Peter Dinklage RedditAMA Recap

Peter Dinklage

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Hey everyone! Peter Dinklage

 here, with my buddy Blake Ross transcribing. You know me most recently as Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones, but I have been acting for nearly two decades I am not on Twitter (ahem), so here’s my video proof:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ewP–7UxSE&feature=youtu.be
 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!

Q

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?

A

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.

Q

I’m a student at Delbarton. I’ve heard you didn’t really enjoy your time here, what made you feel that way? And would you ever come back anytime soon?

A

I did enjoy my time there! I don’t know what information you know, but I enjoyed it as much as anyone enjoys high school. It’s an amazing place, but i was a conflicted teen (to say the least!).

Q

How much does it suck being so well known and living in NYC? Do you ever have any privacy?

A

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.

Q

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.

A

I’ve met some people who have dogs named Tyrion. And met a woman who had children named Aria 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!

Q

What is the best advice ever given to you?

A

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 without 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.

Q

First Could you give us a good story or a prank that was pulled on either sets of Death at a Funeral?

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 ?

A

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!

Q

Which cast member on Game of Thrones is the funniest off screen?
What’s a little known fact about you?

A

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.

Q

How did the theater and Indie films have made you a better actor?

A

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.

Q

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

A

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.

Q

When did you realize that the show was going to be huge? Could you tell from the script when you first auditioned? After meeting with D&D? After the first season? It’s forward momentum is incredible, and well deserved.

A

Thanks! Unfortunately, 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!

Q

What kind of toppings do you like on your pizza?

A

Peppers and onions. Although I was once at a restaurant in Los Angeles where someone ordered a pizza that didn’t have any cheese on it. It was a gluten-free bread that didn’t have any cheese, so I don’t even know what pizza is anymore.

Q

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?

A

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.

Q

How were you approached for X-Men days of future past?

A

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.

Q

Do you have any hilarious behind the scenes stories about Game of Thrones?

A

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.

Q

What character in film or literature would you play most like to portray?

A

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.

Q

I read recently that you are a vegetarian and animal rights activist. I recently just became vegetarian. Care to share your favorite vegetarian meal?

A

It’s funny, I’m one of those vegetarians that doesn’t go to vegetarian restaurants. I guess you could say I’m a bad vegetarian. Some of those soy products, in abundance, cannot be healthy for you. In moderation, fine. But if you read what you believe about soy then you have to question it.

So let’s see….I like chopped salad? If you go to a really good restaurant, the chopped salad is really good.

But yeah, for the most part I’m a pretty bad veg.

I used to eat the fake meats and all that but I’ve stopped doing that.

Q

If you could take one souvenir away with you on your final season of Game of Thrones, what would it be?

A

I’ve got a lion ring that’s pretty cool. And my scar.

Q

How was it like working with Will Ferrell on Elf?

A

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.

Q

I know how much you love working in independent films, and supporting smaller films like “Little Feet.” With so much mainstream success, do you get much time to squeeze in these sort of projects?

A

Hi Karyn! We should go out for hummus soon.

I don’t even see it as squeezing them in, honestly. I make room for them.

At this point in my career, it’s always about the scripts. These indie movies are basically only written by one person, which is huge. It’s not a team of writers picking the scripts apart and becoming a convoluted mess like some of the bigger projects.

As an actor, as you know, you’re driven to great storytelling. Alex is a great storyteller and he sets up an environment that is just so much fun. How could you turn down this opportunity? I’m on a TV show that sort of helps to pay the rent so that I have the freedom to tackle these smaller projects. I think it’s almost the duty of an actor to help out with smaller films and tell these stories that are infinitely better than some of the larger films.

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