I was definitely excited for the beheading scenes for sure. I really, really wanted that to go well and I think it did. A lot of people remember that scene.
This season you get a lot more—you've done a lot more screen time and everything. Did you expect that?
Well I kind of knew from the books; I knew that there was going to be sort of more of my own storyline in there. I expected to be able to do a lot more and be able to get my teeth into my own storyline, so yeah, it was not a surprise to me for sure, but some of the stuff, which in the books sort of started coming out in the scripts halfway through shooting Season 2, so I was just excited to just get my teeth into anything I possibly could. It's just a compliment that these boys think I'm good enough to carry that sort of arc and hopefully I've done it justice.
When we watch the show it's a pretty epic show and epic storytelling and I was wondering if while filming you were feeling that way too?
Oh, hugely. I remember me and Kit [Harington] would sit down and we'd kind of be talking about it and Kit was just adamant the second series is really going to be something special. I'm not saying that I wasn't, but I just take things as they come. That's the sort of thing with TV and film. You have that delayed reaction when you do it to when it actually comes out.
It's such a great show and David and Dan are such brilliant writers and the directors on it were incredible, so it's going to be epic to a point, but yeah, I think the second series has been really well-paced and it's all been leading up to the battle in Episode 9. We've not really had any battles in it before and that's the first visual battle that you see, so yeah, it's definitely been epic. I have to agree with that statement.
You seem to be the go-to guy for the full-on nudity. Any special reason for that?
[Laughs.] Well, I don't know. I am in shape quite a bit, or I try to be. I didn't do the full frontal for the second series. I did it in the first one. I didn't do it in the second one, but it's … I don't know. Maybe people are just pleased with what they see. [Laughs.] I'm not sure.
Is it difficult like when you have to do a lot of exposition during those scenes, keeping track of the line while also negotiating this maybe awkward scene?
It's all about the person you're doing it with, mate. If it's a person who’s completely comfortable and you can just treat it as a joke and have a laugh then that makes it that much easier, yeah. I just don't think you should take those things too seriously because otherwise it will just get a bit of a somber atmosphere onset and that's just not really that cool, so you just sort of get on with it and have a laugh with it. If you're not enjoying it then you shouldn't really be there in the first place in my opinion. You should just have a laugh of it and embrace it. Embrace it with both hands. [Laughs.]
Some people say there’s too much nudity and sex on the show. Your thoughts?
I think it's very important to the show. With Theon, I think the bedroom's one of the only places where he can have power, where he has authority. And come on, we all love to see that, right? It's fun. There's food, violence and a lot of sex in this show, and those are definitely three things we all love. [Laughs.]
On her Season 1 DVD commentary Lena Headey says that before the scene where you, Richard [Madden] and Kit get your hair cut you guys onset that day were doing pushups and trying to look all pumped up for that scene. Any truth to that?
Yeah, there is definitely truth to that. We were getting ready for it at one point. I can't really speak for Richard and Kit, so I don't know, but I was definitely in my trailer doing sit ups and doing pushups and trying to get pumped for it.
I had been doing it for like a good three or four hours getting ready, getting ready, psyching ourselves up—and then somebody stuck their head into my trailer and went, “We're not shooting that today.” [Laughs.] So that was a little bit annoying.
I was already scheduled to have a holiday so I went off on holiday and I just, I couldn't keep it up any longer. I had been doing all that stuff and doing mad exercise for ages and been really dieting properly and I just went, “So what.” You've got to have a break from it.
So about halfway through my holiday in Ibiza they called me up and said, “We need you back now.” So by that point I already had been sitting by the pool eating hamburgers and chips and pizzas and just relaxing. But I think I looked in shape. I was fine. It was all good.
The whole reason why HBO sort of got us into getting into that shape wasn't because they wanted us to look great or for a vanity sort of thing. They wanted us to feel like warriors. They wanted us to feel that we were really strong and could handle swords and armor and feel comfortable in it. It definitely helped because I definitely felt strong.
Do you guys get to hang out off set, or even when not shooting?
Yeah, we hang out a lot. We all like to party quite a bit, so we have to keep our hanging out to a minimum, but we definitely like to hang out quite a bit. We all live quite close to each other, so we see each other quite a lot. I hang out with Finn Jones quite a bit, who plays Loras, and I hang out with Joe Dempsie as well, who plays Gendry. Kit and Richard are flying all over the world at every different point, so we're not really in the country a lot at the same time. Like Kit is going to be in LA for the next two days while I'm going off to Santa Barbara, so I won't be able to see him, which is annoying.
Do you find you get recognized a lot more now?
Well, here or just in general? Yeah, but everyone seems really nice who does. I've never sort of bumped into someone who can't differentiate between Theon and Alfie Allen, so I haven't really been getting sort of punched in the face and anyone going, “I hate you.” I think I'm quite intimidating anyway, so if anyone was to try that I think, “It’s fine, mate, try and see what happens.”
Do you want to tell me a little bit about this movie “Confine”?
“Confine” is this film with Daisy Lowe and Eliza Bennett. I sort of just get tortured a lot basically and I'm in love with this girl who I think loves me and she doesn't and she is just using me for this robbery that's going to happen. I think it's going to be really good. The director, Tobias Tobbell, was a really lovely bloke and obviously the content of the script is brilliant, but the vibe I got was just from the lovely people on the set. Perhaps the most important thing is just being able to get a vibe that the people are nice that you're working with. I'm looking forward to that coming out. Check it out when it comes out. It should be good.