House of the Dragon star Emily Carey talks diamonds, jewellery and Wonder Woman

House of the Dragon star Emily Carey showcases her favourite jewellery as she discusses her favourite films and reminisces about Pandora rings and Chanel cuffs

Interview by Nidai Esat, Photography by Mafalda Silva

Emily Carey has been an actor for most of her life. And she likes jewellery. Her personal jewellery collection marks her acting career to date, as Emily often adds new pieces to celebrate new projects. Some of her favourite recent discoveries are a pair of Chanel cuffs that remind her of her role in Wonder Woman. There are also the pieces of jewellery she cherishes for the personal memories they hold. On shoot day, Carey remembers the first necklace she received as a gift from her aunt and a Pandora ring selected for her by her mother as a 16th birthday present. The ring keeps her grounded, she says. 

On set today, Carey sparkled thanks to a selection of fine jewellery by Van Cleef & Arpels, Dior, Chaumet, Suzanne Kalan, Roxanne First and many other makers. More jewellery is surely on the horizon for Carey. Later this month, she will appear in the much-anticipated prequel to Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon.  

The show is based on George R. R. Martin’s 2018 book titled Fire & Blood, along with the novella The Princess and the Queen and the novelette The Rogue Prince. Set two centuries before the War of the Five Kings, former Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik serves as the show-runner alongside Martin and Ryan Condal who promise secrets, schemes, epic visuals and, of course, dragons.

Carey takes on the role of Alicent Hightower, a key player in the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. The daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, Alicent was raised in the Red Keep, the castle at King’s Landing and the seat of power for the rulers of Westeros; thus she possesses both a graceful demeanour and a keen knowledge of politics and court intrigue.

Emily Carey for Something About Rocks wears Suzanne Kalan and Dior Joaillerie
Emily wears Suzanne Kalan bracelet in yellow gold with blue sapphires and white diamonds; Dior Joaillerie Rose Dior Pré Catelan ring in pink gold with white diamond and rose quartz. Patou shorts, dress and top.

Hi Emily. Our first question is jewellery related. What does jewellery mean to you, and what is your relationship with it?

Emily Carey: I think jewellery is such a personal way of expressing yourself, and jewellery can 100 per cent change an outfit. I have lots of jewellery that is super special to me. I have a ring that I am not wearing at the moment, a Pandora ring that looks like a laurel wreath. It’s the wreath that goes around the bottom of a film poster, which shows Best Actor or Best Film [accolades]. I got it for my 16th birthday from my Mum so that is something that is super special to me. I wear it all the time.

When you have done a film and you go to film parties, do you wear your own jewellery or do brands send you jewellery to wear?

A lot of the time I like to wear my own. Well, it depends. I think a lot of my jewellery are statement pieces. I think you need a couple of statement pieces. Especially for like a [red] carpet or a really prestigious event. But I think it is nice to carry a little bit of myself, I think it keeps you humble. Like the little ring my mum got me for my 16th birthday which keeps me grounded and just makes me feel safe. 

What was your first piece of jewellery that you remember, and why? Would that be the ring you just mentioned?

I don’t think that would be first I remember. When I was growing up, my aunt, uncle and cousin would buy me a necklace for every job I did. I say every job that I did but I did Am Dram theatre [Amateur Dramatic theatre] growing up and I started doing pantos from age six and I starred in Aladdin. They got me a little Aladdin’s Lamp necklace and I think that is the first piece of jewellery I remember. It was proper tacky, covered in sparkles, but I absolutely loved it and then every year after that and after every show that I did and when I started working professionally they always bought me a necklace. So, I think the Aladdin one was the first I remember.

As you are getting older, is your jewellery taste changing? Are you wearing more or less?

I think more maybe. But I think it is stuff I want to wear. As I feel like when I was younger, it was because it was trendy and everyone is sort of wearing that. Everyone has those certain earrings so I will buy them. Whereas now I’m starting to find my style and where I sit. And I start to understand how jewellery can relate to my wardrobe, so I think more. 

What is your most memorable jewellery moment?

I would say through work I have been able to wear some stunning pieces. But I think my most memorable one, I did a shoot for the Rose & Ivy Journal. I got to wear these Chanel bracelets but they weren’t just little bracelets, they were like cuffs, they were the most beautiful things ever. They reminded me of Wonder Woman’s cuffs, as they were just huge. And so sparkly. I am like a magpie, anything with glitter in it and my eye is immediately caught. They were just a dream come true!

