Not only are you in “Birdsong,” but so is Benjen Stark, Joseph Mawle.
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Yeah, he’s great.
He’s outstanding, outstanding actor to work with.
I think you both were pretty good in it.
All right, so let’s talk about “Game of Thrones” now. How has Robb changed this year in your mind?
In my mind, in Season 1, you see Robb, he’s reacting to situations, isn't he? He’s being pushed and pulled and demanded of and forced into places. And in Season 2, we see him much more taking things up in it and driving things as a man. He’s a driving force. He’s the one that's pushing people and driving situations. So we see him pushing the action a lot more and also he’s gotten a bit smarter. I think he was kind of overwhelmed at points all through the first season, and this season he’s got better at wearing this mask.
You know, his men have to see Robb as a leader, and he’s proved it practically. But I think all the time he has to wear this mask of being a man, so that his enemies see him as a man and a formidable foe and his men see him as a true leader and not just a boy. So I think we see in Season 2 he’s got much better at wearing that mask, and, hopefully, if I’ve done my job right, we get to the scenes like with Theon [Greyjoy], for example, at the start of Season 2, or the ones later on with my mother where the mask drops a little bit and you see that he’s actually a very young man and boyish in a lot of ways. But he’s got better at pretending to be a man.
You have mentioned before Robb wearing the mask of being a man, and I was going to ask if you think he’s still wearing the mask or is he just being a man now?
Yeah, he’s got better at it. I think he’s actually got good at it, which is very difficult. The thing is, for a lot of young men it’s what they do, isn't it? They pretend to be a grown-up and then eventually you find that you are one. And I think Robb’s had to do that a lot earlier, but I think he’s got really good at it.
A lot of actors have told me that they always prefer to play a bad guy because it’s a lot easier and it’s the hardest thing is to play someone who’s genuinely a good person. I think Robb pretty much is genuinely a good person. Has it been difficult for you?
Yeah, completely. I think he’s one of the most honest characters in the show. It makes it very difficult for as an actor, but it also makes it a much more exciting journey for me when I’m having to be as honest as I can the whole time. As an actor, I try and be like that with every part I do, but with a character that's trying to be honest it makes it even more difficult.
It pushes the action and the drama in ways that a more manipulative character can maybe get out of or change to their own desire. But with Robb, he has to react a lot more. And for me, acting is so exciting when you’re reacting, especially when I’ve got fantastic actors that I’m working with. And I can get on set and look Michelle Fairley [Catelyn] in the eye and we listen to each other and have this dialogue where we react to each other. And for me, that's one of the most exciting things to do. It’s one of the most difficult but hopefully it’s making a kind of honest, real, believable performance.
Oh, I think it is.
Michelle is so amazing, I think.
Amazing. No, she’s one of the finest actresses I’ve ever worked with. I couldn't be happier. Michelle is one of the reasons that I can get up at 3 a.m. and be in the mud on set at 5 a.m. in Belfast in the dark and still smiling because I get a scene with Michelle. We’re very close off set anyway. We’re very good friends. And I think we care greatly about the show and we’ve managed to make a really good dialogue, I think. And what's lovely is I can get on set with Michelle and we can look each other in the eye and instantly get into a dialogue that's detailed and deep and subtle and challenging. And we trust each other implicitly as actors and that makes for such a—I’m like overwhelmed at how lucky I feel that I get to have that relationship with an actress, especially an actress that I have such significant work to do with this season. She’s outstanding and makes like every day a pleasure working with her, especially in scenes that I consider the toughest scenes of the show for me.
So you’ll get a lot more with her later on this season?