With last night’s finale and the drama that went down last Sunday, Game of Thrones has everybody talking. If you didn’t watch one of the most talked about episodes in recent TV history, neither has one of the stars, Peter Dinklage – “I don’t watch the show…I mean, I don’t have HBO.” Dinklage plays the emotionally and physically scarred Tyrion Lannister on GOT and although many people will base their recognition of him from this role, he’s been acting in film and theater for many years. NPR spoke with Dinklage about the work he wants and the work he takes.
Dinklage spent his early career in New York — in an unheated apartment — turning down roles that would have made a joke of his height. He says he’s tried to find roles that upend the stereotypes given to actors of his height, appearing as a pugnacious children’s author in Elf and as a man grieving the loss of a friend in his breakout role in The Station Agent. But Dinklage says he’s not always been successful.
You do have to make a living, I do not fault anyone else who makes choices to play characters that they wished they hadn’t. …because at the end of the day, none of us are happy with our jobs all the time. I think ‘no’ is a very powerful word in our business, that is very hard to use early on in your career. But I also think I was pretty arrogant when I was younger…I used that word maybe too much, but it did help me with finding roles that I did like. The leads are often the boring part. Maybe I’ll have to take that back. I like playing the guy on the sidelines. They have more fun.
Read more about Dinklage here and watch him in clips from The Station Agent, pre-GOT, Emmy and Golden Globe awards. This guy has always been a star.
The Station Agent
- Fin McBride, a loner with a passion for trains, inherits an abandoned train station in the middle of nowhere — a place that suits him just fine because all he wants is to be alone. But that is not to be. Soon after moving in, he discovers his isolated depot is more like Grand Central Station. There’s Olivia, a distracted and troubled artist, and Joe, a friendly Cuban with an insatiable hunger for conversation. With absolutely nothing in common, they find their isolated lives coming together in a friendship none of them could foresee. Starring, in alphabetical order: Bobby Cannavale, John Slattery, Josh Pais, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson, Peter Dinklage, Richard Kind
- Fin, Joe, and Olivia get to know each other better on a walk along the town's old train tracks. In this scene: Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage), Joe Oramas (Bobby Cannavle), Olivia Harris (Patricia Clarkson)
- A couple of locals stop by the hot dog stand and are shocked to see the town's newest resident. In this scene: Joe Oramas (Bobby Cannavale), Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage)
- When his friend, Henry, suddenly dies, Finbar finds out Henry left him a piece of property in rural New Jersey. In this scene: Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage), Louis Tiboni (Richard Kind)
- Though Fin wants to read in peace, Joe insists he hang out with him, promising not to talk. In this scene: Joe Oramas (Bobby Cannavale), Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage)
- Olivia's husband David shows up at her house unexpectedly, putting her in a compromising position. In this scene: David (John Slattery), Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage), Joe Oramas (Bobby Cannavle), Olivia Harris (Patricia Clarkson)
- Joe interrupts Fin's day of train watching, adding his unique flavor to Fin's otherwise dull day. In this scene: Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage), Joe Oramas (Bobby Cannavale), Olivia Harris (Patricia Clarkson)
- Joe asks Finn several personal questions that he's not comfortable talking about. In this scene: Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage), Joe Oramas (Bobby Cannavale), Olivia Harris (Patricia Clarkson)
- At a local watering hole, Fin meets Emily, a young woman with both boy and baby problems. In this scene: Finbar McBride (Peter Dinklage), Emily (Michelle Williams)