Game Of Thrones star Iain Glen admits he’s worried about being killed off popular show as the actor spends time in Australia filming new TV drama.


He’s famed for playing the courageous Ser Jorah Mormont in the hit drama Game Of Thrones.
And just like many of his co-stars, Scottish actor Iain Glen has revealed his fears about being killed off in the medieval fantasy franchise. ‘Now there’s something horrible creeping up my wrist and all I can say is fingers crossed I’ll still be alive,’ the 54-year-old star told Spectrum Magazine.

‘Game of Thrones has turned into a phenomenon none of us could have predicted,’ he said, adding: ‘I feel very lucky. It’s been a treat to work on.’ Iain also confessed working with showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss for each series has been a great experience.


‘I’ve noticed for everyone involved, for Dan and David especially, confidence surging though each season as it has grown in popularity,’ the star continued. ‘And that’s nice from the position we all started in.’ In the fifth series, his character had a nasty condition which involved some kind of dangerous greyscale rock growing on his hand.

Meanwhile, Glen is currently filming a six-part drama in Sydney, Cleverman, which he’ll star alongside acclaimed actress Frances O’Connor. The six-part series is set Down Under and revolves around two estranged brothers, Koen (Hunter Page-Lochard) and Waruu West (Rob Collins), who are forced together to fight against enemies, both human and otherworldly.

The ensemble cast includes Deborah Mailman, Hunter Page-Lochard and Stef Dawson, who played Annie Cresta in The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay. Sally Riley, head of Indigenous at ABC TV, said the show ‘sets the benchmark for diversity’ on Australian television.The new series will screen on SundanceTV in United States on June 1 and in Australia on ABC, June 2.

Source: Daily Mail

May 1st, 2016 Game of Thrones admin 0 Comments

Of all the things Iain Glen cherishes about Sydney, perhaps his favourite is a small rectangular piece of plastic issued by the government. “I love my Opal card,” he says. “Currently I have about $22.50 on it. And when it gets to $10 I’ll go online and charge it up immediately.”

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The Scottish actor, sitting on a grassy Coogee hillside with the sun on his face and fair hair, leans back on a white plastic chair. “I go all over Sydney really. My most common journey is over to Manly on the boat when I have a day off. I’ve found a lovely National Park alcoved beach where the surf doesn’t hit that’s idyllic.”

He is also keen on catching the train to Central from Circular Quay and walking to Surry Hills, or the bus to Bondi. “I’m always on trip planner working out my route.”

Of all forms of transport Glen, or Ser Jorah Mormont, as he is known to the fans in the 170 countries where Game of Thrones airs, would really prefer a bicycle.

“I don’t really like taxis,” he says. “It might be a Scottish gene. You know, ‘Ohh that’s a waste of money.’ But you see a city differently from a bicycle, the parks and backstreets. I feel very cut off in a taxi.”

But Sydney, he has noticed, doesn’t seem too bicycle-friendly. “That will probably offend someone but I think they’re trying to make changes the way London is. But, early on, I made the decision not to go bicycle and to go Opal card. It’s great. I’d sell it to anyone.”

The Scottish actor is in Sydney to work on the ABC TV drama Cleverman. Locations include Bunyah, the former clifftop Coogee home of John Singleton, and the railway yards of Eveleigh.

But Glen is perhaps best known for playing the sturdy monosyllabic Ser Jorah Mormont in Game of Thrones, which starts its sixth season on Monday. Downton Abbey fans may remember him as the ruthless and urbane newspaper tycoon Sir Richard Carlisle but it’s his role in the HBO series that drew an average gross audience of 18.6 million for season five and is the most-watched series in Australia subscription TV history, that is his most famous.

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Game of Thrones has turned into a phenomenon none of us could have predicted,” he says.

“I feel very lucky. It’s been a treat to work on. David Benioff and Dan Weiss, the showrunners, the writers and producers, are very cool and very good fun to be around. And I’ve noticed for everyone involved, for Dan and David especially, confidence surging though each season as it has grown in popularity. And that’s nice from the position we all started in.

“But now there’s something horrible creeping up my wrist [Greyscale] and all I can say is fingers crossed I’ll still be alive.”

Born in Edinburgh, Glen trained in theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) after discovering theatre at Aberdeen University when the drama group went to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1981 to perform Martin Sherman play Bent.

