Ian McElhinney - Interview

Ian McElhinney - Interview 

Where were you when you got the role in Game of Thrones and how did it feel?
Funnily enough there were some people earlier who brought a copy of a programme from the Almeida Theatre of a show that I had done there and funnily enough I was working in the Almeida at the time that I got the role in this [Game of Thrones], and I didn't know this was based on a series of books. But the girl who was the project house manager at the Almeida said 'Oh I've got book one of that series, they're great. I'll bring it in to you'. So she brought it in to me, and I'll be honest I thought 'Fantasy. I'm not sure fantasy's my thing'. I was delighted to be doing the role, but fantasy's not my bag. So I flicked open the book and it was eight hundred pages of very small print. And I thought 'Oh I don't know if I can read this'.
So it sat for two weeks on my dressing room table in the theatre, staring at me. And then one night 'Oh come on you're a professional, you're doing this job, you may as well read the book and get some feel of what it's about'. So I took it with me as I left the theatre and started reading it on the tube on the way home, That was about twenty minutes. I got into the house, made a cup of coffee and carried on reading it. For about two and a half hours. I eventually decided I should probably go to bed. I was totally hooked, totally hooked and just started reading it. And after that I read all of book on in very short order. Fantastic read. I mean, two things about it will knock you sideways. One is the scale of the vision. The number of characters, the number of houses, it's phenomenal. It's –