Would Game of Thrones be the same without Peter Dinklage? The accomplished actor -- who has nabbed both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his role as Tyrion Lannister on the hit HBO series – tells NPR that he had reservations about acting in a medieval fantasy.
"Usually it's a bit ... bearded and pointy-shoed," says the 42-year-old star, whose big-screen breakthrough role was in 2003's The Station Agent. "What immediately attracted me to this -- any actor will tell you the same thing, no matter what part it is, it just has to be very well-rounded."
Standing at under five feet tall, Dinklage often turned down roles that made his height the butt of the joke. But the character of Tyrion Lannister is so brilliantly written -- the ultimate hedonist and well-read game player who regularly outwits his opponents, brains over brawn -- affording Dinklage the opportunity to transcend perceptions of little people.
"He knows he has no skills with the sword," he says, "and this is a world that is really deeply violent. Military rules. He would not be able to survive in that world, given his own strength. So he beats people to the punch line -- he's entertaining."
Currently on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, Dinklage says that while he strives to take roles that challenge stereotypes, you can't always get what you want. "You do have to make a living," he says. "I do not fault anyone else who makes choices to play characters that they wished they hadn't. ... Because at the end of the day, none of us are happy with our jobs all the time."
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