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Kit Harington: "It was the right time to f*ck off from the Wall"

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As bastard Jon Snow returns to Game of Thrones, ShortList talks to Kit Harington about leaving the Wall, baring all on stage and the pleasures of Haribo.

You’re starring in Doctor Faustus at the Duke Of York’s Theatre. When you first appear, you’re watching TV and drool is flowing from your mouth. How difficult is it to produce that much saliva?

I’ve been gagging to tell someone about this because I’m quite proud of the solution I’ve found. It’s not easy to drool for a while, but I found that if you eat a bunch of Haribo before going on, that makes you drool for ages. The trouble now is stopping it because I’m spitting all over the audience.

This role sounds amazing.

[Laughs] Yeah. I eat quite a lot in this play, though, so it’s not ideal.

How many pre-show Haribo are we talking?

It’s becoming a superstition now. I have to have five Haribo sweets of different colours.

Haribo aside, the play looks quite exhausting. At one point you strip and it didn’t escape our notice that you have been going to the gym. So what’s your workout regime?

Do you know what? Not much. This play has been quite enough to keep me fit. I’m running around, squatting, jumping. I do that eight times a week and it’s like going to the gym eight times a week, really. It’s quite energy-sapping doing something as energetic as this every evening. I alternate doing 15 minutes of weights one day and then 15 minutes of core work the next day.

You also get your bum out at one point. Whose idea was that, yours or the director’s?

It was a bit of both, really. Why not? Although I sometimes do, I sometimes don’t now. I’ve noticed cameras going off in the audience. If I see a few go up, I’ll just be like, “No, I’m not gonna do that”.

Kit Harington looks a bit odd

The play also contains a few political jabs. Are you a fan of David Cameron?

I can’t say I’m a Tory voter, no, but I’m not completely opposed to the prime minister.

After the play, what do you do?

It’s quite hard to wind down after a show. You have to have methods. My methods used to be going to the pub every evening. I’m a little bit older now and that’s just not feasible. So I have one beer in my dressing room and then I go home and watch some crap TV, and then bed. Otherwise you just burn out.

Is there post- as well as pre-show Haribo?

No. I limit myself to five pieces of multicoloured Haribo a day.

All good things in moderation.

Exactly.

In Game Of Thrones, Jon Snow has returned. What’s been your favourite moment of Season 6?

I actually watched episode five last night and I thought it was a f*cking stunning episode. It’s one of my top five Thrones episodes ever. I thought it was beautifully written, that episode. It was Thrones at its best.

You leave The Wall this season. Was it nice for you to stretch your legs somewhere else?

Yeah, I’ve been there long enough now. I think it’s the right time to f*ck off. You can only stay static in one huge story for so long. I think I’d been there a little too long.

How would you sum up Game Of Thrones in 15 seconds?

I would say it’s addictive, abusive to its audience, beautifully written, and it’s genre-defying. It’s a fantasy on paper, but it’s more than that. All my favourite things are somewhat genre-defying.

How much are you looking forward to eventually working with Emilia Clarke?

I don’t know whether I will! Haven’t got a clue whether we’ll ever meet. We’ve never shared a single scene, so it might be dynamite, or it might be complete tosh.

Kit Harington

Which episode do you think will have people chewing their fists in shock?

I think every episode in this season’s pretty strong, but it’s always nine and 10 that are the big ones. You want to leave people wanting more. Thrones has a tradition of going really big with the last two.

If you could bring another dead character back to life, who would you choose?

[Shouting] If I was going to bring a dead character to life, I’d bring Robb Stark back to life. I’d bring Robb Stark and I love him.

Is Richard Madden [who played Stark] there?

He is, yeah. He’s in the theatre next to me at the moment, so we’re literally leaning out of our dressing rooms and yelling at each other.

A spinoff series was mooted and then ruled out very recently...

Yeah, someone told me about that. I got excited. No, there’s not a Jon Snow spinoff planned, I don’t think.

Not a Jon Snow musical?

‘Jon Snow On Ice.’ No.

George RR Martin has declared there to be eight million stories in Westeros. When do you think you’ll stop filming, if ever?

I don’t know exactly but I would say it’s not going to continue for as long as it’s been on, let’s put it that way. All the creatives behind it are clever enough to know that, even from a money point of view, it will sell very well if it ends right, rather than just continuing into oblivion.

Kit Harington stars in Doctor Faustus at the Duke Of York’s Theatre until 25 June; dukeofyorkstheatre.co.uk

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