Pe op le
Having made his name as Jon Snow in the HBO’s worldwide
smash Game of Thrones, Kit Harington has enjoyed four
seasons of near-rabid idolatry and reached a huge global
audience. A series of well-considered ﬁlm roles over the
coming months, though, should prove that there’s more to the
28-year-old than just luscious locks and a proto-hipster beard,
writes Shilpa Ganatra
112113 IRISH TATLER MAN
I don’t see myself
as famous – I see
the show as famous
114115 IRISH TATLER MAN
Harington with his former
partner Rose Leslie, who
played his on-screen lover,
the ‘wildling’ Ygritte, in
Game of Thrones
Harington as Game of
Throne’s Jon Snow. By
with HBO, Harington is
obliged to retain his long
t drama school, I was always cast But leaning his 5ft 8in frame back into his chair, a little
Below: as the 11-year old boy – I was at odds with the surrounding of an uber-posh hotel in
never leading man material. London, one senses that the 28-year-old wants to
Kit Harington as Jon Snow, shake this impression. His demeanour throughout our
Stephen Dillane as Stannis Afterwards, my first major role was as a leading boy in a conversation – serious yet unnervingly honest –
Baratheon and Liam production of War Horse. So to go from that to the lead suggests a determination to prove himself as a person
Cunningham as Davos Night’s Watch in Game of Thrones was totally unexpected. rather than a character, mostly because his character is
Seaworth star in the new I have a baby face under all of this,” insists Kit Harington, unforeseeably popular.
series of Game of Thrones rubbing his thick beard to illustrate.
“I don’t see myself as famous – I see the show as
Five seasons, 14 Emmys and four SAG Awards in, we famous,” he says, somewhere between modest and
can’t imagine the genial Londoner any other way. Since level-headed. “For the first few years of Game of Thrones
being hired for the record-breaking fantasy drama four years I really enjoyed the recognition that came with it. I do like
ago – his debut screen job fresh out of drama school – he’s it still, but the novelty has worn off.
comfortably grown into his starring role, keeping his
famous long curly locks and luscious beard, while his “Now, I feel that I do the acting for free and I get paid
muscled physique suggests he’s every bit the warrior type. for the loss of anonymity. That’s how I see it, and that’s
fine for me. I knew what I was getting into. If you have any
Even when playing Roland Leighton, the suitor of success in acting, that goes hand in hand.”
Alicia Vikander’s Vera Brittan in Testament of Youth earlier
this year, audiences couldn’t help but see Jon Snow, the The resultant fame from the astonishing success of
bastard son of House Stark who evolves into a brooding, Game of Thrones (which has topped The Sopranos to
fur-draped warrior of the Night’s Watch in the global TV become HBO’’s most-watched programme) has certainly
smash that is Game of Thrones. changed Harington’s life – perhaps more than any of
the cast, which includes The Wire’s Aidan Gillen, X-Men’s
Peter Dinklage, Black Hawk Down’s Nikolaj Coster-
Waldau and son-of-Keith and brother-of-Lily, Alfie Allen.
Aside from earning a legion of fans, and attracting the
interest of the paparazzi that is a modern day corollary,
the Central School of Speech and Drama alumnus has
made solid in-roads in Hollywood, starring opposite Jeff
Bridges, Julianne Moore, and Ben Barnes in The Seventh
Son (2014), and voicing the role of a dragon trapper in
Dreamworks’ animated caper, How to Train Your Dragon
2 (2014). Less memorably, there was also a starring role
as a sword-wielding gladiator in Paul W.S. Anderson’s
critically slated Pompeii (2014).
In addition to a hectic filming schedule, last year Harington Clockwise from top left: Can he go around the world unnoticed?
was also selected by high-end fashion label Jimmy Choo as the Harington attending the “I can if I shave this off,” he replies rubbing his distinctive
face of their first men’s fragrance and sunglasses collection. 21st Annual Screen Actors beard again. “Honestly, if I got rid of this, I’m quite
Guild Awards on 25 January, unrecognisable.”
