TitanCon interview: “The Horrible” Isaac Hempstead-Wright
By Fire And Blood on in Events, Interview.

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Yep, you heard it from us first. He’s horrible!

FaB here, bringing the last of the TitanContent for 2013: my sit-down interview with the very engaging Isaac Hempstead-Wright! So…

Well, okay, I guess context is everything. Here’s the “Horrible” part:

Editing, clearly, was at an absolute minimum. (Sure, I guess when all’s said and done, I really turn out to be the horrible one!)

tumblr_m92zr906sZ1qhpm6ho1_500Okay, I’ll be real: Isaac’s a great young guy with a rather impish sense of humor. He’s a different kind of Brit! I honestly don’t know if there is a more open, genuinely nice Game of Thrones actor. And some may say his seeming lack of guile or pretentiousness is simply due to his young age, but…

I get the feeling he’s going to be a different kind of cat overall, as the years roll by. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Something else refreshing about him: he’s not afraid to ask questions of us! So any interview ends up feeling like a conversation more than an interview; I’ll admit at times I forgot there was an actual interview going on. (Obviously!)

He wasn’t quite at an Art Parkinson-level of hyped up, but TitanCon clearly had him energized. As usual, his mum was very cool. There’s an amused quality they both share, and it’s in the eyes—I want to call it a “twinkle,” but maybe that’s slightly off, because it’s warmer. Both have the ability to make a person (even a raving lunatic fan) feel very welcomed.

Isaac Hempstead-Wright-IHA-013408I regret not getting a picture of the badass black leather jacket he was wearing before the interview. The kid knows how to dress. Or… well, I don’t know if I can even refer to him as “kid” any more, though “young man” sounds too stiff—and Isaac is anything but stiff. He can be animated, laughing at a whim, and even when he sits still (and proper) you get the feeling it’s only the briefest respite before another minor explosion of kinetic energy makes him flail about.. sometimes verging on muppetlike.

(And this isn’t to be unkind! Far from it. Isaac is as lacking in self-absorption as any young teen could be. He doesn’t appear to be self-conscious at all, which is actually remarkable for a teen, since most put on airs to guard their insecurities. Isaac is the sort who would just come out and tell you his insecurities, and cheerfully.)

Some people tiptoe through life, filled with various shades of dread; Isaac seems to bound through like a wild young wolf pup, heedless of the obstacles.

Game-of-Thrones3I sometimes wonder if he knows exactly how hard his job is. (Though from the interview you could tell he certainly realized being rained on for twelve hours at a time wasn’t easy!) But I think he just… he’s able to focus, channel emotion, and it appears for us onscreen. Bam!

(It also doesn’t hurt that he’s had some fantastic actors there on set to mentor him. I can only imagine the tricks of the trade he learned from, say, Donald Sumpter.)

I don’t know precisely where Bran’s story will end (I have various theories, some quite dark), but I know this: Game of Thrones has commissioned the right tool for the task. Wherever it goes, and whatever needs to happen… man, I am glad they found Isaac.

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A strange lad! But he’s our kind of strange! And yeah… he’s kinda… really cool.

Thanks to Isaac, and to his mum, and to TitanCon for making this possible!

Fire And Blood: And that wraps up our TitanContent for the year. I cannot reiterate how freaking fantastic these intimate cons are, especially the ones specifically dedicated to Game of Thrones—and double-especially Belfasts’s TitanCon. PEOPLE! YOU NEED TO BE HERE! The friends I’ve made alone are worth the price of an airline ticket.

(There’s a rumor they’re really pushing hard to get George R.R. Martin for next year. Fingers crossed… but either way, this thing needs to be on your bucket list.)


52 Comments

  1. Justin
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Hodor!

    (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

  2. Rose
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    He’s so cute and energetic and fun!
    And Isaac’s without a doubt the best child actor on the show. Good job :)

  3. hodor
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    I’m here just to see how horrible he is!
    But seriously, I’ve heard nothing but good words about him.
    Everyone always said “He’s the sweetest kid ever” or something along the line. It must be a blast to just talk to him

  4. Giantsbabe
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Love him :)

  5. Selmy
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    A different kind of Brit?
    Do you mean to imply all of us aren’t as lovely as Isaac?

