Peter Hayden Dinklage is an American actor. Since his breakout role in The Station Agent, he has appeared in films such as Elf, Find Me Guilty, Underdog, the British film Death at a Funeral and its American remake of the same name, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, A Little Bit of Heaven, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Knights of Badassdom and as Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Since 2011, he has played Tyrion Lannister in the HBO series Game of Thrones, which earned him international attention and acclaim as well as both the Emmy and the Golden Globe Award for Supporting Actor in 2011, as well as nominations in the Emmy category in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
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I am not on Twitter (ahem), so here's my video
I heard about Reddit from my good friend Karyn Parsons, who played Hilary Banks on the Fresh Prince. She did an AMA last week and said it was a ton of fun. I also made an indie film a few years ago with her husband, Alex Rockwell, called "Pete Smalls is Dead." It was about a funeral that turned into a quest. Kind of like Game of Thrones in reverse, huh?
Now I'm hoping to help Karyn and Alex hit their Kickstarter stretch goal for "Little Feet", their latest indie film about childhood: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1328225661/little-feet-coming-to-a-theater-near-you
I'm kicking in a few rewards: signed photos ($85; let me know what to write!), signed t-shirts ($100), a custom voicemail message on your phone ($300; let me know what to say!), or a Skype session where we can shoot the breeze or watch GoT together ($2000). This project is so important to me. The rough cut is truly wonderful, and the new $50,000 stretch goal will allow them to distribute the movie internationally... maybe even to Westeros?
We could also use some some of that classic Reddit ingenuity and creativity here. Those t-shirts are signed by your choice of one of the Little Feet collaborators: Karyn, Steve Buscemi, Sam Rockwell, or myself. But we don't have a design for this crazy t-shirt yet. Can you guys help us come up with concepts that somehow blend together Hilary Banks, Nucky Thompson, Tyrion Lannister and Sam Bell in one?! The Fresh Prince of the Boardwalk Empire Goes to the Moon for his Red Wedding? I'm not so sure I want to live in that universe...
Lastly, thank you to Victoria from Reddit for her guidance, and apologies to the moderators for our last-minute scheduling. I am shooting on location right now so things are just a bit crazy.
Ok, enough talk. Happy to take your questions now, and excited to try this Reddit thing out. Let's go!
How did the Game of Thrones showrunners describe/pitch the role of Tyrion to you?
What factors/concerns did you consider before accepting the part?
Was it a difficult decision?
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.
How much does it suck being so well known and living in NYC? Do you ever have any privacy?
Yeah, I mean, it’s a little tricky. I’m sort of a private person and people are very well-meaning, but the one thing that sort of gets to you are the cameras/cellphones. People try to be sneaky and try to get your picture without coming up to you or asking, and that’s what kind of gets to me.
I don’t even know why they do that, isn’t the joy of meeting somebody better than taking a picture from down the street? I’ve seen every combination too, some people will even send their kids over to ask for directions, haha! But for the most part people are very nice and I’m not moving out of NY just because of that at this point. It’s just important to me to feel safe and keep my family safe as well.
I've heard that you and Lena Headey are good friends outside of acting together. Due to the intensity of Cersei and Tyrion's relationship, and the wicked gut slashing dialogue between the two, do either of you need to do anything to get into that mindset of mutual hatred? Or do you just have a smashing good time playing with the characters' relationship? Whatever you guys do, I love the chemistry you share and the Cersei/Tyrion one-liner exchanges are some of the most underrated parts of the show
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.
Peter! I love your hair! What's the secret? Do you use and specific product?
It’s called not owning a brush. Or a comb. That’s my secret. Just don’t buy a comb.
Thanks, love your work!
Conleth Hill! 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.
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.
Hey Mr. Dinklage, do you have any hilarious behind the scenes stories about Game of Thrones?
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.
Thanks so much for putting in the effort, Peter! So many people start AMAs, answer a couple questions, plug their new film and get out. It means much and more to us that you're responding to the more obscure questions!
I just figure that there are already a million mainstream places to check if someone wants to know whether I've read the book series. I'm enjoying this as a place to weigh in on other, more important matters. Like hummus.
18 minutes, 1600 comments.
