For the first time since the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones” ended its run, co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie have reunited on screen. This time, they’ve joined forces in support of a United Kingdom-based fundraising campaign to fight multiple sclerosis (MS). The Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Team Stop MS campaign aims to raise £100 million (just shy of $140 million) to fund MS research.
Harington and Leslie join “Lord of the Rings” actor Andy Serkis and other celebrity entertainers in the campaign video as eager actors auditioning for roles on Team Stop MS. Leslie is shown trying out for a spot on the Team Stop MS cycling campaign. Turns out there’s no need for the celebrities to audition, they learn, because everyone is welcome. “Join Team Stop MS today. No audition needed,” the campaign tagline notes.
All the celebrity auditioners — which also include chef Ainsley Harriott, radio DJ Scott Mills, actor Alun Armstrong, and comedian Ivo Graham — share a personal connection to MS. However, few may be as familiar to U.S. viewers as Serkis. He appears in the video wearing a motion-capture suit, which he’s known for donning in such series as “Star Wars” and “Planet of the Apes.” “One of my sisters has struggled with MS for many years,” Serkis told journalists.
The judges of the spoof audition, real-life people living with MS, are among the 2.8 million people worldwide who live with the condition. In the U.K., MS affects more than 131,000 people, whereas in the United States, nearly 1 million people live with the condition.
The organization’s ambitious funding goal is part of its effort to “stop MS for good.”