WARNING! This post contains major spoilers for Sunday’s episode of GAME OF THRONES, “The Lion and The Rose”. If you do not already know the details and don’t want to be spoiled, avert your eyes now!
Entertainment Weekly sat down with GAME OF THRONES actor Jack Gleeson to discuss the brutal death of his character, Joffrey Baratheon, on last night’s episode and his decision to retire from acting following his departure from the show.
On filming the death scene:
It’s reliving, in a way. You want to do the scene and character justice. It’s a complicated scene; I’ve never had a death on screen before. You want it to look believable — the choking and the coughing. It’s calming to know I’m in the great hands of [director]Alex Graves.
It was tough. I suppose it’s one of those things that you have no prior experience in. I’ve never seen anyone die. It’s hard to imagine what it would be like. But Alex very kindly walked me through it. It was fun in the end, but kind of stressful to be so focused, but acting like you’re completely unfocused. Difficult, but exciting.
On fan reactions:
I think it will be 50-50. There will be a delight that the person tormenting their favorite characters is gone, but I would like to think there’s a certain sadness at the loss of the delight people take in hating a character like Joffrey.
On his retirement from acting:
The answer isn’t interesting or long-winded. I’ve been acting since age 8. I just stopped enjoying it as much as I used to. And now there’s the prospect of doing it for a living, whereas up until now it was always something I did for recreation with my friends, or in the summer for some fun. I enjoyed it. When you make a living from something, it changes your relationship with it. It’s not like I hate it, it’s just not what I want to do.