When you’re an actor starring in a TV adaptation of a geek obsession like Game of Thrones, it’s usually best to stay off the web. Or at least claim to: “I don’t have an email,” says Jason Momoa, who plays warlord Khal Drogo in HBO’s upcoming epic series. “I’m very barbarian. I have a flip-phone.” Co-star Lena Headey, who dons a blond wig to portray the conniving Queen Cersei, is a bit more specific about what she’s not reading and why: “They’ll just say s—,” she says of the impassioned message-boarders she’s avoiding. “Like, ‘She can’t do it, because she’s got dark hair!’” Adds Mark Addy, who starred in The Full Monty and appears in Thrones as Cersei’s husband, King Robert Baratheon, “Of course there’s all kinds of ridiculous speculation and anger. Why do they get angry? There was talk, like, ‘Why are they turning the king into a clown?’ Just because I’ve been in funny stuff before.”
Cersei’s brother, Jaime Lannister – played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – didn’t escape unscathed either. “They all have an opinion,” Coster-Waldau says. “ ‘The nose, that’s not Jaime Lannister!’ There were like three pages about my nose. They expected my nose to be perfect, I guess.” But is he still going to read what fans say as the April 17 premiere date approaches? “Yeah.” (And we’re guessing female fans will be okay with his nose… and the rest of him, too.)
Major-fantasy-franchise veteran Sean Bean, who endured similar scrutiny during his Lord of the Rings days, learned to take it all in stride. “I think you just take on a part and do it the best you can,” says the actor, who plays Eddard Stark. “It’s not necessarily about living up to people’s expectations. It’s how you portray it that’s important. Obviously I knew there was a big following when I was doing Lord of the Rings as well, but you have to just do the best you can and not think about it.” There is, of course, an upside to all this attention, too. “I had honestly never heard about the books until this all started, and I was so amazed at what a huge following it had,” says Peter Dinklage, who plays smartypants Tyrion Lannister. “Fantasy novels, I don’t really gravitate to that part of the bookstore. But now since getting the part, some of my friends came out of the fantasy woodwork. They kind-of treat me differently. I think they like Tyrion more than they ever liked me.”
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