Sure, patient he may get annoyed when “the winter is coming” jokes never stop but Game of Thrones star Kit Harington seemed ready for action and to talk about both the hit HBO show and his new film Pompeii during a recent roundtable I conducted with the actor and two other reporters.
Harington, more about who plays Jon Snow on the show, viagra order even said he liked my Game of Thrones House Stark t-shirt when I walked in the door. He followed that up by putting his fist on his heart to commemorate his fallen brethren. Like on his hit television show, Harington’s new film features lots of death as it focuses on the events in the city of Pompeii before and during the eruption of Mount Vesuvias in ancient Rome.
Two of my fellow reporters and I talked to Harington about visiting Pompeii, swordfighting and the big upcoming fourth season of Game of Thrones.
How did the kind of energy and the feeling of the people killed in the volcano eruption in Pompeii [whose bodies are still displayed] and the architecture of that city inform your characterization and the work that you did as an actor?
I think one of the reasons why I took the role in the first place was that I thought it was a very, very interesting idea to take these bodies that are there… [and] to imagine how they ended up in that position…
I did get to Pompeii. I went after finishing the movie. I had a real desire to go. I didn’t have time to go beforehand unfortunately but I went after and I looked around and it was reassuring to see how well they’d [the production team] done their research and how well they built these sets and that they were very accurate… If you ever get a chance to go if you haven’t been, there’s a very moving one [statue of one of the woman killed there]. The one that really got me is of a woman clutching her pregnant belly at the moment of her death and I thought that was very sort of emotionally moving.
How did your work on Game of Thrones prepare you for this movie and was there anything that you weren’t ready for?
I came in from Thrones with a bit of an ego about knowing how to use a sword. I know that I’m quite good with a sword. It’s something within my range that I enjoy doing and that I enjoy doing on Thrones. The difference in the amount of sword fighting and the style of sword fighting was a bit of a shock to me and I had to learn from almost starting blocks. Within Thrones, it’s all very practical fighting. It’s broad sword fighting. Most fights are over in about six moves because a normal fight would be over in about six moves. This was more showmanship. It was a dance routine. It was like male ballet with swords. I did get prepped for it…
I think I was asked to do this movie because of my work on Thrones. I found differences in [the characters] but they’re similar— quite introverted, quite quiet, quite still characters that I personally enjoyed playing so that prepped me for it. The difficulty was trying to find differences really. It was easy coming from Thrones. The difficulty was trying to differentiate the characters in my own head.
And how did you do that?
They were driven by different machines, I think… Jon Snow is driven by duty and honor. He believes in goodness and he believes in righteousness and he believes in looking out for those weaker than him. Milo [in Pompeii] comes into the movie believing in absolutely nothing. If he believes in anything, he believes in death and he believes in bloodlust and he believes in killing things and he’s almost on that kind of autistic spectrum where he doesn’t emotionally connect with anything and I like that about him…
Whereas Jon is very emotional so there was that. There was the emotional balance that was different and the interesting thing with this movie is that he finds hope. He finds a mission. He finds who he is and his emotions just as the volcano goes off. It’s kind of a nice analogy for him igniting as a person…
There’s such an unreasonable amount of fanboy hate for Paul Anderson [ the Pompeii director] on the internet. Did you have any concerns working with him and why does that hate exist?
I don’t understand fanboy hate…I really, really, think that [there] is an insipid and vicious and dangerous level of comment on the internet that is people sitting behind their desks anonymously throwing insults at people and I’m passionate about my dislike for that because I think it’s weak. It is cowardly and it can really… hurt people. I’m sure Paul has risen above all of that but he is a very, very talented and passionate director and I find it amazing that anyone would throw an insult about his movies…
I have actor friends who it has really damaged and hurt their confidence and acting is all about confidence. When you read something like that, it can really truly scar you and make you a worse actor… All we can do is say to people out there who do read bad stuff about them [is] to ignore it and to realize it’s just someone who’s unhappy with their own life.
Can you talk about filming the climactic scene at the end of this? What was that like?
It was a tough one. That. We had lots of wind machines. We had lots of elements—ash—and on top of that, you had to look at a green screen… It’s not easy acting with all of those things coming at you at the same time. Plus, it’s really horrible kissing Emily Browning. That was the worst bit. You can put that one down… At the time, you’re not seeing any of what you see when you see the film. You have to really throw yourself in there and try to go for it and hope it works.
Can you give us one Game of Thrones tidbit?
I’m gonna say what I always say about season four, which is it’s a huge season for my character which is great… The first season was an impact season with Sean Bean’s death. The second season was very action– Battle of Blackwater. The third season was impact with the red wedding. The fourth season goes back to an action set. There’s lots of death and lots of fighting. The whole world is imploding in on itself… I think it’s probably the most expensive season on TV ever made. It’s got the most expensive episode. And I’m probably saying too much…