Ever since Kit Harington came into public awareness on “Game of Thrones,” he’s become recognizable thanks to his long, curly Jon Snow hair and token scruff. But while some might have assumed he just likes that look and that’s why he maintains it even on his off time, it turns out it’s actually in his HBO contract to keep his hair a certain length.
“It does keep you restricted. I can’t go off and play a U.S. Marine,” Harington tells GQ. He often ties the hair back when he’s not filming “Game of Thrones,” explaining, “I just hate it in my face. It just starts pissing you off after a while.”
As for the reports that he doesn’t wash his hair — which he started unintentionally during an early “Game of Thrones” interview, by the way — they’re actually mostly true. Harington admits that he doesn’t use shampoo in his hair for as long as “Game of Thrones” films in any one location, which can be up to six weeks. “I like it to look greasy and medieval,” he says, “so it gets very tangled. … By the end it’s pretty horrible.”
Apparently the bearded, long-haired look wasn’t the original one Harington chose for the role of Jon Snow. In the “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels, Jon is supposed to be a young teenager, and that’s how Harington, with his “very baby face underneath all of this fuzz,” played the character in the pilot.
“They were, ‘It’s way too clean-cut — we want you to grow your hair and grow your beard,'” he recalls, admitting that at the time he wasn’t even sure he could grow a beard.
It makes sense, then, why he maintains that Jon Snow look year round. Just don’t expect him to keep up the level of training he needed to get his body in perfect shape for “Pompeii.”
“That was f***ing a lot of work,” he says. “I’m five feet eight, and for that guy to be able to do what he does in the film, he’s got to look superhuman. … It’s not something I feel like I should look like every day in my normal life, or anyone should look like in their normal lives — it’s not a natural state for your body to be in. But for a film sometimes you’ve got to do those sorts of things. For people’s imaginations.”
As for people’s imaginations in terms of seeing him naked, Harington burst a bubble by revealing that the one time viewers saw him naked on the show — in Season 3, during the Ygritte cave scene — it wasn’t actually him.
“When it came down to it I had a broken ankle,” he says, “so the only time you saw my a**, it wasn’t my a**.” But will he get naked on the show in the future? “I wouldn’t say I’d be happy about it,” Harington admits. “I’m not saying. Because I don’t know. It would have to be f***ing well deserved.”
“Game of Thrones” Season 4 premieres April 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO with Harington and all his bearded, greasy-haired glory.