He was schooled, mostly unhappily, at Edinburgh Academy, which did not encourage the arts. His Fringe experience lit an artistic fire.

On leaving RADA in 1985, just after winning the school’s Bancroft Gold Medal, he went straight to work on TV film Blood Hunt and Henry V for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Since then he has swung between significant stage and screen parts in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Gorillas in the Mist, The Iron Lady, Resident Evil, Spooks, Doctor Who and 2016 British thriller Eye in the Sky, West End musical Martin Guerre and acclaimed performances in plays by Arthur Miller, Shakespeare, Ibsen and Chekhov.

In 1998 he appeared with Nicole Kidman in her career-defining (and, famously, briefly naked) British stage debut in The Blue Room, which went on to Broadway, and was directed by Sam Mendes.

He points out that he cart-wheeled entirely nude across the stage during the play “for nearly 10 minutes”.

“I was front-on naked. Hardly anyone talks about that.”

Kidman admitted she was so nervous on meeting Glen she felt like vomiting: “I had heard how brilliant Iain was on stage and he was formidable just as a person,” she said in a 2002 interview.

Glen downplays his reputation as a revered stage and screen thespian. He is proud of being an actor, and his career, but not prone to swaggering or intellectualising his craft, going so far as to call himself “thick”.

“I think it’s part of the razza-matazz and the projection that people put onto actors that people presume that it’s a very elusive and high art. It’s a very practical business, acting, in my experience anyway. It’s a very simple process.

“I try never to learn lines in the sense that I like to look at the script and read it and read it and read it so that when it comes to the scenes I’ve probably read it 100 times. [I try to] just to let the storytelling, the why you’re saying what you’re saying, seep in. Once you get to understand that then the line is learnt. That’s the only process that I have.”

Sometimes, he says, he does fear an element within a project, a certain kind of scene.

“But I don’t think I’m brave enough to say what those kinds of scenes would be.”

Talk of being a pin-up is met with a modest smile and some hair ruffling. He rarely watches his films or recordings of theatre work, but not due to fear or nervousness.

“You get whipped up into a sense of belief and, sometimes, when you see the finished product it doesn’t match what it is that you thought that it was. And I don’t think that it ever would and, in some ways, it shouldn’t.

“So, I like to keep the pristine notion of what it was. That sense of not quite knowing how it manifested is a lovely manifestation.”

He lives in London with his partner, actor Charlotte Emmerson, and their two daughters. He has a 21-year-old son with his first wife, actor Susannah Harker. He has, he says, been “at my absolute happiest” at the births of his three children.

He cycles everywhere, although he may have updated since the 18-speed mountain bike Kidman gave him as a Blue Room first-night gift 18 years ago. When filming he always takes a guitar to fill-in time between scenes.

“I love acoustic guitar with voice – everything from James Taylor to Bob Dylan. I can’t read music but I can listen to it and work out what the chords are.”

He is, he says, a keen exponent of “simple tasks”.

“I think we do tend to over-complicate, over-analyse our lives. A simple activity is very good, very calming.”

Cleverman, Glen’s second appearance in an Australian screen work (the first was the 1992 TV film Frankie’s House), is an eerie dystopian sci-fi TV drama series set in the near future and rooted in Aboriginal mythology.

Directed by Wayne Blair (The Sapphires) and Leah Purcell it also features Frances O’Connor (The Missing), Deborah Mailman (The Sapphires), Rob Collins (The Lion King) and Stef Dawson (The Hunger Games).

Conceived by Ryan Griffen, the series centres on a super-humanoid species called the Hairypeople who emerged from the Outback and now live in The Zone, a controlled ghetto-like area within the city.

This uneasy existence explodes when, after a series of murders in the city, authorities begin to clamp down on runaway Hairypeople, who they consider sub-human, creating a crisis of survival.

Glen plays Jarrod Slade, a media mogul and billionaire businessman who appears to want to help the “hairies” but may have an ulterior motive.

“I just looked at the writing which is always the first contact you have, as an actor, with any project, and it’s nearly always what I judge anything on, whether I’m going to do it or not,” Glen says. “The writing gives you so many clues as to what the project might entail, and the character of the people behind it, and if you’ve got a fantastic piece of writing then it’s always deeply reassuring that you’re going to be in safe hands.

On reading Cleverman’s first two scripts, Glen “jumped at it”. He had already developed an interest in Australia’s indigenous history during filming for Frankie’s House and undertook more research on getting the part.

