Comic Con’s done, but we managed to land an exclusive interview ... with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Ser Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones. With the help of our correspondent (and site host!) Rachel Blackman, we put together a few questions for Nikolaj during the convention. Scheduling problems made us miss the opportunity for a sit-down interview, but Nikolaj—who was taking off for Belfast on Saturday, rehearsing on Sunday, and already filming on Monday—was kind enough to answer our questions via e-mail.
To read more of Nikolaj’s thoughts on the series, be sure to visit our first season interview with the actor.
NOTE: There’s a spoiler, which we’ve hidden.
What do you find most rewarding about being part of this series?
It really is a combination of things but unlike other shows I have done, the scale of this is truly amazing and to watch the artisans - costume, setdesign etc -create these worlds from sketches to full-scale sets has been absolutely awe-inspiring.
Have you read all the books? If so, what do you think of Jaime’s later story arcs?
I know Jaimes story arc. Already at the very first meeting with Dan and David and Carolyn they told me about it and then Bryan has been brilliant in filling me in on the whole arc. I am almost through book 2 and I insist on reading the scripts before the books. But Jaime’s story I know and obviously I cannot wait to
Other than reading the first book, how did you prepare for the role?
There were some physical work, horseback riding and learning the fights. Other than that just a lot of thinking about what it would do to a person to grow up and to live under those very specific circumstances.
How his relationship with his sister and the impossible love has informed so many of his very early choices.
And obviously I have done a lot of thinking about him being the Kingslayer. How history is always question of point of view. In his mind his finest hour and yet. also he is a soldier and a lot more like Ned Stark that he cares to admit. He knows the court though and understands the game of thrones.
If you weren’t playing Jaime, which character from the books would you want to play?
Jaime is the one.
What do you find most rewarding about playing Jaime?
Don’t judge a book by the cover.
What do you, as a person, think of Jaime as a character?
I feel I know him and understand why he sometimes is so annoying and keeps provoking those around him. The guy is in pain and cant help himself. I don’t really think about whether I like or dislike. he is for lack of a better word - family.
Which of the cast do you think is most like their character off-set?
Bran is sweet—Isaac is adorable.
Which character do you think would be the most challenging to play?
They are all challenging.
How many episodes are you set to shoot this season?
That would be giving away too much info, right?
You remarked on some of the funny, early fan responses that were hung up on this or that feature. Now that’s the first season is done, how do you feel about the fan response?
We could not have dreamed or wished for a better fan response. Grateful!!
How does working on something on HBO compare to your experience filming for network television?
I had a great time working on both New Amsterdam and Virtuality. Truly great times. I love working on Game of Thrones. Obviosuly there are differences in scale but thats more to do with the nature of this particular beast. We might have more time here. Not sure. My job will always be to be 100% focused and committed no matter where I work and that is and has always been my goal.
If Jaime were to take the Iron Throne, what sort of king do you think he would be?
I cannot imagine Jaime on the Iron Throne. He already put his ass on that damn thing one time and look what good that did him. He doesn’t want it. Which is why he would be a great king.