Joe Dempsie has a tight relationship with fame, despite not intending for there to be as intimate of a bond between them. The actor starred as Gendry Baratheon on Game of Thrones and on the hit series Skins. The fame has gotten a bit weird for Dempsie, though he's looking to Brad Pitt as a touchstone for that very thing.
When you think of famous people, Brad Pitt tends to trend up there. After all, he's so famous that even Dr. Fauci wanted to Pitt play him on SNL. With this in mind, it wouldn't be crazy for Joe Dempsie to think of Brad Pitt when he recalled his career decisions and personal experience with fame. Dempsie recently recalled his decision to take on Game of Thrones after his experience on Skins, telling NME:
I did feel, ‘Maybe I don’t want this to be my life forever. And God forbid it escalates.’ I was thinking, ‘This is Skins. Imagine what it’s like to be actual Brad Pitt. That’d be a nightmare.
Before Game of Thrones, Joe Dempsie found personal comfort in the fact that he did not have to endure Brad Pitt’s level of fame. But in the end though, Dempsie is still famous. Game of Thrones became a worldwide phenomenon, and Dempsie returned for the series’ final season, even proposing to Arya Stark at one point.
At the time of his multiple attempts to get on the show, Dempsie never could have conceived of what would happen to him and his career. For those familiar with Game of Thrones, Joe Dempsie is a recognizable face. Interestingly, there's another Brad Pitt/Game of Thrones connection outside of Dempsie’s name-dropping the actor in his hypothetical.
As longtime fans will recall, Brad Pitt once paid a lot of money to watch an episode of the series with Emilia Clarke. To think of Brad Pitt as your measure for fame and know he was willing to shell out big money for a show you are on has to be wild. As for Joe Dempsie’s decision to take on Game of Thrones and the possibility of more fame, Dempsie said:
You might have thought that would be on my mind when I signed up for Thrones, that this [level of fame] could happen again, but it wasn’t at all. I was naive. I hadn’t heard of the books, but one of my friends was really excited when he found out I was auditioning, because he loved the books. I remember when I was filming Season 1 and people would ask me what I was working on. I’d start telling them and after about 10 seconds I could see their eyes glazing over.
The people that had their eyes glaze over got quite the wake-up call when Game of Thrones came on the air and began building its fanbase. In terms of famous characters, it will be tough for Joe Dempsie to top the notoriety of playing King Robert Baratheon’s son. After GoT ended, Dempsie landed the role of Lt. Gordon Cooper in Nat Geo's The Right Stuff adaptation.
Unfortunately for Joe Dempsie, the casting did not end up working out as visa issues caused him to exit the role. Once Upon a Time’s Colin O’Donoghue took over the part. Whether or not starring on The Right Stuff would have led to Dempsie dealing with more fame is something he will have to wonder about moving forward.
In another bit of trivia, The Right Stuff is executive-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred opposite of Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Tinseltown is so interconnected! You can check out Joe Dempsie’s run as Gendry throughout Game of Thrones on HBO Max. As you wait for the next chapter to get turned in the franchise (thanks to House of the Dragon), check out this fall’s premieres