The UFC champ was asked about the rumors during an interview on the Good Times Network variety channel. McGregor said that months before the false story broke he was visited by unnamed people from the HBO hit in his dressing room after a fight.
“That was everywhere and I’ve never even heard about it!” McGregor said. “I heard about it once after [a fight] … backstage in the dressing room. [UFC brass, including Dana White, were] in front of me and they were saying ‘these [vistors] want you to be in Game of Thrones.’ I’m banged up, my shin’s in a heap, I’ve been kicking his knee’s straight for 25 minutes, my leg’s in bits, and he’s trying to offer me a Game of Thrones role. And I’m saying, ‘Listen, come at me with sh– I want to hear, I’m not trying to be in show business, I’m trying to be in the fight business. Come at me with a real number to fight again. So that was the only time I ever heard the [words] Games of Thrones. And it went everywhere like months later! So I don’t know where that came from. But I’ve never been in contact with nobody from Game of Thrones and now I’m starring in Game of f—ing Thrones!”
We’ve wanted to shoot this story down for awhile now, but HBO and the Thrones team have maintained radio silence about confirming or denying season 7 casting. And contrary to what McGregor is suggesting, it’s actually no mystery at all how the rumor became so widely reported. First, fan site Watchers on the Wall claimed McGregor would play a pirate belonging to Euron Greyjoy’s crew. Later, stories speculated that McGregor would face off against The Mountain (I guess because they’re both big tough fighters?). But then the rumor went into national-headline overdrive when none other than White himself kinda-sorta confirmed the news, telling Fox Sports Live when asked about the casting, “I knew that a few months ago that they were interested in putting him in the show. I’m glad he did it. It’ll be great.” We contacted the UFC press office after that statement and asked if they could correct or clarify White’s comment and they did not reply.
As for those Angela Lansbury season 7 casting rumors, those, of course, are totally true!
Game of Thrones is back later this year.