Q&A with ‘Game of Thrones’ star John Bradley
Best-known for his role as Samwell Tarly on HBO’s fantasy epic ‘Game of Thrones’, actor John Bradley spoke to Neela Debnath about his favourite episodes of season 2, nudity on the show and what else he’s got coming up.
What was it like working on the second series of the show?
A totally different experience to working on the first. It was more difficult because I think people had an expectation from the first season and we had to live up to the quality of the first season, keep everyone gripped, keep the story moving at a steady pace, introduce all the new characters like all the Melisandre stuff, all the Brienne stuff and everything like that. It was harder in that respect, easy because we knew the characters, we knew the story. We knew a rough approximation of their journey so it was more comfortable but at the same time a bit more pressure.
What was it like filming in Iceland?
It was freezing cold. Cold like I’ve never experienced in my life but when you watch it I think you can tell it’s got that air of authenticity to it. You can tell that we’re uncomfortable. You can tell that we’re freezing cold and you can tell it’s really hard and faking that would just be a pointless exercise when you can do it for real. To be in the same kind of environment as the character’s supposed to be in really brings a kind of reality to it, an authenticity that you can’t really fake.
How has your life changed since working on Game of Thrones?
Not that much really. My family and my friends in Manchester made me not want to change it very much. It’s nice to be recognised in the street and things, and it gives you a little bit more sway when auditioning for new parts because you’re not fresh you can say ‘I’ve been in this’ and they can watch that and see what you’re like. So if it’s changed at all, it’s definitely changed for the better.
Do you have any favourite episodes of series?
Blackwater… episodes nine and 10. Just because of the cinematic scope of Blackwater, also it looked like a movie, it felt like a movie, movie performances and movie direction. Episode 10 because I think [showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] and the director Alan [Taylor] really pulled off a really tricky job of rounding all the stories off very well. If you think about it, you’ve got five or six character arcs that we need to draw a line under in the space of about one hour and 10 minutes. I felt they pulled it off really well.
Why do you think the show is so popular?
Because I think that – even though it’s a fantasy – it deals with human emotion and human situations. It’s the overriding themes in the show: family, conflict, ambition and lust for glory and I think that people have always liked to see that portrayed on screen or on stage.
Do you think that there’s too much female nudity compared to male nudity?
I think that if nudity does play a part in our show, for example in the Littlefinger scenes in the brothel, that’s to show what kind of a man Littlefinger is. That he exploits these women so much and he’s underhand. He deals with sex like people deal with any kind of business commodity. But it means nothing to him – a bit of meat and we need to show that, put across that side of his character.
Will you be doing any nude scenes?
I can’t possibly say but keep your fingers crossed for that.
What have you got lined up later this year?
I am doing an episode of Merlin for the BBC, I’ve got some Shameless episodes coming up and the rest of the year is going to be taken up with Game of Thrones season three.
Image credit: Getty Images
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