It's weird how many "Game of Thrones" stars don't seem to *get* "Game of Thrones."
Remember Ian McShane and his dismissal that "it's only tits and dragons"? Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baratheon) didn't use the same words, but he too seems to have missed the fandom boat when it comes to George R.R. Martin's novels and the hugely popular HBO series.
At least Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) is a true fan, and he tried to help Dillane understand the GoT plot. But it wasn't enough, at least for Dillane, who does not look back fondly on his own performance.
Here's what the Stannis actor told The Times of the U.K. of his time on "Game of Thrones":
"I've flicked it on [since leaving] to see if I could figure out what was going on, but I couldn't. Liam Cunningham is so passionate about the show. He invests in it in a way I think is quite moving, but it wasn't my experience. I was entirely dependent on Liam to tell me what the scenes were about — I didn't know what I was doing until we'd finished filming and it was too late. The damage had been done. I thought no one would believe in me and I was rather disheartened by the end. I felt I'd built the castle on non-existent foundations."
Well, that's sad to hear. Dillane didn't immediately come across as the Stannis of GRRM's novels, but he grew into the role. He even added some shades of grey to Stannis' black-and-white philosophy when it looked, briefly, like he might be a good dad to his daughter Shireen after all. That did not last.
The Tony-winning star (fun fact, he's the father of Frank Dillane of "Fear the Walking Dead") told the Times one good thing about his time on "Game of Thrones" is that the money holds him over while he looks for the stuff he really wants to do.
"I've adapted a couple of things and started putting one out there to see if anyone's interested, but it's a very strange, uncommercial screenplay. I can only work with what attracts me, and unfortunately that's often not what attracts anybody else. 'Game of Thrones' pays for all this looking around and waiting."
This is not the first time Dillane has shared these sentiments.
In 2016, he told the French magazine Liberation (via Newsweek) of GoT, "I did not understand the series, or its success while I was in it. The experience was very bizarre, it slipped through my fingers. For me to like a role I need to be able to be interested in it, which was really not the case. I was a bit overwhelmed by the events." He also told Radio Times, "Money is the main thing I got out of it."
He may feel like he didn't know what he was doing as Stannis, but that kind of brutal honesty is actually very Stannis. He did his duty.
"Game of Thrones" Season 8, the final season, is now filming.
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