“It is constantly intriguing and, even for those who know a lot more about Aboriginal culture than I ever will, it’s still shrouded in mystery. It seems to be because there are so many different languages, so many different variations within the culture.

“Even some of the central things which are involved in this drama, like The Dreaming and like the Cleverman, when you ask those in the know to articulate it, they stumble. It’s hard to express.

“And obviously I wasn’t unaware of the conflicts that have been part of the Australian history. And I think they overlap unfortunately with the many indigenous populations all over the world when colonisation was taking place or when new people were coming to occupy territory.

“So it felt like an important subject and [one that is] probably not dealt with enough. I think what Cleverman does is a very different look at it, a very brutally honest look at some of the things that took place, but in a setting of the future.

“It has very strong echoes of Australia’s past. In a way you’re liberated by its setting in the future. Some truths can be very clearly told that perhaps are harder when you’re just looking at factual history.”

Source: Sydney Morning Herald



May 1st, 2016 Game of Thrones, Television admin 0 Comments

Now that principal photography has been slated to get underway next week – April 4, to be exact – Fox Searchlight is beefing up its cast for upcoming adaptation, My Cousin Rachel.

With Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin and Holliday Grainger already on board, Variety is reporting that Game of Thrones stalwart Iain Glen and stage actor Simon Russel Bleale have agreed to star in the feature film, itself based on the epynomous novel penned by Daphne du Maurier.

The movie is being adapted for the silver screen by director Roger Michell (Notting Hill,Enduring Love), who expressed his own excitement about steering du Maurier’s “detailed, dark, sexy and cinematic” story into theaters. For Michell, “so many really great films have grown out of the works of Daphne Du Maurier: ‘Don’t Look Now,’ ‘The Birds,’ ‘Rebecca’… .and here’s another of her classics which is at once detailed, dark, sexy, cinematic and full of surprises. I look forward to bringing this thrilling story to the screen with such a brilliant cast.”

Indeed, My Cousin Rachel has graced cinemas before when, in 1952, screen icons Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton assumed the central parts. Orbiting around the plight of a young Englishman, du Maurier’s romantic novel imagines a scenario where our protagonist plots revenge against his mesmerizing cousin, only to find himself falling under her beguiling charm.

Kevin Loader and Anita Overland are attached to produce on behalf of Free Range Films, and given production has been slated to begin on April 4, expect filming to continue on Michell’s adaptation into the summer, with England and Italy acting as the two primary locations.

Source: We got this covered

March 31st, 2016 Uncategorized admin 0 Comments

Aboriginal mythology and science fiction collide in high-stakes ‘near fi’ drama, Cleverman, a genre-bending new TV series produced by Goalpost Pictures Australia and Pukeko Pictures for Australia’s ABC TV in co-production with Sundance TV and Red Arrow International. Wellington’s Weta Workshop contributed creature design, specialty hair work and makeup effects and Park Road Post Production provided picture, sound and VFX post production services. It’s an Australasian co-production that’s been dubbed both “ambitious1” and “adventurous2”.

Set in the near future, Cleverman tells the story of an ancient mythological species that must live among humans and battle for survival in a world that wants to silence, exploit and destroy them.

Giving physical form to 60,000 years’ worth of stories from the Aboriginal Dreamtime is no small task, but Weta Workshop’s crew of concept designers, who have lent their talents to the likes of District 9, Elysium and Avatar, relished the opportunity to explore a new world in a ‘near-fi’ future. Armed with knowledge and inspiration from director Wayne Blair, fellow designer Jacob Nash, and the team at Pukeko Pictures, more than 150 designs were created for the mysterious, not-quite-human family of ‘hairies’.

Meanwhile, Weta Workshop Senior Concept Designer Andrew Baker was tasked with dreaming up something decidedly not-human: the nightmarish monster that serves as the series’ primary antagonist.

Once the designs hit the Workshop floor, it was over to a specially-formed crew of technicians to craft the numerous bespoke hair pieces that were to decorate the bodies of the Hairypeople. Led by Hair Supervisor Fiona Sole and Hair and Makeup Designer Kath Brown, individual strands of hand-dyed hair were painstakingly knotted onto sheer lace bases, custom designed for each actor.

Cleverman may have Antipodean DNA but it’s already finding fans in both hemispheres. The first Australian TV show ever to be invited to screen at the Berlinale Special Series, its first two episodes premiered to “thunderous2” applause.

