Aidan Gillen on His Preparation for ‘Game of Thrones’: “I do sleep in a ‘Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy’ T-shirt that gets me in the mood”


aidan-gillen-game-of-thronesThere’s a general plan for the series Game of Thrones because of George R. R. Martin’s books.  But because HBO tends to stray from the novels, most of the characters on the show have no idea what’s next for their characters.  Aidan Gillen, who plays Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish, is just one example.

“The story lines have had to veer a little from the books to keep characters and events current for a TV audience, but they don’t do it any more than they have to,” the actor said in an interview with UPI. “I would generally say not knowing where you’re headed next is not a bad thing, unless you’re a master schemer.  The stakes are higher when you can’t just take it for granted that everyone’s going to be OK in the end.  Bad things happen to good people, too.  If you’re asking me am I worried every time I turn a page of the script, no… Littlefinger is a survivor and I’ve died hundreds of times already anyway, and not always spectacularly.” 

Season 3 of the series began Sunday night showing Littlefinger up to no good as usual.  Because of the great writing staff on board, Gillen didn’t have to do too much preparation for the role.  “As far as the character development goes, David Benioff and Dan Weiss stick close as they can to the books, but there’s got to be room to move too,” he said.  “I guess as writers get to know actors, certain traits or tendencies—whether they’re natural or affected for the role—are going to be honed in on, or away from, for that matter. 

“I always thought of the British politician Peter Mandelson from the [Prime Minister Tony] Blair era as a Littlefinger template.  He went by ‘the prince of darkness’ and had a proper Machiavellian shade to him, as well as a good mustache.”

However, before the cameras start rolling, Gillen still has to get into character.  “I guess you do whatever you can, however you can,” the Irish actor said.  “I do sleep in a ‘Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy’ T-shirt that gets me in the mood.  Littlefinger is a man with a particular style that he sticks with, and for me, the signature would be that long, dark tunic that I always wear.  There are a variety in the same cut, but the darker the better.  Also, I wouldn’t feel right without my mockingbird pin.”

New episodes of Game of Thrones air Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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