“Kit perfectly embodies the Jimmy Choo man. He has a 2015 in Los Angeles, The removal of such distinctive facial hair, or indeed his
natural and alluring masculinity and an effortless sense of California; Harington equally identifiable locks, is, however, something that is
style. His cool attitude and smouldering sensuality belie a with Alicia Vikander in unlikely to happen immediately. By contractual arrangement
true British gentleman,” they gushed, leading us to believe Testament of Youth with HBO, Harington is obliged to retain his look. His unruly,
they might collectively fancy their new signing. (2014); Harington in curly hair must be shoulder-length and authentically greasy,
Spooks: The Greater Good the beard slightly grown out.
But we won’t be blinded by his good looks – the move for the BBC; An intensive It would appear that creative ambition isn’t the only reason
into modelling seems at odds with his aversion to celebrity. workout regime saw Harington wants to expand his horizons, as when talk moves
So what gives? Harington on to his love life, he explains that acting and romancing are
in the shape of his life mutually exclusive. His last known relationship was with
“You never do anything purely for money or fame, you do in 2014’s Pompeii co-star Rose Leslie, who played his on-screen lover, the
it to get the next job,” he explains in a middle-class accent Facing page: ‘wildling’ Ygritte, though their romance appears to have
that betrays neither his west London childhood nor his Model behaviour: ended both on and off-screen last year.
teenage years in Worcestershire, where his family moved Harington strikes a pose “I genuinely don’t talk about love life, but if you’re lucky
when he was 11. as the face of Jimmy Choo’s enough to be successful in acting, you’re moving around the
inaugural men’s fragrance
“The reason you do the Jimmy Choos and the campaigns world,” he says. “And if you
is so you’re in airports around the world. And producers and Game of Thrones have a relationship, it’s difficult
directors go around the airports in the world. You’re constantly continues on Mondays to keep that going unless you
in their head for the next job – that’s how I see it. on Sky Atlantic have someone who can travel
around with you, who has a job
“But I see myself doing lots of things in life, not just acting,” they can take on the road.
he continues, before it’s possible to unpick his motives
further. “I want to have lots of careers, different outlets, to “I think I spent two months
keep acting fresh. I’m moving into my 30s and I have other in my home in London last year.
ambitions that I want to achieve.” That puts a huge strain on
Harington puts his money where his mouth is, explaining
that in his pursuit of a balanced life, he’s turned down further Harington’s mobile phone
roles in order to travel. At this critical stage it could be beeps twice, as if timed
tantamount to career suicide, not that it bothers him much. perfectly to avoid the subject.
He tries not to check the text but fails.
“I used to travel a lot when I was younger, when I was 18 “It’s my mum. I have a dentist appointment at 12.10 on
to 19, I travelled around America, India and Cuba on my own,” Monday. That’s one thing she does for me still,” he says with
he says. “I travel with work, but I’m either in New York, LA a hint of embarrassment.
or wherever I’m doing the film, and I think I’m acting and He puts his phone away and miraculously returns to his
travelling at the same time, but I’m not really. So this year I least favourite subject, a testament to his professionalism.
have nothing lined up – I’ve said no to lots. I need that time “Basically, people can have an opinion of who you are,
and space in my head for my own creativity, for my own and it’s difficult to start afresh with someone.”
sanity, and I’m going to go travelling again.” Unfortunately for Harington, it will be even more difficult
to shake preconceptions as his profile rises further. Not only
116117 IRISH TATLER MAN is the current series of Game of Thrones – which is mainly
filmed in Northern Ireland – attracting a record number of
viewers, but Harington is also set to continue his silver-screen
endeavours. He’s secured, amongst others, the title role in
Xavier Dolan’s The Death and Life of John F Donovan alongside
Jessica Chastain, Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates, and will
be starring in the forthcoming Spooks: The Greater Good, a
big-screen adaptation of the long-running BBC spy drama.
During his down-time and when he’s not travelling, he’ll
also be testing his abilities as a producer, though he’s
keeping his cards close to his chest as to what this entails.
“I’d like to produce something, but I can’t talk about the
project I’m doing. I don’t want to be arrogant to say, ‘I’m
going to produce a big movie’, so at the moment they’re just
ideas I’d like to try.”
There he is again, refusing to buy in to his hype. ITM
Now, I feel that I
do the acting for
free and I get paid
for the loss of