Why do more actors from Game of Thrones show up in high-profile movies than those from The Walking Dead? It’s a burning question. Actually, it isn’t, but that hasn’t stopped The Hollywood Reporter from looking into it. Both shows are immensely popular and are firmly embedded in the zeitgeist, but the fantasy series is launching more big-screen careers than the zombie-fest. “Already this fall, four players from HBO’s fantasy epic have booked gigs in much-anticipated film projects: Carice van Houten, who plays priestess Melisandre, will portray German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl in the Jesse Owens biopic Race. Aiden Gillen will make the jump from his Machiavellian character Littlefinger to outright villainy in The Maze Runner Chapter II: The Scorch Trials, playing the YA franchise’s big bad in the greenlighted Fox sequel. And Lannister father-daughter duo Charles Dance and Lena Headey are part of another literary adaptation, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” writes Borys Kit. He then laments “there has been a relative dearth of castings from AMC’s fellow watercooler favorite. Despite the show’s massive success over four seasons (season five premieres Oct. 12), series star Andrew Lincoln hasn’t been in a feature since 2010’s Made in Dagenham. Other than this year’s sci-fi indie I Origins, Steven Yeun mostly has stuck to TV appearances between seasons. And the films that the Dead survivors do shoot tend to be more obscure, such as series favorite Norman Reedus’ résumé of low-budget thrillers.”
Is it because the actors on Game of Thrones are better-looking and more talented than the people on The Walking Dead? Do they have better agents? Are they using blood-magic on casting directors? The reason is actually quite simple: it has to do with how the shows are perceived. “Market research firm E-Poll found that both programs have equally high appeal ratings, but CEO Gerry Philpott says Thrones has the edge because it is ‘produced more like a feature with rich colors, sets and costumes, and most of all, [the characters] are made to be extremely attractive and sexy.’ On the contrary, says Philpott: ‘When you’re being chased by a dead person, it’s hard to make them look as appealing.'” So there. Wearing nice clothes in sumptuous surroundings is a better long-term career move for an actor than fending off the undead. But not always. After all, handsome Kit Harrington (a.k.a Jon Snow) was in Pompeii, and that was just terrible.