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LFCC Diary: Gethin Anthony

Gethin sounded like Renly but looked like a normal guy. A normal, very handsome, guy, that is. His hairstyle was way cooler than in the series, IMHO, and the many girls queuing in front of me seemed to agree and approve the whole package, judging by the pretty heavy swooning and giggling. Such was the presence of the late Renly Baratheon, First (and Last) of His Name!

The man did seem to be having a good time: he smiled and laughed profusely, shook hands a-plenty, spoke cheerfully and had nice words for all and each fan, all while deftly personalizing the items people offered him. And he still found the time for posing for more selfies per minute than the World Health Organization would recommend.

When my turn was about to come, I felt I might squee a little, but I managed to contain any inadmissible sounds within my vocal apparatus. Gethin stood up to greeted me (so nice of him; 100 points to House Baratheon) after washing his hands clean with some sort of magickal elixir. His grip was strong, as one would expect from a king wearing a t-shirt and a pair of jeans.

Interview

Marino: Hello Gethin!

Gethin: Hey Marino, how’s it going?

Marino: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me.

Gethin: Nononono, don’t be silly, that’s awesome.

Apparently, Gethin was positively excited about my interviewing him, which is neither that extraordinary nor flattering. You see, you would also be thrilled at the prospect of being interviewed by a starving bearded Spaniard in a yellow slicker-jacket-thing.

Marino: So, how are you doing?

Gethin: I’m really well! I’m enjoying LFCC like… There’s a lot of positive energy in the air and it’s always fun doing these things and, yeah; I’m really well. How are you?

Marino: Well, sweaty…

Gethin laughed hard at this burst of unprofessional honesty and gave me a wink. I reckoned it meant “I feel for you, bro.” The high concentration of positive energy had this not-so-glamorous bodily side effect.

Marino: So, what did you think when you read how Renly was going to be “dismissed” from the show?

GethinA: Well, when I read the book I wasn’t cast as Renly yet, so I thought it was a great scene and it was a shock to me as a reader and I can remember reading the scene so when I got cast as Renly I knew that it was going to come to an end but what excited me was…basically his story arc. It was almost like shooting a film because I knew the full arc of the story and that made it an exciting prospect so I tried to stay true to it as successfully as possible and… Yeah I loved it.

Marino: Since you read the books and you are now part of the audience, how do you see the series and the novels compare? Having being an insider, do you understand the changes made for TV?

Gethin: Yeah, I mean, I really think the main success of George’s writing is George’s writing. The major success of the TV series is taking in everything that they can; they are doing everything they can to honor that wonderful source material, making smart choices to tell that story visually. We all know the stories are told from singular perspectives in the chapters of the books and obviously the TV show wasn’t going to do that so they’ve made some really smart decisions about which stories to tell; they got huge amounts of material from which to choose so that’s great, because George provided us plenty, and I think that part of why the show is a success as well as the books is because they’ve made incredible creative choices about, you know, seeing characters in different circumstances that you wouldn’t be able to get from the books.

Marino: Some of your greatest performances were those shared with Finn Jones there and Natalie Dormer. How hard was to get into such intimate, sexual scenes?

(The not-repulsive-at-all Natalie Dormer was supposed to attend the London Film and Comic Con but had to cancel at the last minute and it made me a sad Dornish panda T_T)

Gethin: You are only ever, in any acting scene, as good as the person you are working with, and I was very, very lucky to work with Finn, who I knew very well by the point of doing our scenes. Natalie and I had never worked before we met, but she is such an incredible actress and so professional that she made it easy… She made my job easier by being an amazing person to work with. I learned a huge amount from them both. So, in that sense, it was not difficult; creatively it was a lot of fun, and I think we got some great scenes there.

Marino: It’s funny because Renly really doesn’t like Margaery that way; I mean, you and Loras… Let’s see if I can get to the point…

For some reason I could not properly articulate a question with a subject and a predicate, so I just LOLed and shook my head. Whatever happened once again with my spoken English? Teh same as wiht me written Eeenglish gnaw.

Gethin: I think I know what you are asking.

Marino: Yeah. As actors, you are getting along so well and yet you have to pretend Renly is repulsed by Margaery. How was that possible?

Gethin: Yeah, being repulsed by Natalie Dormer is probably one of the best acting jobs I’ve ever done, you know…! I mean, if you are in-character it’s part of the job to fulfill sort of imaginative choices which aren’t your own and that’s a way to say that… Yeah… that was difficult.

Folks, Gethin is a PRO, but I had put him in a somewhat embarrassing situation. He could not help but laugh a bit. Like a SIR. But, I mean, that’s why he is an actor and we are not: we could not pretend Natalie Dormer repulsed us. (If you can, you are dead inside and/or you should devote your life to acting right now. You are welcome.)

Marino: And do you think Margaery would be a good queen?

Gethin: Oh, well, if the family is anything to go by, ‘cause I think we all agree that Olena Tyrell would be an amazing queen [...] I think she has a lot of the political nuance that Renly didn’t have the edge for. I think they would have made a good team. I really do!

Marino: OK, that’s going to be it, so all these people can get to you; thank you so much!

Thank you people queuing behind me, patiently waiting for this madness to come to an end. Not having offered me to R’hllor or Galactus is a testament to your serenity!

Gethin: Say hi to Elio and Linda!

I did that. You can ask them.

Marino: Yeah, see you later in the photoshoot!

Gethin: Oh, cool. Cheers, dude!

And so we did, as you can see. Much to the astonishment of other more restrained and better-mannered people, I went again for my instant classic: “The Apparently Manly Hug”, and Gethin kindly obliged. I could feel how much he wanted to hug me; so badly it was almost obscene. OK, I might be exaggerating BUT all the physical contact depicted is real; no hug stunt doubles. “Closer than a Rainbow Guard”, that was my mantra.

Kudos to the ladies who took the time to praise the photo and sort of protected me from the Medusa-like gazes of other ladies who seemed slightly jealous. LOL.

And now, for something completely different… A bit of Payne!

About the Author

Marino Santirso is a biped hailing from Northern Spain who writes, translates and edits words for companies such as… can’t really tell you. He collaborated in the Spanish edition of “A Dance with Dragons” and is in charge of the Spanish versions of the “A Game of Thrones” LCG and board games. He loves Dorne because “Ser Arthur Dayne had a magic sword” and “OMG the Red Viper is almost a Maester!” He also likes to stick his finger into béchamel sauce when no one is watching and won’t probably be allowed to write anything else for anyone else anywhere ever. He is a gentle soul; please handle with care.

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