Emily Carey for Something About Rocks in Van Cleef & Arpels
Emily wears Van Cleef & Arpels Two Butterfly earrings in yellow gold and diamonds (pair), Two Butterfly Between the Finger ring in white gold and yellow gold set with white diamonds and turquoise; Roxanne First personalised beaded necklace with yellow gold letters. Cecilie Bahnsen top and matching skirt; Emily London hair scrunchie.

You’ve have been acting from such a young age, what is it that got you involved in acting? What was the first moment that made you realise that you want to be an actor?

I was definitely not pushed into it. This is something I have always done. I started in theatre doing Am Dram productions growing up. Theatre kid through and through. I was doing music festivals by the time I was two, three years old and I loved everything about it. But I also just thought it’s what everyone did. I didn’t realise people did sports and that kind of thing. I just thought everyone wanted to sing and dance all of the time. So for me it was quite a natural progression into to working professionally. It was just a hobby that I had such passion for that I wanted to push and do as much of as possible. I had a really supportive family and my mum was amazing. So she just took me for a casting thinking it would shut me up a bit, because I wouldn’t stop rambling about how I wanted to be in the West End. I wanted to be in the shows in London so she took me to shut me up. I ended up booking it, Shrek, and since then it has been non-stop. I don’t think there was a distinct moment, it is just in my blood. 

What is your music taste, what is your music go-to?

Unfortunately musical theatre. But I have playlists of musical theatre songs. In a musical you go through a whole range of emotions. But yes a lot of musical theatre. I listen to quite chill music. I like British female RNB vibes that kind of thing. Mainly when I listen to music it is to chill as I am already quite peppy all of the time. 

Emily Carey for Something About Rocks in Pomellato and Roxanne First
Emily wears Pomellato rings; Roxanne First hoop earring in white gold with white diamonds and pink sapphire. Erdem dress.

What is your go-to restaurant?

Interesting question. I am so fussy. Anyone that knows me, knows how picky I am so I’m an awful person to eat out with. I can guarantee you I won’t like where we are going. I will always find something and it’s normally chips. I am known for eating chips all of the time. But you can’t go wrong with a pizza but like an independent Italian, and there are loads of little pockets like that in London. Not like a chain. Just somewhere with nice pizza. 

You prefer somewhere where the family has been doing it for generations?

Yes that’s exactly right. And you know everyone will be happy. 

So I see you have travelled quite a lot.


Is there any destination you’d go back to explore? Because you are there for work and you are on set and then you are gone. Are there any stand out destinations?

100 per cent the Amalfi coast which is where we shot parts of Wonder Woman and where I shot my scene. We did Basilicata and Ravello. Ravello is where we shot my one scene and I would love to go back there as it is just beautiful. We did like a crew drive so I was on a big bus from [Basilla carta] to Ravello and on the Amalfi drive it was just the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. They have lemons the size of rugby balls, it’s stunning. I’d love to go back as I was twelve at the time and wasn’t really interested in the culture of the place. I was like the sun is out. Yeah! Can we go to the pool? Whereas, I would love to go back and indulge in the culture. It is a beautiful place.

Emily Carey for Something About Rocks wears Van Cleef & Arpels
Emily wears Van Cleef & Arpels Two Butterfly Between the Finger ring in white gold and yellow gold set with white diamonds and turquoise. Erdem top and matching skirt.

And finally, what is next? What are you up to?

What a question. Currently, I have no idea what is in the pipeline which is quite exciting but things that are releasing I can’t really say too much about yet, but House of the Dragon is on the cards. 

There is nothing you can tell us about that?

Absolutely not a thing. 

Only what we know which is the poster of the show where you’re featured?

Yep that is pretty much it. And the name of the show is House of the Dragon in case you weren’t aware. That is basically it.

But something very exciting

Yep, I cannot wait. I wish I could tell you everything. But I think the tension helps. It will make it more exciting when it finally drops. Other than that, I have a film called The Lost Girls releasing in select cinemas in the UK very soon and in the US in the summer. I also have a film the The Canterville Ghost which is coming out at the end of this year, maybe early next year, I could just be lying, but soon hopefully so I should just say soon really. There is Anne Frank which is still floating about and you can catch it in select places.

Emily Carey for Something About Rocks wears Chaumet and Boucheron
Emily Carey wears Chaumet earring, Boucheron ring and diamonds and Louis Vuitton dress

Like this? Read about all the best jewellery moments in House of the Dragon

Photographer: Mafalda Silva | Fashion: Zadrian + Sarah | Jewellery: Felix Bischof | Videographer : Nyiwa Katalayi | Make-up: Michelle Dacillo | Hair: Hiroshi Matsushita | Manicure: Marie-Louise Coster | Photographer’s assistant: Edward Emberson