Kit Harington on avoiding “surly heroic” roles and wanting to appear on Sesame Street

Snow

Kit Harington chats about on-location Game of Thrones camaraderie, typecasting concerns, crying on planes and his love of Sesame Street.

In an interview with Elle Magazine, Harington discussed the sense of community that the Game of Thrones cast and crew develop during production in Iceland. When asked if he found filming in remote locations lonely, he answered:


“I love it. You’re usually in the back end of nowhere. The whole crew and cast is in one hotel. There’s no bar down the road you can go to; there’s no restaurant. You stop at four in the afternoon when it gets dark, and you have the whole evening to kill. That sounds claustrophobic and dull, but it’s wondrous because you’re with this family. Everyone comes out of their shell because they can’t sit in front of their screens. You have to talk. People bring out board games, instruments.

While on the subject of Thrones, Harington expressed a desire to expand beyond the Jon Snow archetype.

Like every actor, you get notorious for maybe one role and then get offered a lot of similar roles. Jon is a hero; he’s a good person, he’s a moral person—a somewhat solemn person—so I get a lot of those surly heroic roles. I’ve learned to try to avoid those now. Otherwise I’m just going to go insane. I’d like to do comedy, but I don’t want to do romantic comedy. I’m not a romantic comedy guy. But I’d like to play someone really fucked up. People who are right on the edge.

The interview also included non-Game of Thrones topics, of course. It turns out, for example, that we owe the toilet euphemism “john” to Harington’s ancestor, John Harington, who invented the first flushing toilet for Queen Elizabeth I. “[My family] also wrote the queen a lot of bad poetry. I’ve inherited the bad poetry genes, but not the inventor genes,” he said.

When asked about the last time he had a good cry, Harington admitted that he always cries on planes. “There’s something romantic about being on a plane going somewhere, being at that altitude.… I like a good cry every now and then.”

His most recent airborne sob took place while watching Eye in the Sky. “Alan Rickman had died, and I saw him in this movie—and that made me very upset,” he said. “That was a while ago. I need a cry.”

While discussing children’s television, Harington expressed interest in appearing on Sesame Street. He said he was a massive Sesame Street fan as a child, partly because it was the only show his mother let him watch when he was home sick from school in order to discourage him from wanting to stay home.

“It backfired on Mum, because I would want to stay home just to watch Sesame Street,” he said.In fact, I was talking to Peter Dinklage the other day, and he said he’d been on the show and I was like—you can put this in print—I want to be on Sesame Street. That would be a dream for me. I’d be quite starstruck by the puppets.”

23 responses

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    1. It is always such a pleasure to read Kit’s interviews.
      “My family also wrote the queen a lot of bad poetry”… Lmao!

      I totally get his desire to not get typecast and hope he gets a variety of roles to perform. I look forward to his BBC series as well as the John F Donovan movie.

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    2. I couldn’t love Kit Harington more after reading this article!! He is so adorable and candid, who knew? He HAS to keep playing roles like Jon Snow because his portrayal of Jon made me love GoT, so he simply has to keep taking on roles like that. I am very much looking forward to seeing Brimstone and The Death and Life of John Donovan!

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    3. Damn it! Cant we get a tease for a teaser trailer already!! I thought the wait last year was bad! I think finding this website has made me so impatient that its making the wait harder… but now that im hooked i cant quite turn away now can I

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    4. I like his interviews a lot. I wouldn’t mind him taking on more heroic roles, but I understand why he doesn’t want to. I hope he does more comedy. He was so funny in that tennis movie he did. Looking forward to his BBC series and his upcoming movies.

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    5. He always seems like a nice guy.

      And speaking of interviews, don’t miss the latest issue of Tiger Beat, in which Ser Gregor Clegane gushes about his love of puppies and Cersei drunkenly confesses she loves Dornish wine “much, much, much more” than Jaime.

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    6. “Everyone comes out of their shell because they can’t sit in front of their screens. You have to talk. People bring out board games, instruments.”

      Explains why Emilia hasn’t posted anything on Instagram for almost a month .. they’re social media deprived, haha !

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    7. I think all the GoT actors will always be seen in terms of their GoT roles and will typecast to an extent. The roles are just too iconic now. Kit will always be Jon Snow to the public, Peter Dinklage will always be Tyrion, etc.

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    8. Hmm. I always used to cry (or rant and scream) in the privacy of my car while commuting home from a job I had with a horrible boss. But if you commute via airplane, that kind of limits one’s options.

      This makes me wish that I could hole up for a week in some hotel in the back of beyond with the GoT cast, and find out which of them can beat me at Scrabble!

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    9. This just in: Elmo has expressed an interest in signing Kit to an episode regarding teaching kids the dangers of cold weather. Kit has responded as being interested in working with the flame-haired Muppet.

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    10. Pleasant interview with a lovely man! I also cried when Alan Rickman died and so did other fans on this site, I’m sure they remember.
      With the broody and heroic Jon Snow on my mind, I have almost forgotten what fine sense of humour Kit has.

