima Peña, another huge fan of the show.
If successful, Peña, in addition to appearing on the show, will also receive €54 a day for her efforts.
The show’s makers are as tight-lipped as ever about the storylines for the new season, but have let it be known that military experience and a high level of fitness will be an advantage.
“They told me that most of the guys would be soldiers, and I fit that profile,” says Daniel Ruiz as he flexes his biceps.
“We have to be ready to shave our heads and get rid of our beards. Getting rid of my hair is like ending my life, but I would do anything for Game of Thrones,” says José Torres.
ModExpor Internacional says that around 500 people will eventually be selected to participate in shoots in Cáceres, Trujillo castle and Malpartida.
Filming is expected to take place from mid-November to mid-December.
Previous Game of Thrones locations in Spain have included Seville, Peñíscola, Girona, Córdoba province and Bermeo in the Basque Country.
English version by George Mills.