The Big Reason Peter Dinklage Didn't Originally Want To Star In Game Of Thrones

Tyrion on trial during Game Of Thrones Season 4 Episode 6.

As part of his new film Cyrano’s Telluride debut, Peter Dinklage took a look back at his career. During the conversation, Game Of Thrones, of course, came up, and the popular actor admitted he originally wasn’t interested in the role of Tyrion Lannister. He was unfamiliar with the source material and the fantasy genre doesn’t have the best track record in handling characters of his stature.

The Emmy winner was very direct in his comments and very self-deprecating about how wrong his initial impression was. You can read a portion of his response which came out in a Q&A at Telluride that IndieWire was there for. Here’s his take...

That is just what followed the fantasy genre for people my size. Why do we always have to follow that boring fucking formula of pointy shoes and a beard? Who invented that? Why are we still following that? We don’t need to. I said that to them. I didn’t know anything about Tyrion. I didn’t read the books or anything. I was just being an asshole.

Of course Tyrion Lannister proved to be anything but a tired stereotype in Game Of Thrones. A drunk, a schemer and a power broker, the brilliant, unwanted son of the most powerful man in Westeros went through countless extremely compelling storylines during the show’s mostly popular eight season run. Peter Dinklage was nominated for eight Emmys during the incredible run, ultimately winning four times and earning a reputation as one of the best actors in the business. So, yeah, thank goodness he got over his initial reservations.

That incredible run as Tyrion Lannister also opened up a lot of doors in the acting world for Dinklage. He’s played a wide variety of major roles in popular projects, including recently in the spectacular I Care A Lot, and now he’s back as the lead in Joe Wright’s musical Cyrano. The film, which debuted at Telluride, is absolutely wild, at least according to initial responses. Many have praised the daring direction and stylization choices, and nearly all have been over the top positive about Dinklage’s work as the lead character. There’s even a lot of chatter that it could be enough to get him in the conversation for Best Actor at the Oscars.

Regardless, Peter Dinklage has had a tremendous career, and as a huge Game Of Thrones fan, I cannot imagine anyone else playing the role of Tyrion Lannister. He’s such a key part of everything that works and brings a really important sense of humor and humanity that the show really needs at times. The show will always be a major portion of his legacy, but fortunately, he has plenty of more opportunities to add other beloved roles to his resume.

Mack Rawden
Editor In Chief

Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.