Don’t expect “Game of Thrones” star Jack Gleeson to become a familiar face in Hollywood when and if his time with the TV series comes to an end. The man better known as King Joffrey has announced he’ll be cutting his ties with professional acting after his commitment to the HBO show is over.
“The lifestyle that comes with being an actor in a successful TV show isn’t something I gravitate towards,” the 21-year-old tells Brendan O’Connor on The Saturday Night Show.” “It was a recreation beforehand and when I started doing Game of Thrones there was, I wouldn’t say pressure, but perhaps the reality became too real for me.”
Gleeson is acknowledging that his opinion on the subject might change in the future. “I have wanted to become an actor and it’s just the last few years I’ve started to change my mind about it, so I’m liable to change it again,” the Trinity College scholar says. “I feel slightly ungrateful because I’m in a position that, as you said, a lot of people would like to be in, but I guess I’ll just have to be ungrateful for the time being.”
A large part of his dislike of acting likely comes from how much people hate his “Game of Thrones” character, King Joffrey. Even when news that Gleeson was doing charity work in Haiti came to light, people had a hard time differentiating Gleeson in real life from his evil character.
He says he doesn’t watch himself in “Game of Thrones,” but when he does catch clips he doesn’t like what he sees.
“You tend to abstract yourself from the creepiness of it when you’re playing it, but when you see it on television it sends shivers down my spine,” Gleeson says. “I would like to try and defend him, but I would have a pretty hard job doing it. I suppose he’s the product of his context and his family. In terms of redeemable qualities, there wouldn’t be many.”
Of his decision to go to Haiti, Gleeson says, “I’d been looking to use the celebrity I’ve got from the show to bring awareness for causes Goal supports,” he said. “I had the connection with the organization through my uncle, Tim Gleeson, and he worked with Goal in the 1980s. It was inspiring to see the improvements being made in Haiti, to see the motivation of the people to improve the quality of life. People are eager to get on with their lives and be resilient.”
“Game of Thrones” Season 4 is slated to premiere on HBO in Spring 2014.