Iwan Rheon on why people love to hate and how torture can be funIwan Rheon has the honor of being perhaps the most hated character in Game of Thrones at the moment. But in real life, Iwan Rheon couldn’t be any further from his violent, nasty on-screen persona – except when it comes to Alfie Allen that is.
THE RED BULLETIN: You play one of the most sadistic characters ever to set foot in the Game of Thrones world. How do people react to seeing you in real life?
IWAN RHEON: They know we are actors. A few people have come up to me and told me that they wanted to punch me in the face, but thankfully no one has actually tried to yet.
So you don’t mind being hated?
Not really, at least Ramsey does his own dirty work, which is something! For some reason people find him kind of funny. There is something about him that you love to hate. I found the rape scene pretty daunting and harrowing to do, but you’ve got to be a professional and just do it. My only major concern is to be typecast and play these kinds of roles for the rest of my life. On the other hand, the bad guys are often more interesting than the heroes.
How do you keep your own dark, aggressive feelings in check?
I don’t know. I guess like anyone else really. I try to relax, go out with friends and just try to be normal. You have to remember that it is all just fantasy. It’s not real. You can’t let get things get to you too badly because they are not what you do.
So you would describe yourself as a good person?
I don’t even kill wasps!
How would you like to see Ramsey Bolton go?
Some dragon-related death would be nice. It has to be epic. He has to go in a big way. It would be awful if he just fell off his horse.
How is your real relationship with Alfie?
Very good because we spend so much time together. It was often just us in Belfast so we would just go play a few games of pool, have some beers and dinner.
It seems a bit strange to imagine you two getting on really well…
Yes, people would often go: ‘I can’t believe you are hanging out with him.‘ And we’re like: ‘Do you believe in dragons as well?‘
Did you enjoy torturing him in front of the camera?
It’s not natural and real with filming. Pulling Theon’s finger is a good example. That was a piece of plastic and I was there with a knife making sure there was a nice shine on the blade for the camera, and that it was at a good angle so they can see the blood. Alfie wasn’t even there! It does not feel like you are doing anything gruesome. It’s more to get that shot so it looks real when they edit it all together.
But you’re not always nice to him in real life. I hear you’ve been killing him at pool?
At the moment I am winning heavily, yes.
Don’t you have a bad conscience? You’re going to give him a complex.
Well, he has every opportunity to win. He is a terrible loser though, so it’s quite fun. He is also an ungraceful winner.
Ramsey Bolton would be nothing without his father. What is the best piece of advice your father has given you?
Be more sensible with money.