What got you into it?
I did a few commercials when I was young. I did a lot of plays, a commercial. I did my first series. Then, when I was 13 I decided this is what I want to do. I really got sort of into it because I did my first series, “My Family and Other Animals,” and I watched Imelda Staunton and Russell Tovey and Tamzin Merchant and Chris Langham and that's when I decided this is what I want to do, really. And the past two years have been, I hope, a tribute to that.
You have a show that airs here on Nickelodeon, too, called "House of Anubis."
Yeah, that's right. Yeah, just confirmed for our third series.
And that couldn’t be anymore different, really, could it?
[Laughs.] No, it couldn’t. It couldn’t. People often ask me how is it that you manage to do two completely different shows at the same time. And the truth is, because they’re so different, switch on one engine and you turn off the other, if you like, because, honestly, it’s doing a kind of soap then a literary drama. It’s at an English boarding school and then go into a fantasy period piece where you spend half your time walking around with a sword. As you said, they’re so different, you have to learn to kind of switch off one part of your brain and turn on the other. So that was a good learning experience, really. They definitely couldn't be more different than they are.
Were you filming them at the same time?
Yeah, we were. We filmed “House of Anubis,” the Nickelodeon show, between July and January of this year. But “Game of Thrones,” given the schedule, we’re sort of on and off. It could be three days here, four days there and then a week maybe at the end. So it was all happening at the same time between Liverpool and Belfast.
That’s pretty nice that they gave you the leeway with your schedule.
Yes. I was very fortunate because the timing just [clashed], but luckily both production teams were kind enough to provide leniency. It ended up working. I’ve done two seasons now and hopefully, the third season will be the kind of same policy, really. So I’m very lucky, very lucky indeed. I was very fortunate that that happened.
Do you just sleep for like a month when they’re both done?
[Laughs.] Yeah, I have my downtime. I said to my friends who I work with, “Listen, I will gladly give you the whole of January, I will commit to you 100 percent, but you’ve got to give me two weeks so I can have my downtime. I need some time with my family. I need some time with my sofa and my TV and a cup of tea. I need to relax.”
Where did you do most of your "Game" filming this year, in Ireland?
Yes. My shooting was done only in Ireland. We shot on location for the siege scene and then in the studios for the rest of my scenes, for example, the one with Tyrion that you just saw the other day.
Have you sat on the Iron Throne yet?
[Laughs.] Yes, I did. I sat on the Iron Throne. I walked on set and I saw it by itself and I just thought I would sit there. I promise you, Curt, honestly, the moment you sit on that chair, I can't tell you. I mean, this is a fictional story, but I can't tell you how much blood rushes to your head. You get so full of adrenalin because you just think to yourself, pardon my French, but, “[Bleep] yeah! I’m sitting on the Irone Throne!” [Laughs.] It’s actually just as sharp as it seems when you look at it.
Is there anything you want to tell me that you want Americans to know about you?
Well, one thing I just want to tell everybody is I hope you’ve enjoyed both shows, really. I’m very, very grateful that both of these shows managed to come out in the U.S. and the U.K. So coming out to Los Angeles and America is new to me, so my main thing to say as you as a group is, well, thank you for having me.
And what are your long-term aspirations as an actor?
Well, I’ve been thinking recently about what I’m going to do next year once I finish shooting and the main thing that kind of dawned on me recently was that, “Game of Thrones,” “House of Anubis,” coming out to L.A., working here for a while, all of this has happened to me under the presumption that I’m capable of acting. And it kind of dawned on me the other day that it would be insult to anybody who wants to watch me if I didn't make sure that I was capable of doing my job. So my aspirations are definitely to kind of, besides doing film and theater and TV, but I want to be sure that I go and professionally train. I want to feel that I’m worthy, and I think a lot of actors, particularly around my age, always have that question in the back of their heads, that's kind of the shadow in the corner. Are you worth it? Are you good enough? And like I said, it would be an insult to you if I didn't at least try, so that's my aspiration, if you like.
So you plan on going for further study, then?
Yeah. I say professional training and I don’t know what I mean by that. But I have some very close friends who have been in the industry for a while and they’re very close to me and I want to be able to talk to them and say, “I’ll keep my mouth shut and you tell me anything you want to tell me and let’s do it.” The only way you learn is by doing. You learn through deed, so that's kind of my aspiration for the time being.