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    11. Aah, Sesame street… Another serious GoT actor, NCW, has already sort of got there, playing a sort of “Big Bird” role…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE-RU1hU75g

      I can understand why Kit Harington does not want to be typecast in “surly hero” (“Jon Snow”) roles. He’s an actor who’s serious about his craft, so he’d want to do different roles. Like something on Sesame Street, where he can actually do something comedic, relax and laugh a bit.

      About a year from now, he’ll shave his beard, cut his hair, put “Jon Snow” behind him and embark on the rest of his career. All the best to him, but unless he gets a remarkable role in something remarkable in the next year or two, most people will always remember him as “Jon Snow” for the next ten or twenty years or so. He’s been so good and iconic in that role – one of the truly important roles in the biggest, most successful TV show since TV was invented.

      I really hope Kit Harington can break away from broody “Jon Snow” and have a successful, varied career. Some stage work, some films, some television. Or even some American “movie star” stuff, where he wouldn’t hopefully be typecast as the brooding hero.

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    12. He was a hero, but good-humored rather than surly, in Testament of Youth. It’s a film well worth seeing, and persuaded me that Kit has the capacity as an actor to do much more than make Jon Snow Face.

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    13. Pigeon:
      This just in: Elmo has expressed an interest in signing Kit to an episode regarding teaching kids the dangers of cold weather. Kit has responded as being interested in working with the flame-haired Muppet.

      Don’t get me started on the cold weather! In the show, none of the Night’s Watch wear hats though they ought to know that much of the body heat is lost through the head if not wearing hats.

      In the show, Qhorin Halfhand, the legendary Night’s Watch ranger, was the only one to wear a hat – maybe that’s why he was such a legendary a ranger, never succumbed to hypothermia, hahaha!

      Okay, I know you can’t have your main characters wearing hats (or helmets) because they wouldn’t be instantly recognisable on screen. It’s just one of my pet peeves. Living as I do in a place where it does get really cold in the winter, wrapping your head and hands in proper gear is important. Sheepskin hats and gloves (with the fur inside), thick woollen socks, woolly underwear, the works. The wildlings seem to have the right idea – though Tormund never wears a hat – maybe his red (kissed by fire) hair and beard keep him warm? haha!

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    14. talvikorppi,

      Kit has some really interesting projects coming up, like the movie with Xavier Dolan (The Death and Life of John F. Donovan) that I hope will show his capacity as an actor. He’s also written and producing a mini-series for the BBC about the Gunpowder Plot that I think is supposed to be start filming now in February/March. I’m not sure if he’s acting in it, but it shows versatility. I hope it will do well, especially since it must be a major personal investment.

      As much as I love GoT and this time of the year with off-season and promtotion, I can’t wait for when they’re done and we get to see the actors go on in their careers and see them in more different projects, especially the younger ones who didn’t have a career before getting cast in Game of Thrones.
      And one a more shallow note, I can’t wait to see what kind of hairstyle Kit will go with since he’s been dead-set on getting rid of the long locks, but I’m not sure he actually will, lol

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    15. HunerMac87,

      Don’t see a trailer dropping for at least another two months – maybe end of March/April.

      On topic, I love Kit. He is so charming in every interview I’ve seen with him

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    16. Sundae,

      Ah, yeah, I’ve heard something about a possible BBC miniseries about the gunpowder plot, and Kit’s involvement in writing, producing, perhaps even acting. Good on him.

      I want all the young talent that got their first breaks in GoT to go on to have successful careers. Maisie, Sophie, Alfie, Kit, Isaac, even Richard Madden and Daniel Portman. It must’ve been such an education for the young actors, to work alongside truly professional veterans. Maisie Williams (Arya) and Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) is the extreme example, but even Liam Cunnigham (Davos) and Joe Dempsie (Gendry) had great scenes together. I’m sure all the young actors have learned things about their craft during the run of GoT, and hopefully put these experiences to good use when they carve post-GoT careers.

      I’m glad to know that Kit Harington isn’t concentrating on being a movie star but is working on a more home-grown (English) project.

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    17. I love Kit’s interviews, specially when there’s a good interviewer. I loved an interview that was conducted by some British college student about the film Testament of Youth.

      Knowing that he also loves Sesame Street, makes me like him even more. But I would rather have him in The Muppets, sitting next to the old guys in the balcony or having a sketch with the bald eagle.

      I don’t know if he would be able to break off from the mold of hero. Certainly at the beginning of his career he was not able to do so. Testament of Youth showed a different side, and I am hoping that the Life and Death of John Donovan helps him in this sense (fingers crossed).

      He can certainly do comedy. The tennis film and his Jon Snow sketch for the Seth Meyers show are a good indication. But he also has theater. He has been in 3 productions (Warhorse, Posh and Dr. Faustus), with decent reviews. So hopefully he has opportunity to do different characters.

      I owe him (and Maisie, in their only scene in GoT) my absolute passion for the books, the series and the fandom, so… Best of luck!

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    18. Kit seems very humble and down to earth. I love how he takes enjoyment out of life’s simple pleasures. The selfish “me” wishes he could play Jon Snow forever. But as a fan, I understand why he desires more diverse roles to showcase his talent.

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