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Why Peter Dinklage had ‘concerns’ about playing Tyrion on ‘Game of Thrones’

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Harvey Day
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Why Peter Dinklage had ‘concerns’ about playing Tyrion on ‘Game of Thrones’

After winning an Emmy for his role in Game of Thrones, Peter Dinklage explained why he was worried about playing Tyrion

He’s become one of the most complex and intriguing characters in all of Westeros – but Peter Dinklage very nearly passed up the chance to play Tyrion Lannister because of concerns about the role and how it might portray people of his size.

“I had some concerns, maybe it’s filtered down into some sort of rumour that I didn’t want to do it,” Dinklage said backstage at the Emmy awards after picking up a gong for Outstanding Supporting Actor for Game of Thrones.

“But when I met [showrunners] Dave [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] for the first time with Carolyn Strauss, another producer on the show, so many years ago in Los Angeles, they told me about it briefly before I met them and I came in with some concerns about this genre, having seen many pieces.

“I wasn’t familiar with the books, so I wasn’t familiar with the complexity of Tyrion at that point, because unfortunately before this character, many times people my size weren’t complicated enough for me to be interested in doing it.

“I had done it one or two times before and it didn’t grab me. But they relieved my concerns very quickly.”

Writer Eugene Grant, who is a dwarf, recently explained for ShortList how the entertainment industry still has a lot further to go to properly represent people like him.

“I love Game of Thrones and Tyrion Lannister, but they alone do not make up for years of dire representation,” Grant said.

“We need so many more positive depictions – especially of dwarf women, dwarf people of colour, people with dwarfism from the LGBTQ community, and everyone in between.”

The final season of Game of Thrones will air in the first half of 2019.

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(Image: Macall B. Polay/HBO)

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Harvey Day

Digital writer for Shortlist.com / @harveyday94 / harvey.day@shortlist.com

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