Starring an acclaimed ensemble cast featuring Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), Frances O’Connor (The Missing), and newcomers Hunter Page-Lochard and Rob Collins in the two pivotal central roles, Cleverman makes its highly anticipated small-screen debut in mid-2016.

“Our top priority was to reflect the passion and integrity that the makers of Cleverman brought to the project, by creating stunning imagery that did justice to the overarching ideas of this incredible story.”
-Weta Workshop Senior Concept Designer, Leri Greer

“Aboriginal Dreamtime mythology: what a fantastic and original foundation for a sci-fi story! Weta Workshop was invited to dream up some culturally relevant characters for Cleverman, and our design and manufacturing teams took to the task with great enthusiasm. It is very pleasing to hear the series is getting rave reviews.”
-Weta Workshop CEO and Co-founder, Sir Richard Taylor

Cleverman is based on the original concept by Ryan Griffen, and produced by Goalpost Pictures and Pukeko Pictures for ABC TV with the assistance of Screen Australia, Screen NSW and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant.


March 22nd, 2016 Television admin 0 Comments

I have uploaded an interview with Iain from Tatler Magazine.

December 12th, 2015 Television, The Fear admin 0 Comments
I have uploaded an interview with Iain from Blitz Magazine. 

December 12th, 2015 Mountains of the Moon admin 0 Comments
I have uploaded a number of interviews with Iain.

Game of Thrones star switches gears and plays for laughs in Jack Whitehall’s Bad Education movie

Most people will recognise Iain Glen from Game of Thrones, where he plays Jorah Mormont (aka Ser Friendzone), Daenerys’ right-hand man and the skilled purveyor of a massive broadsword. But for Glen, his acting career isn’t all about doom, gloom and medieval fantasy. This August, the Edinburgh-born actor will be hitting the big screen minus a full plate of armour, as he takes a key role in The Bad Education Movie – the cinematic spin-off from Jack Whitehall’s hit BBC comedy.

The series has been compared to The Inbetweeners and it’s easy to see why: both sitcoms play on the typical school yard truisms that we Brits tend find funny. Both are frank, honest, and rely heavily on the kind of comedy that is driven from strong characterisation. And crucially, both series have culminated in an ‘end of school’ film.

By the time the Bad Education lot have made their way on to the big screen, the term is practically over, and the feckless Mr Wickers (Jack Whitehall) is taking them on one last hurrah to Cornwall. ‘He takes them on a mad adventure, where not unlike the TV series, he gets himself into all sorts of a mess. I play the mess that he gets himself into,’ Glen explains.

His character is Pasco, an advocate of the Cornish Liberation Movement, which aims to achieve independence for Cornwall. Unwittingly, Wickers becomes a part of the movement, and so mayhem ensues.

Surprisingly, Glen did very little research about the area before filming took place, as ‘any research it would have required was within the lines.’ ‘I was a bit lazy with that,’ he admits, but when it came to nailing the character, he certainly did his homework.

‘My only research was to try and nail the dialect,’ he says. ‘I always enjoy dialects and it was a fun one to do, but in terms of the history of Cornwall or the particular movement, l hold my hands up and say it was all there in the script.’

It wasn’t just a history lesson that Glen gained from the writing. Before being offered the role, he hadn’t seen the Bad Education television series, but after reading Whitehall’s work, he soon rectified that. ‘I’ve got kids at the wrong age, or I’m at the wrong age, and so I missed it when it came out’, he explains. ‘I immediately watched it when they offered [the part] and I just really, really loved it. I thought it was very funny and I think Jack’s a bit of a genius.’

His relationship with Whitehall blossomed while on set, and the chemistry between them helped to inform the comedy. ‘He’s a very lovely guy, and he was great fun to hang out with. We became good buddies.

‘Comedically, we have very different styles. He has a more traditional style and I have a more spontaneous style, less concerned with the form,’ he says. But Glen feels that this added to their scenes together, particularly one in which they sword fight (something he’s already experienced on Game of Thrones).

‘Since I trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, I’ve always loved sword fighting and I’m very keen to grab any opportunity to use it,’ he says. ‘I hope I was quite helpful in the scene because it’s probably more familiar territory to me than it was to Jack.’

