Peter Dinklage's hilarious character in 'Pixels' was inspired by a video game legend who holds world records in Pac Man and Donkey Kong

Pixels Peter Dinklage George Kraychyk SonyGeorge Kraychyk/Sony/Peter Dinklage in ‘Pixels.’

Though things aren’t looking good for “Pixels” this weekend, Adam Sandler’s latest comedy has a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, one thing that can’t be ignored is the brilliance of Peter Dinklage in the movie.

Known best for his dramatic work, especially as Tyrion Lannister in “Game of Thrones,” Dinklage is one of the saving graces of the film playing the hilarious former arcade champion Eddie “The Fire Blaster” Plant.

Rocking an impressive mullet, tattoos and an attitude, he seems like a character only Hollywood could come up with.

But in fact some movie lovers may link Fire Blaster’s pretentious ways to a real-life gaming legend.

Though Dinklage has not addressed it publicly, many believe his character in “Pixels” channels the swagger of Billy Mitchell, who is known for earning the first-ever perfect score in Pac-Man in 1999 and stars in the documentary “The Kind of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.” Mitchell was also named one of the Video Game Players of the year in 1984 and later became Video Game Player of the Century.

“Pixels” director Chris Columbus has confirmed that Plant is partially based on Mitchell. The physical resemblance between Mitchell and Dinklage’s character is hard to ignore too, particularly the mullet.

Most recently, Mitchell has gained recognation from “King of King.”

Seth Gordon‘s film follows underdog Steve Wiebe as he attempts to break the 20-year-old world record for Donkey Kong (you guessed it, it’s held by Mitchell). But like any great heel, Mitchell plays mind games with Wiebe, and says things on camera like, “Oh, Billy Mitchell always has a plan,” to get under Wiebe (and the viewer’s) skin.

Billy MitchellPicturehouse/Billy Mitchell in ‘The King of Kong.’

Dinklage certainly gives Plant the same traits. In “Pixels” he belittles Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler) for coming in second to him in an arcade tournament when they were kids. And he only becomes more cocky when Sam turns to him for help to beat the arcade characters that have come to Earth to destroy it.

When asked about Dinklage’s character at an interview for the 35th anniversary event for Pac-Man, Mitchell initially seemed humbled.

“Well, I think Peter is a good actor,” he said.

But he followed that with…

“People tell me I got beat out by the little guy finally,” referring to Dinklage’s height.

“Pixels” opens in theatres on Friday.

Watch Dinklage as Fire Blaster in this clip from the movie:

 

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