By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com July 26, 2011 at 11:47AM
Plus Stephen Dillane, Carice Van Houten & Liam Cunningham Play 'Game of Thrones'
We don't cover a lot of TV casting here at The Playlist; when we do, it's because our favorite, or at least most promising, shows, have landed great actors. As you'll know from our list of the ten best shows of the recently completed TV season, two of those shows at present are "Community" and "Game of Thrones." The former a top-flight sitcom starring Joel McHale, Chevy Chase, Ken Jeong and a kick-ass ensemble, the latter an HBO adaptation of a popular series of fantasy novels, a show that rapidly proved itself to be the ballsiest, best-cast, best-plotted show on TV right now. And both series have just added some cast members that have made us even more excited to see their next seasons.
"Community" has already featured the likes of Jack Black, Kevin Corrigan, John Oliver and Stephen Tobolowsky in recurring or guest roles, but for its upcoming third season, it's just added two great actors, both of whom are veterans of recent HBO series. Vulture reports that Michael K. Wililams -- yes, Omar from "The Wire" and Chalky White from "Boardwalk Empire" -- has signed on to play the study group's biology professor, while the great John Goodman will play the vice-dean at Greendale's school of air conditioning repair, a new addition to the show that creator Dan Harmon describes as "a separate annex on the campus that puts itself above the rest of the school, and ironically has more power than the campus itself. It's much like a Big Ten university's football coach having more power than any administrator or faculty. It's going to be part of a larger story that I think should be really cool."
Our campaign to see the terrific Williams bag the lead in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" unfortunately came to nothing, but it's good to see him stretch his comic wings here, while Goodman, who of course broke through in the sitcom world in "Roseanne" before going on to tons of great film work, particularly with the Coen Brothers, should also be a perfect addition. Because of his "Boardwalk Empire" deal, Williams is currently only slated to appear in three episodes, but Harmon hopes that he'll recur regularly on the show, while Goodman will appear in at least six episodes. We should see their first appearances when the show starts up again in September -- hopefully it'll bolster the low-rated show's viewership.
Meanwhile, production is gearing up for the second season of "Game of Thrones," and according to EW, some more top actors have been lined up to replace those who've already been killed off on the show. The most significant is the great Stephen Dillane, a theater veteran who's perhaps best known for playing Leonard Woolf in "The Hours," but has also appeared in the likes of "John Adams," "Savage Grace," "King Arthur" and "Welcome to Sarajevo," among many others. The actor will play Stannis Baratheon, the brother of Mark Addy's King Robert Baratheon and Gethin Anthony's Renly Baratheon, who promises to be a key player for some time to come as war comes to the world of the show.
He'll be joined by Carice Van Houten, the Dutch actress who was so good in Paul Verhoeven's "Black Book" before going on to "Valkyrie" and "Repo Men," who'll play the sorceress Melisandre, and "Hunger" star Liam Cunningham, the Irish actor who's (rightfully) been inescapable of late, appearing in films like "Harry Brown," "Clash of the Titans," "The Guard" and the upcoming "Safe House," who'll play Stannis' right hand man Davos Seaworth, an ex-smuggler. Filming on Season Two started up this week, and the show will return to screens in the spring of 2012.