Peter Dinklage on landing the role of Tyrion Lannister, his funniest co-star, and bloopers

The "Game of Thrones" star revealed details about the hit show in a Reddit AMA

Topics: peter dinklage, Game of Thrones, tyrion lannister, HBO, Drama, Television, Fantasy,

He may consider himself a luddite with technology, but “Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage made a huge impact on Reddit Friday afternoon when he joined for an AMA, getting more than one thousand comments in less than 20 minutes. Dinklage participated to help his friends, “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star Karyn Parsons, and her husband Alex Rockwell, fund their Kickstarter project, “Little Feet.” Most of the questions, of course, were about the hit HBO series, in which Dinklage plays Tyrion Lannister.

Dinklage on accepting the role of Tyrion Lannister

That was many years ago now, strange enough, time has gone by so quickly it was about 7 years ago, oh boy! I have known David Benioff, he was an acquaintance, and I was a huge fan of his writing, so that really got me inquisitive about the project, that and HBO.

I had one hesitation, because of the fantasy genre, I told him I didn’t want a really long beard and pointy shoes, and they assured me this character and this world wasn’t that. They told me about his complexity, the fact that he wasn’t a hero or a villain, that he was a womanizer and a drinker, and they painted a flawed and beautiful portrait of him, so i signed on.

On the show’s huge success

I never know what’s going to be popular and what isn’t. This show was a big gamble for HBO and everyone involved. People usually associate fantasy TV with Xena and Hercules and those sort of things. No offense to them, but they’re a bit lighter around the edges. This show wasn’t that.
What I love isn’t usually a barometer of how popular it will be with audiences. Some things that I was a part of that I loved and thought would be big hits are things that nobody ever saw.
But yeah, mostly it was the Internet’s reaction to Sean Bean getting his head cut off. That’s when I knew we were getting big!

On being typecast

I feel like that can go both ways. You can take that as a compliment and think about it like you’ve done a great job with the role, and you’re sort of in people’s conscience as that character.

On the other hand, the joy of this TV show is that you can take time off and do other characters. A couple of years after this hopefully I’ll also do some good work. I know Daniel Radcliffe has been doing a couple of plays in New York right now, and probably in a way attempting to blow his Harry Potter image. If people really can’t disassociate me from Tyrion then I’ll try to take it like, hey, I probably did something right with that role.



On filming

Croatia’s one of the most beautiful places. We’re in Dubrovnik and we work 6 days a week, so we don’t have a lot of time off. But on our days off we just rent a boat and cruise around the islands. We go swimming, snorkeling… it’s just the most relaxed place in the world to be. I’d love to go back there one day on holiday.

The best part is that at the end of the work day, since it’s very hot there and we’re in these hot costumes — heavy leather and armor — some of us rip off our clothes and just jump right into the sea. Well, not all of our clothes. You know what I mean. But it’s invigoratingly cold, and always a joy.

On hilarious “Game of Thrones” outtakes:

There was one scene I was doing with Jerome Flynn, who plays Bronn. It was in season 1 I think, when I say something to a crazy woodsman guy. He asks “How do you want to die?” and the line in the script was like, “At the age of 80 with wine in my belly and a girl’s mouth around my cock.” And I said… “Age of 80 and a girl’s cock around my mouth!” I inverted a couple of the words, and when I said that my friend Jerome couldn’t stop laughing, so we had to stop filming for the day.

On his funniest co-star

Conleth Hill [Lord Varys]! He’s a dear friend and fortunately I have a lot of scenes with him. And Lena, she’s also a dear friend and all we ever do is laugh together. When the three of us get together it’s a lot of fun.

On his relationship with Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister
Sometimes we have to avoid eye contact so we don’t crack up!! It’s funny that sometimes people think with these serious scenes, people think the mood on set is very serious, but sometimes the most serious scenes can produce the most laughter on set.

I miss working with Lena. We didn’t have as much as I’m used to this year. In the second season we had a lot of scenes together.

And, as bonus, here are the two least-known facts about Dinklage (according to him)

I love hummus?

Also, I’m not a cat person but I had a cat for ten years. Because I had a rat in my apartment and I don’t like killing creatures. So I got a cat. I thought my roommate was going to take the cat but he moved out with his girlfriend and left the cat there. So I have this cat.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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