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Game of Thrones Season 02

Friday, 16 March 2012

I have been asked quite a few times recently by fans of HBO's hit TV series Game of Thrones (GoT) if I would be back for the second season. Rather than continue to answer individual emails and messages I thought I'd write the answer up here because it'll save me answering individual emails and because I need to stop being so lazy regarding updating my website.

So here we go.....

First up it was a massive thrill to make it onto Game of Thrones from my original article 5 years and 9 days ago with the vague hope that if the pilot episode was ever made  that I might be noticed and then I might get a chance to audition.

After chasing and getting an audition for a character in the pilot episode then not getting it, I was lost.

I was facing some very difficult financial times, and some very difficult personal times - this was the closest that I ever came to giving up on my acting career. I was seriously considering my options at that point, very seriously. Nothing I had done had seemed to work for long, I could not see a way forward.

HBO had made the GoT pilot, it was well received and they got funding for a full first season. I did not hear from them. I was desperately trying to figure out how to re-audition.

Then came the email from the HBO Casting Department asking if I'd like to be Gregor Clegane.

The thrill of reading that first thing in the morning woke me up all right and I will never forget jumping about alone in my $100/month rented ROOM in South East Asia. (I still check my emails first thing in the morning every day).

The guy downstairs who worked nightshift must have been more than a little annoyed at the 300lb kid jumping up and down at 6:30am in the morning. Excited, happy, laughing, thrilled - the biggest rush I have ever had and finally relieved that I had landed this role.

It was a big move up for me, it was my first big Western production. It "leapfrogged" my career forward by several steps.

Most of all for me it showed me that I had what it took to get the role, it verified my abilities to myself, both in a completely off the wall way to get the role and in passing the acting audition. George R.R. Martin himself even wrote that I had the acting chops to go with it (my size).

Besides being very good for my resume it was very good for my confidence at that point.

I should get to the point I suppose.

The Point and The Answer:

I really enjoyed working on the first season of Game of Thrones, it was such a journey to get there from having the original fan email suggesting I try to get noticed for the then rumoured pilot episode. The role of Gregor Clegane seemed almost custom built for me. Making it onto the GoT set was exactly like a 24 year old dream coming true.

I had a great time working on GoT season 01 and the response from viewers to my character and portrayal seemed very positive. I was looking forward to being able to reprise the role for season 02, but it seems like HBO decided to go in a different direction for the 2nd season and I will not be playing Ser Gregor this time around which is a pity.

Of course, if I were asked to appear in season 03 I would be very excited to do so.

And if I remember correctly I still have to have that promised drink with Rory McCann.

P.S. I wish Ian Whyte all the best in this role, the more big guys known to be working in movies, then the more roles that will be written for us - meaning more work for all of us.

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