THE face of an Omagh baby who starred in an episode of TV series Game of Thrones this week has been broadcast around the world.
Fabian Clarke was just seven weeks old last October when he was filmed for the scene for the major television production. On Monday night his face featured in one of the most shocking segments to date in the popular series.
Based on the epic saga penned by American author George R R Martin, HBO’s production of Game of Thrones has proved a world-wide smash hit, winning the hearts and minds of critics, fans and viewers. Much of the series is filmed in parts of the North, creating opportunities for hundreds of local extras.
Omagh mother-of-two Chereen Clarke from the Dublin Road area of Omagh revealed that an e-mail from a relative who recently completed extra work in the series prompted her to respond to the ad searching for a young baby needed for the fourth series.
“I was off on maternity leave, so I thought I had nothing else to do and I would do it,” she told the UH. “The next day I got a call from the casting agent and they said they would like to cast Fabian.”
The initial shoot took place at night within the Clandeboye Estate in Bangor, where the scenes for ‘Craster’s Keep’ were filmed.
Viewers familiar with the series will recall how baby boys born to the loathsome wilding Craster, who lives beyond the wall, are left out in the barren snow as offerings for the dreaded ‘white walkers’.
On Monday, Fabian starred as the late Craster’s final child, who was filmed being carried, laid out on a stone and left for members of the ancient race, who reanimate the dead as ‘wights’ to do their bidding.
“As far as I was concerned, that was it. But I got a phone call a couple of weeks later to say they wanted him back,” said Chereen.
The marketing professional, who works for Power NI, had to tell the casting agent that little Fabian was unable to make the second shoot due to a bout of reflux.
However a few hours later she got another call stating that director Michelle MacLaren, who has directed episodes of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, didn’t want any other baby.
“She said she didn’t want to do it without him, so they rescheduled the shoot,” said Chereen.
The following week Fabian was well mended and was brought for a second shoot at Shane’s Castle, Co Antrim. It was there that the Omagh tot was filmed over two days for the shocking final scene featured in Monday’s dramatic episode.
While the scene depicts a barren ice landscape, Chereen said her little one was well wrapped up and cared for.
“It looks like he’s wrapped in a brown rag, but there were three layers of fleece underneath,” she said.
The first shoot required little Fabian to cry, the second was slightly more challenging.
“He needed to be so still, because the white walker had to touch him in the face. It took a few times, but the nails are actually paper, so it was very safe.”
Chereen recalled how director Michelle MacLaren made them feel at ease, personally thanking them and even offering the Omagh woman her seat. She said there were no plans as yet for future scenes, but revealed that Fabian and her other three-year-old son Pierce will star in a new TV ad for her company Power NI.
However Chereen said she doesn’t intend to push her children into acting. “It just happened, it’s not something that I would to push them into. It was just an experience for everybody and it was a great one.”