Sword clashing may be familiar territory, but the whole idea of an outrageous class outing is alien him. ‘I don’t think I went on a single school trip,’ he says, recalling his own days in full time education. ‘It was a different era. You have to remember that I’m very, very old and I had a very different style of education. I’m sure there were the odd school trips somewhere, but I didn’t go on any of them. I was probably just wanting to hang out with my mates and get away from the school.’

In fact, Glen admits to being an ‘irritant’ in the classroom. ‘I don’t think I was very good academically,’ he says. ‘I didn’t really respond to the subjects that were being taught to me, so I would say I was a bit of a rebel, and somehow scrambled into university. I don’t quite know how I did it. I would say that of the classroom, I would be the one of them chipping from the sides, just trying to undermine the teacher.’

Despite his own lack of reference points, and the comedic style being intrinsically British, will this film appeal to the universal masses? ‘I hope so,’ he says. ‘It’s a funny thing, but often if you’re very true to the world that you’re portraying and you really localise it and fill it full of local detail, then curiously it becomes universal.’ And with that attitude, Glen, Whitehall and co are all set to school the big screen in the true meaning of Bad Education.

The Bad Education Movie is on general release from Fri 21 Aug.

September 15th, 2015 Movies admin 0 Comments

​IAIN Glen has a problem. The premiere of The Bad Education Movie takes place this week and he does not know who to have by his side on the red carpet. His seven-year-old daughter, being a fan of Jack Whitehall, who wrote and stars in the big-screen adaptation of the hit BBC Three television comedy, has volunteered, forcefully, but Glen is not making any promises.

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“I say you’re not the right age, it would be too weird. If I walk down the red carpet with you they’ll think I’m just a very, very bad parent,” he laughs.

One can assume from this that the movie, like the television series, is going to be a tad wild. Abbey Grove, the fictional English comprehensive in which Bad Education is set, does indeed make St Trinian’s look like Play School, and now Alfie Wickers (Whitehall), the worst teacher in Britain, is taking his old class on a school trip to Cornwall. Or as he puts it: “I’m going to take them on a holiday that is so bats*** mental, if it was a movie, EVERYONE would be played by Nicolas Cage.”

Glen plays one of the Cornish locals that Wickers and his class encounter. The clotted cream accent, and the comedy, puts the Edinburgh-born Glen a galaxy away from the world and the part with which he is most identified these days, that of Ser Jorah Mormont in the HBO fantasy drama, Game of Thrones. He has enjoyed the chance to do something completely different in The Bad Education Movie, and was impressed with Whitehall’s grace under pressure. “I don’t know a lot of comedians but I think they can be quite a complex bunch with their own demons that they are exorcising through their comedy. He’s an unbelievably lovely guy.”

Glen has a stint as a theatre director in his past, so he knows of what he speaks when he talks about multi-tasking. There is little that the 54-year-old has not turned his hand to in theatre, film, and television, yet it is Game of Thrones that has brought him global fame, and we will talk of that later.

First, since the peg for our interview is The Bad Education Movie, a look at his own school days would seem apposite. Glen’s time at the fee-paying Edinburgh Academy was not a happy one, however. In an interview published 14 years ago, Glen alleged he was molested at the school. He does not say anything about that when we meet. What he is keen to do is point out that the school today is very different to the one it was four decades ago. “Listen,” he begins, “it was generations ago and schooling at that time was a very different thing, and the Academy like most schools has gone through major changes.”

What was the problem? “It was the last vestiges of a Victorian-style education which had a lot of corporal punishment and not a great deal of interest in the arts. I was a fish out of water and so I spent my time being an irritant and successfully irritated a lot of them and they came down hard on me. But I had two older brothers to look after me a little bit. So yes, it was a stale, very exam-oriented education which was full of archaic subjects and the school was run in a very different way.”

These were the days of the tawse in Scottish schools, or in the case of the academy back then, the “clachan”. “It was a piece of wood with a rounded, flat top which they would mete out punishment with,” explains Glen. Again, he wants to stress that this was “a different era”.

Something positive came of his schooldays in that he made a pal in one Nicky Campbell. The duo were into music, pranks (calling local radio stations was a favourite) and acting, and both went to Aberdeen University. When the university’s theatre group travelled to the Fringe in 1981 with a production of Bent, by Martin Sherman, some “nice things” were said by the critics, and Glen knew he had come home in every sense.

It was a relief for his parents to know he could make it in what was to them the “totally alien” world of acting. Glen’s father worked for the Scottish Investment Trust, eventually becoming managing director. His mother was an occupational therapist but gave it up to raise the three Glen boys.

