Let me preface this by saying: I have never seen House of the Dragon. I have also yet to see anything that Emma D’Arcy has acted in. I have, however, seen their face countless times this week. On my TikTok For You Page. On fancams via Twitter. In clips forwarded to me on WhatsApp with zero context.
I am now somehow intimately acquainted with their lilting, raspy voice. The casual way they slump on a chair, eyebrows dancing. The glint in their eye as they lean forward and say: “A negroni… sbagliato… with prosecco in it.” Seven little words that have caused bisexuals everywhere to completely lose their minds in a kind of collective hysteria, unmatched even by Timothée Chalamet flashing his armpit hair for British Vogue recently.
For context: last month, House of the Dragon stars D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke appeared in a “Get to Know Me” promotional video on YouTube. Throughout the clip, the two of them ask each other questions, like “What was your first impression of me?” and “When did you find out you were cast?” – a bit like a date. However, it’s the part where Cooke asks D’Arcy about their favourite drink that has gone viral among the LGBTQ+s. When D’Arcy says “A Negroni… sbagliato… with prosecco in it,” Cooke looks flustered, in the same way you might have if they’d said something enticing or vaguely horny. Cooke takes ages to roll up the piece of paper in her hand, briefly unable to look up. We are all Cooke in that moment. Where do we look? What do we do?
Just as it’s impossible to bottle charisma and pizzazz, or unpack the idea of “chemistry”, it’s impossible to properly explain why Emma D’Arcy saying “A Negroni… sbagliato… with prosecco in it” has created such an intense ripple of thirst like this. Maybe it’s the way they keep us guessing, adding word upon word until you’re holding your breath, waiting for more. Maybe it’s their oversized, pink on pink outfit, which shouldn’t work but does, hanging off them as they raise an eyebrow like they’ve been waiting their whole life for you to ask that immortal question: “What’s your drink of choice?”
Really though, what has united people like this is that, deep down, regardless of gender, most of us tend to fancy mischievous, confident people who know what they like. D’Arcy doesn’t hesitate. They don’t break eye contact. And their choice is odd – it’s the choice of a person ungoverned by expectations. How very sexy. How very queer of them. What an eternal vibe. Wouldn’t life be easier if we all knew what we wanted, all of the time?
I’m sure D’Arcy has woken up this week amused and confused as to why the internet has had a meltdown over a seemingly innocuous turn of phrase. But, equally, queer bars everywhere need to stock up their drinks cabinet with Negroni sbagliatos with a bit of prosecco. Immediately.