It’s impossible to imagine anyone but actor Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones.”
Dinklage, who won an Emmy for his performance on the HBO series, brings a slyness and modernity to the character, making him the show’s most beloved bad boy.
A year ago, in a Reddit AMA, the actor revealed he nearly turned down the part.
Before “Game of Thrones,” Dinklage was a star on the horizon. He kept busy with small film roles and TV cameos: voicing a character in the “Ice Age” franchise, dating Liz Lemon on “30 Rock,” and appearing in both the American and British versions of “Death at a Funeral.”
One of the bigger-budget fantasy epics, 2008’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” cast the 4-foot-5-inch-tall actor as Trumpkin, the cynical, practical caretaker of the Pevensie children. The role of a “Red Dwarf” required him to sit in the makeup chair for three hours each morning.
“It was a lovely experience, but it was pretty uncomfortable,” Dinklage told The New York Times in 2012.
Eight years ago, when “Game of Thrones” co-creator and showrunner David Benioff approached Dinklage with the role of Tyrion, the actor felt concerned.
“I had one hesitation, because of the fantasy genre, I told him I didn’t want a really long beard and pointy shoes,” Dinklage said in his Reddit AMA.
“Dwarves in these genres always have this look,” he told The Times. “My guard was up. Not even my guard — my metal fence, my barbed wire was up. Even ‘Lord of the Rings’ had dwarf-tossing jokes in it.”
“[Benioff and co-creator Dan Weiss] assured me this character and this world wasn’t that,” Dinklage told Reddit. “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.”
Tyrion Lannister, the black sheep of a wealthy family, responds to his physical limitations with wit and cunning. He dresses in traditional Medieval-inspired clothing, often in the House of Lannister colours of crimson and gold, and keeps his curly brown locks short, not unlike how Dinklage styles his hair in real life.
“I feel really lucky, although I hate that word — ‘lucky,'” Dinklage said to the Times. “It cheapens a lot of hard work. … I don’t think I felt myself lucky back then, doing plays for $US50 and trying to be true to myself as an artist and turning down commercials where they wanted a leprechaun.”
“I won’t say I’m lucky,” Dinklage said. “I’m fortunate enough to find or attract very talented people. For some reason I found them, and they found me.”
You can catch Dinklage and his very talented “Game of Thrones” castmates Sunday nights on HBO.
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