While Campbell would eventually move into broadcasting, Glen headed to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) in London. His parents stepped in to help him financially, and for that support he is “eternally grateful”. It is a concern, he agrees, if working-class youngsters don’t go to drama school because they fear building up debt, and on that score he admires Scotland for staying tuition fees free.

Glen thrived at Rada, winning the Bancroft Gold Medal in 1985 (previous recipients include Kenneth Branagh and Timothy Spall). More rave reviews followed for his performances in the film Silent Scream, in which he played an inmate of the Special Unit in Barlinnie, and the television drama The Fear, where he was a Cockney gangster. He found being Scottish a bonus, because it made it difficult to be pigeonholed in a “class-obsessed” society. Scot-free, he went on to make his name across film, theatre and television, racking up the credits, including Glasgow Kiss, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, The Iron Lady (playing Margaret Thatcher’s grocer father), Downton Abbey, Hamlet, Macbeth, Henry V, Martin Guerre, A Streetcar Named Desire, and The Blue Room with Nicole Kidman (complete with famously celebrated nude scenes).

Then along came a certain television show. He has been with Game of Thrones from its beginnings, back when it was far from certain it would become the multi-award winning phenomenon it is today. The pilot, which featured a Dothraki wedding shot in Morocco at night, did not look promising despite its budget of between $5m and $10m, with one executive famously saying the celebrations “could have been in a f****** parking lot for all I can see”. The world of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels was made brighter, more epic, changes were made and reshoots took place. After the first episode aired in 2011, Game of Thrones, the TV series made to movie standards, was on its way, much to the future delight of legions of British actors, many of them Scottish (Richard Madden and Rory McCann, to name but two).

Glen says the great thing about Martin’s novels are that the plot lines are so strong and the world he creates so believable. “But then you have to turn it into spoken dialogue and that’s what Dan and David [DB Weiss and David Benioff, executive producers and writers] are brilliant at, conjuring up a different period but doing it very authentically in, for want of a better word, a cool way, a current way where it doesn’t feel staid.”

Between its warring kings and scheming queens, Game of Thrones might be regarded as Shakespeare for the masses, or as one fan described it to me, “The Sopranos with dragons”. There is just so much to it, says Glen. “There are high flown ideas and images and it’s a world in which you never know quite what is going to happen next and that’s one of the attractions. There is always a supernatural element which never dominates but is always there and can make things go off at a tangent you don’t expect.”

Added to this is a plausibility that draws viewers in and holds them tight. “You can genuinely watch it as a viewer and think I sort of believe that this is the way things could have been back then. If anything it has a slightly medieval feel. It’s unspecific when it is set but it conjures up a very, very brutal world, a world of a lot of political machinations, lots of intrigue, fantastic strong characters, female and male, it’s highly unpredictable and it’s sexy.”

Such is the devotion of GoT fans I wonder what it is like for Glen, who seems a retiring sort, to be in the eye of such a media storm. Great fun, he says. As an actor, you hope people will respond to any job you do, and to be part of one of the “most successful TV series of all time” is a treat. If you can’t enjoy that, he adds, it’s time to go off and find something else to do with your life.

He is recognised wherever he goes, and for “95 per cent” of the time he is cool with that. People are polite, enthusiastic, they compliment you – “that’s always lovely” – and say how much they enjoy the show. “Then there’s the five per cent of the time when it can be bothersome because you are with your family, you are in a different headspace. Sometimes within that five per cent there are people who approach you in the wrong way and burst into whatever it is that you are doing. It’s not rude, because no-one says ‘I hate you’, but they invade you as if you are not currently having an ice-cream with your seven-year-old.”

The last most viewers saw of Ser Jorah he was not in a happy place. Are things going to improve for him in the new series? Glen refuses to say. Not even the wrath of a Dothraki warrior would make this bird sing. “It’s a paradox. You get asked all the time but deep down people don’t want to know. If I said a whole bunch of things that told you what was going to happen it would be like a drug, you’d get a hit of it then you think, ‘Oh god, well now I know.’”

Just for that stonewalling I’m going to put him on the rack of Scottish independence. It is now the law, or at least it seems that way, for every interviewee with even the slightest connection to Scotland to be asked about independence. With Glen there is a stronger justification than in most cases, for nestling in his CV is the 2005 TV movie Kidnapped, in which he played Alan Breck, Jacobite rebel. Asked if he will return to Scotland, Breck looks to the horizon and muses: “One day Scotland will be free again. I’ll be the first man home.”

