Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, better known as the murderous Ser Gregor Clegane (nicknamed The Mountain) on HBO’s Game of Thrones, is a pretty impressive guy, physically and otherwise. At 6’9” and 419 pounds, he competes on Iceland’s strongman circuit, and even finished second in the 2014 World’s Strongest Man competition.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Björnsson revealed his training regimen (including eating 8,000 calories a day), his memories from being on set, and his opinion of his native country (“We have the most beautiful women and the strongest men”).
Some of Björnsson’s best quotes:
Sports Illustrated: What was the most challenging part of filming the now-famous Game of Thrones fight scene with Pedro Pascal?
Björnsson: To be able to finish the whole scene without mistakes after having learned the fight scenes—they were really fast-paced and complicated. All of this was new to me, one big challenge. But we managed to make this incredible scene, one of the more talked-about of all.
You were trained by the swordmaster C.C. Smiff [who famously worked on Gladiator] for that fight scene. What did that training consist of?
We trained from morning until evening for weeks and went through every detail of the fight. C.C. Smiff is probably one of the more knowledgeable in the [movie fighting] business but the whole GoT team is incredible.
Read the rest of the interview, including details on the strange requests Björnsson gets from fans, here.