As Joffrey Baratheon on GAME OF THRONES, Jack Gleeson is a nasty piece of work. At this years Fan Expo Canada, Gleeson proved that he is not a case of life imitating art. The Irish actor sat on this throne (so to speak) and engaged in a Q&A with fans about a character that some people love to hate, while others hate to love.
This is your first time at Fan Expo Canada, but you have been doing conventions for a while now. What is it like attending conventions and seeing all of your fans?
Jack Gleeson: About three years ago I had no idea what a convention was and I had no expectations. I had a few friend from GAME OF THRONES who had done them and said that they were fun. It’s kind of like pulling back the curtain and seeing this incredible world that you never knew existed.
What is it like playing a character that people love to hate?
Jack Gleeson: People like to say—with a big beaming smile on their face—that they hate me. The question I get asked a lot is, “Do people hit you on the street or yell at you?” No, obviously not. I think if they did that, then they should be in an institution or something. Everyone I’ve met—especially here—have been so cool and so nice.
When you were reading through your script, was there anything that absolutely disgusted you, that you had to go out and perform as Joffrey?
Jack Gleeson: Not necessarily. Whenever I read a weird scene, it was kind of exciting but It’s all make believe. If the director and producer we’re like, “We’re going to film this scene but to prepare for it, you’re going to have to actually shoot a prostitute in real life to get into your character,” then I’d probably be like, “That’s pretty messed up.” Half the time—if not more—on the set, we’re just waiting around and drinking coffee. You don’t get too wrapped up in it.
Years ago there were rumours that said that you had quit acting, but you have since come out to say that the rumours were false. What have you been doing since your character died on the show?
Jack Gleeson: I finished up my degree in philosophy and theology and during university I set up a small theatre company (Collapsing Horse) with my friends and we have been writing, producing and performing shows since 2012.
How do you think Joffrey and the other most hated character, Ramsey (Iwan Rheon), would have interacted?
Jack Gleeson: Joffrey would lose in any situation. I think that he was such a spineless character that he would be emasculated by Ramsey. Joffrey isn’t that good in conflict situations.
How was your relationship with Sophie Turner who plays Sansa Stark?
Jack Gleeson: We got on really, really well—she’s very cool. We both have geeky personalities and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We could never talk and lock eyes because I play Joffrey and she plays Sansa. But in fact, I’m Jack 99 percent of the time and she’s Sophie 99 percent of the time and the tiny percentage of time that we’re mean to each, it feels completely fake. The more you spend time on set with people the closer you become.
Is there someone on the show that you really liked working with?
Jack Gleeson: Everyone in terms of acting is the best at what they do. But I really enjoyed acting with Rory McCann who plays the Hound because he’s a great actor and also because I just really like him as a friend and as a person. We were constantly in scenes together until he left me.
Who would you like to see take the throne at the end of the season?
Jack Gleeson: It would be cool if Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) had it. Cersei is kind of lame. You want a strong woman up there to knock some sense into people and I think Daenerys is the one to do it.
Do you have any theories about what will happen at the end of GAME OF THRONES?
Jack Gleeson: Well yeah, I just got an email from the producers and they told me every single plotline. I feel bad saying this, but I never consistently watched the show because when I was in the show, it’s hardly awkward and cringeworthy watching yourself on screen, so I don’t know. Something to do with dragons, magic, icy fire and something about a throne.
About the author: Terri-Lynne Waldron has been a journalist for over 20 years and you can follow her on Twitter @tw1976
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Rachel Parker Photography / Fan Expo Canada