Despite declaring himself “not a big political animal” Glen submits to interrogation with good grace. “I personally wouldn’t be in favour of independence,” he says. He watched with interest the way the referendum unfolded, particularly in the latter stages. “They all fell over themselves, giving promises to Scotland. We’ll see where that leads them but on the whole I like the dynamic of Scotland being on its own path but within the context of the Union.”

It was right he didn’t have a vote, he says, because England is now his home, not Scotland. He lives in London with his partner, Charlotte Emmerson, an actor, and their two daughters, ages three and seven. He has a son, 21 this year, with first wife, the actor Susannah Harker.

“I haven’t worked in Scotland as much as I would like to, particularly in film. I’ve worked more in Ireland, I don’t know why.” Scotland’s always had a “staggering” film industry, but there just hasn’t been the right material for him, or enough of it. Then again, Glen likes to mix things up, so Scotland may yet see him on stage here again. A particularly fond memory for him is of playing Macbeth at the Tron in Glasgow in 1993. “Right up there with my most fulfilling roles.”

Another was starring opposite Nicole Kidman in London and Broadway in The Blue Room, a tale of lovers uniting and parting that became famous for Ms Kidman’s brief nude scenes. “Pure theatrical Viagra” one critic called the production. Glen did his share of the heavy lifting when it came to nudity, but to lesser effect. “I was front on, doing handstands, completely naked for about 10 minutes but that didn’t seem to cause much of a stir.”

Besides The Bad Education Movie there is the sixth series of Game of Thrones ahead. Much as the part of Ser Jorah has changed his life for the better, one wonders if it has also made Glen so famous he will no longer be able to go off to his beloved theatre again and lose himself in a part, much like one Benedict Cumberbatch with Hamlet. Not a problem, apparently.

Whatever he does next will not be determined by money or fame, he says. “It’s about the creative possibilities, the demands it is going to make on you, whether it is attractive or not to do it. What Game of Thrones does is it gives you a visibility so people start to build productions round you, they want you in their productions because they think you help sell tickets. It has nothing but a beneficial effect for that and if I wanted to disappear anywhere to do a piece of theatre or whatever there is absolutely nothing stopping me.”

Arise then, Ser Jorah, and we shall hopefully see you back at the Tron soon.

The Bad Education Movie (cert tbc) is in cinemas on August 21.

August 14th, 2015 Game of Thrones, Movies, Theatre admin 0 Comments

Iain Glen lifts the lid on why the actors tend to avoid doing their homework for the fantasy series

As time goes by, more and more of the Game of Thrones cast are admitting they haven’t read the novels (written by George RR Martin) that the HBO series is based on.
But according to cast member Iain Glen, it’s not necessarily a decision they come to on their own – in fact, actors in the series are encouraged by showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss to avoid the source material.


“I don’t read the books,” Glen told “I read the first one when they gave me the job, just to get a feel from it and a synopsis breakdown of what was going to happen to the character.
“But beyond that, the writers themselves, David and Dan, they didn’t particularly want actors coming to the scripts from the book, always suggesting what the book did and how it was different – I could see the glazed look in their eyes when that happened.”
He concluded: “They were quite happy for us to move forward and treat them as screenplays with no history, so that’s the reason why I only ever read the first novel.”

Glen went on to discuss his upcoming role alongside Jack Whitehall in the “very, very funny” Bad Education movie as well as the growing worldwide success of Game of Thrones, which he says took him somewhat by surprise.

“No, I don’t think anyone knew,” he said. “It’s turned into the most successful TV series of all time, so no one was going to predict that! But no, it’s just grown season by season, and now it’s kind of a phenomenon. It’s almost, you know, falling over its success. It’s an amazing thing to be part of.
“I kind of realised in the last scene of the very first series, when the dragons appeared for the first time from the ashes of the pyre of Khal Drogo. That was pretty extraordinary. That was the first hint, the first sense I got that this might be something special.”

He concluded: “I just want Jorah to be there when Daenerys finally succeeds in the end, and sits on the Iron Throne. I’d like to be beside her.”

Hopefully the greyscale infection holds off until then…

July 23rd, 2015 Game of Thrones, Television admin 0 Comments
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