The idea of rising from the bottom is poignant with GoT, as much of the show has to do with the gap between the ruling class and their underlings.
It’s a well-known fact of life that, barring lottery winners or trust-fund babies, we all have to struggle through some difficult or embarrassing jobs. While huge movie stars and notorious celebs may seem far from their humble origins, the truth is that most of them had to start out taking awkward roles or even picking up jobs outside of the realm of cinema. Sure, most actors these days are paid to merely emulate a blue-collar persona, but that performance could be so much more authentic coming from an actor or actress with a unique understanding of early-career turmoil.
Though many of our favorite Game of Thrones heroes and villains are portrayed by teens or fresh-faced actors in their early 20s, plenty of those familiar with the show’s set are also familiar with the tenants of menial employment. From jamming in dirty dives along with your punk-rock acts to the land of Westeros is no stranger to gruff up-and-comers unafraid of getting their hands dirty.
The idea of rising from the bottom is particularly poignant with GoT, as much of the show has to do with the gap between and treatment of the ruling class and their underlings. Thoughtful and provocative, it would hardly make sense to cast actors unfamiliar with real-life hardship. While I wouldn’t say any of these men and women endured an undue struggle, longtime fans are bound to enjoy recounting 15 weird and embarrassing jobs Game of Thrones stars did before they were famous.
15. LENA HEADEY VOLUNTEERED WITH PETA
Despite the fact that she’s only 44 years old, Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey is one of few actors on-set who can claim seniority over her cohorts. Though older than many of her colleagues, she actually started her acting career at a very young age; she was given a role in the 1992 film Waterland at the age of 17. That doesn’t mean she hasn’t gotten her hands dirty.
A vegetarian and environmental activist, she’s made waves through her involvement with PETA.
Beyond that, though, she did have a moment when her working life clashed with her role as an environmentalist when she was asked to skin a real rabbit for the film The Brothers Grimm. She refused to do it, and the special effects team eventually had to come up with a fake replica for her to use instead.
14. PETER DINKLAGE HAD A TON OF SMALL, WEIRD ROLES
Dinklage will probably always been known for his incredible portrayal of Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, but, prior to his involvement with the show, he played small parts in tons of other projects. While many fans of the actor will likely site his influential, albeit small, role in the hit holiday comedy Elf, that hardly scratches the surface of his impressive resume.
However, not every project to which he has lent his talents has been good. He’s had roles in ill-remembered comedies like Never Again and Just Again, and who could forget his borderline terrible appearance in Disney’s made-for-TV movie Underdog? The less said about some of these roles, the better, but it’s safe to say that he’s really worked to get where he is now.