Sir Dinklage, how does it feel to be this fucking awesome?
It feels very surprising to learn that Game of Thrones fans use the Internet!
Hello Mr. Dinklage! Thank you so much for doing this AMA, I’m a massive Game of Thrones fan, and I’ve also loved your work in The Station Agent, Elf, and 30 Rock.
My question is what has been your favourite interaction with a fan that has come from your work on Game of Thrones, or any of your other work? The fanbase is pretty insatiable, and I can imagine you’ve had a ton of crazy ones.
Thanks again for all your work, you’re the best!
I’ve met some people who have dogs named Tyrion. And met a woman who had children named Arya and Sansa!
But for the most part the fans are just super enthusiastic and really helpful to me because they’re just so much more knowledgeable about the material than I am, they’ve read the books, they’ve researched everything, they know all the lineages of these characters, so every time they want to talk it’s really helpful to me. Nothing really stands out as a peculiarity but they’re completely sweet and very good-natured. I don’t know... They like to play dress up!
I'm wondering what life has been like at each filming location. I know you probably don't get much time off-set to enjoy the surroundings, but how has it been shooting in Croatia/Ireland/wherever else you've shot?
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.
If you could have a superpower, what would you choose and why?
Flying, of COURSE. Totally flying. It would be so much fun. And terrifying.
What about you? Harbor frosting?
Hello Peter! How were you approached for X-Men days of future past?
I got a phone call from Bryan Singer. My agent wanted to know if it was okay for Bryan to give me a call. I said… um, of course?! The next day he called me and we had a really long conversation about the character. I loved his previous X-Men movies and the comic books were just so super cool.
Hey Peter, what character in film or literature would you play most like to portray?
Great question. I have a huge soft spot in my heart for Atticus Finch. It’s so hard to say something like that, though. I don’t see myself in the role since Gregory Peck did such a good job with it already.
What are the top 5 things on your bucket list?
Really? I’m not that old guys!
Hmm, maybe go to Peru as my #1...I heard that’s incredible.
I'm taking suggestions for 2 through 5.
Peter I would like to thank you for doing the AMA I am truly a big fan.
I have a few questions. First Could you give us a good story or a prank that was pulled on either sets of Death at a Funeral?
I can just imagine what Chris Rock pulled if any,
2: How did you feel playing Bolivar Trask the creator of the Sentinels in the new x-men movie can you tell us if you would like to play an other roll of the sorts ?
Oh god, people love stories but my memories... that was like five years ago! It wasn’t so much Chris Rock since he was producing the movie so he had a lot of pressure on him. It was more Tracy Morgan who kept the cast entertained.
He just kept repeating that Ernest Borgnine was his father. And for some reason him repeating that to everyone, the craft service, everyone, the more he said it the funnier it got. Tracy Morgan is a lot of fun to be around!
What is the best advice ever given to you?
Hmm... I know the worst advice ever given to me was “do it right”. As an actor you don’t really know what to do with that bit of direction.
The best of advice, I love a quote from Steven Soderbergh. I read some advice he gave in an interview: Perseverance + talent= luck. There’s no such thing as pure luck, you just have to persevere and hopefully you have a modicum of talent. I love that quote, I think it really says it all.
Hi Mr Dinklage, BIG fan here. I wonder how the theater and Indie films have made you a better actor?
I always go back to indie movies, and especially the chance to work with friends of mine like Alex. It’s one of the best working experiences of my career. He’s a true collaborator and I highly recommend people donating to his Kickstarter project for Little Feet.
What's been the hardest part about filming GoT?
Let's see...I already mentioned the joys of wearing a full suit of armor in the middle of hot Dubrovnik.
I would have to say being away from my family for such long stretches.
How was it like working with Will Ferrell on Elf?
It was great. This was quite a number of years ago as well. I didn’t get to spend too much time with him, just a couple of days. But he was very kind and much quieter than I thought he would be given that I only knew him from Saturday Night Live at that point. This was his first big film I think. But it was a lot of fun.
Sadly I had to beat him up. Well, or at least his stunt man half the time.
How do you take your coffee in the morning? :)
Just a splash of milk, no sugar. You don't want to know how I take it in the afternoon, though.