Nicely Done

Matt Smith gives a much-needed lesson in allyship

While House of the Dragon’s second season is still a week away, one of the show’s actors is already giving queer viewers a reason to stan. In a recent interview, Matt Smith gave a standout demonstration on how to politely but firmly correct someone’s pronoun use.

During the Season 2 premiere event in London, the former Doctor Who star was interviewed on the red carpet by Sue Perkins, host of the SkyTV recap show House of the Dragon: War Room. Perkins referred to a climactic scene during the first season finale between Smith and his costar, nonbinary icon Emma D’Arcy, whom Perkins mistakenly misgendered.

“I was talking to Emma and … she was talking about how amazing that end scene was… and she gave you all the credit,” Perkins said, referring to an earlier red carpet interview with D’Arcy.

Placing gentle emphasis on the correct pronoun, Smith simply answered the question. “I can’t take the credit, [but] I have to say, aren’t they brilliant?” he said. “They are absolutely brilliant and you’re in for a real treat with Emma this year, I think Emma’s put in… a really great performance.”

While the internet was quick to point out that correcting pronoun use is just basic decency, there was plenty of love to go around for the allyship on public display.

In a subsequent post, Perkins owned up to the error. “It was a sh*tty mistake,” she said. “Had loads of stuff going on in my earpiece and so wasn’t as focused as I should have been. No excuses though. These things matter and I feel terrible about it. Am a massive fan of their work and would never want to be disrespectful.”

In the past, D’Arcy has opened up about the cisnormative pressures they’ve faced in Hollywood. “When I was starting out, I really felt that I had to present as a woman in order to find success in this industry,” they said in a previous interview. “It wasn’t sustainable, and I stopped pretending. And weirdly at that point I got nominated for Best Actress for the Golden Globes, which is like beautifully ironic.”

House of the Dragon Season 2 premieres on June 16 on HBO and Max.

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