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"The costume department must hate me": Kit Harington on Ikea rugs and saying goodbye to Jon Snow

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Andrew Dickens
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Kit Harington

“Never trust someone who doesn’t smell of anything,” urges the Game of Thrones star

You’re the face – or neck – of Dolce & Gabbana The One Grey. Do you know what you’re looking for in a fragrance?

Not really. You change it up over the years, don’t you? And because they’re evocative they mark out periods in your life, relationships. People often change their scent after a break-up. So you just stumble across them, and that might be The One.

You got married recently. Congrats.

Thanks a lot, mate.

Did you have a wedding scent?

I think I forgot. I was in such a rush and so nervous. I know what she [Rose Leslie] smelled like, but me? I couldn’t tell you.

Do you wear fragrance all the time?

I do, yeah. It’s part of my daily routine. It’s not much of a routine: splash my face with water, bit of moisturiser, brush my teeth, scent. Not too heavy.

Gives you confidence, right?

Yeah. You like someone who walks into the room and there’s a certain presence to them. Never trust someone who doesn’t smell of anything.

Yeah, they probably don’t have reflections, either. Do you wear it on the Game Of Thrones set? Or do you need to stink for authenticity?

It’s pointless wearing fragrance on the set. By the time you get there you’re wearing something that smells like wet dog.

The Ikea rug?

Yeah. I was really f*cked off when they said that. Everyone else gets real furs and I get an Ikea rug on my shoulders. The costume department must hate me.

Ikea owes you.

Yeah, I should get an Ikea contract.

"The costume department must hate me": Kit Harington on Ikea rugs and saying goodbye to Jon Snow

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Or at least a gift card. I have to ask about Jon Snow. Will you miss him?

I will. I already do. It’s about now I’d be stepping back into costume for him. I took off the costume for the final time when we finished in the summer and it felt like shedding a skin. I think a couple of years from now, I’ll really miss him. I’ll think, “That was a lot of fun.”

Jon is a groundbreaking action hero: a tough, gritty character, but also sensitive and vulnerable. Do you think it’s important to have role models like that?

I think so. I haven’t thought about it in those terms. Personally, I’m not interested in the stern, nothing-can-beat-me action hero. There’s got to be a fault there that the person is working against. John is a warrior, but he doesn’t like killing people. He’s doing the thing that’s the polar opposite to what he wants, which is peace, and that’s his conflict. My favourite superhero film recently is Logan because he’s growing older; his superpower is failing him. That’s what he’s working against.

Has Jon’s flawed character made you feel more at ease being ‘you’ in public?

It’s strange. You get into acting to play someone else, then when you’re successful at it, you’re asked to be yourself. I find that the hardest thing about Thrones. It’s a world you’re not trained for. But now it’s given me a great training in it. You go through all these phases of who shall I be, what do people want me to be, then you get to the point – as everyone should – where you go, f*ck it, I’m just going to be myself.

What’s the worst that could happen?

People hate you.

That is quite bad, actually, but if you’re being yourself you’d probably deserve it.

Yeah, fair enough.

Kit Harington Rose Leslie

Kit with his wife Rose Leslie

Do you have a plan post-GoT?

There’s not a masterplan, just quiet desires. I want to continue being an actor, but also try my hand at some things from behind the camera.

You’re doing a play, True West, in November. Honestly, I’ve never heard of it.

I’m glad you haven’t. I think this is its West End debut. No, Mark Rylance did it at the Donmar.

No pressure then…

F*ck it, it’s only Rylance. Who cares? It’s a brilliant two-hander about two brothers. It’s just a f*cking funny show. A funny, dark, brutal show.

Is that you trying to move away from Jon Snow?

He has very few jokes. And they never land when he’s got them. They handed me jokes a few times and it didn’t fit him. Joke about him, but don’t give him the jokes. He’s not a joker. But if you’re asking if I want to do comedy, yes I do. My strength in comedy isn’t the wacky guy, it’s the slightly confused, stupid one.

Does being confused come naturally to you?

My friends say I’m slightly upin the clouds, a bit away with the fairies.

Do you fear Thrones fans rocking up to the theatre dressed as White Walkers?

No, because I did a play before and they didn’t do that. They’re a great crowd. The good thing is that you’re attracting people who don’t go to the theatre that often. So you get an enthusiastic crowd, not just people going, “Hmm.”

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Kit is the face of Dolce & Gabbana’s The One Grey

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Andrew Dickens

Andrew Dickens is freelance writer and Contributing Editor at ShortList, from where he has recently been paroled after serving a 10-year term for crimes against good taste. Twitter: @andrewdickens Instagram: @andrewdickens

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