  6. Fire And Blood
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    Selmy:
    A different kind of Brit?
    Do you mean to imply all of us aren’t as lovely as Isaac?

    Well, YOU are, Ser Barristan.

  7. Rose Papillon
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    “And that wraps up our TitanContent for the year.” – This makes me sad. I miss Titan Con so much. Totally worth the super-long flight! Can’t wait for next year!

  8. marta(bcn)
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Kristian and Isaac are the best!!!

  9. banana
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    So is Brojen canon on the show?

  10. Berelyn
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    In a few years Isaac will be quite a teen heartthrob.

  11. Selmy
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    Thank you Ser.

  12. dizzy
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Ha! “I’m color blind…”

  13. Roekest
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    He looks like a young John Lennon…or even a young Julian Lennon.

  14. Rygar
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Ever since you’ve been leaving me I’ve been wanting to cry. Now I know how it feels for you I’ve been wanting to die. But its much too late for goodbyes.

  15. Jen@House Stark
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    He’s a Stark by Got, what a doll. Thanks, FaB

  16. hodor
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Roekest,

    Isaac plays the piano. He might actually pursue a musical career in the future if he decides to stop acting.

  17. Siobhán Mooney
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    That was hilarious! :D

  18. John
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Great one!

    and a perfect diplomatic answer to the indigo question :D

  19. Hear Me Roar
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Another great interview, FaB, as all of them in the series.

    TitanCon was a blast, indeed. Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone involved. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be the WiC.net reporters there.

    (It only took us a month to present all the material this time around, yeah!)

  20. Tar Kidho
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    if Isaac would have played Frodo or Harry Potter, I might actually have cared about those characters… Really great actor, definitely one to stay. And an outrageously nice chap as well from all we see and hear of him!

  21. Listen 2 Ghost!
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Rose,

    “He’s so cute and energetic and fun!
    And Isaac’s without a doubt the best child actor on the show. Good job :)”

    BLASPHEMY! Maise Williams should poke you with Needle for your insolence! (Though Isaac really is great. He, Maise, Glesson and the underappreciated Turner have all been fantastic. It really speaks to the unbelievable job that casting has done that they found four very young but extremely talented actors for such vital roles. Most high-profile dramas bat .000 even when casting teenage actors. Looking at you Homeland).

  22. hdoro
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Tar Kidho,

    I always think he could play young Paul Atreides in a Dune adaption.
    Here’s a picture for comparison.
    http://aubadegirl.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/dune-17.jpg

  23. serum
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    hdoro,

    and sean bean could play Duke Leto I, hahaha!

  24. OldeCrone
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I hate being called a “Brit”. I prefer Briton or UK citizen. But British people call Americans “Yanks” or “Septics” sometimes so I guess it’s as broad as it’s long. Some youngsters who become “stars” or at least well-known become brattish but Isaac seems to have remained level-headed.

  25. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Off topic, but did everyone notice that Neilson is doing twitter ratings now? They count the number of tweets and the number of times people read the tweets. Scandal won the first one last week.

    This bodes well for GoT as it tends to be big on twitter. It kind of makes me want to finally get an account so I can help out. Then again, I want to focus on the show and not read tweets while it’s airing so maybe not.

  26. mmf144
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    serum,

    Thor for The Worm pls

  27. mariamb
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Listen 2 Ghost!:
    Rose,

    (Though Isaac really is great. He, Maise, Glesson and the underappreciatedTurner have all been fantastic. It really speaks to the unbelievable job that casting has done that they found four very young but extremely talented actors for such vital roles. Most high-profile dramas bat .000 even when casting teenage actors. Looking at you Homeland).

    Agree. The four of them are incredibly talented, poised and gracious. And yes, there is no comparison to other teenage actors on TV.

    Onto Isaac, my son met him at the GOT food truck that was touring London this past spring. He couldn’t believe how friendly and down-to earth Isaac was. He said that Isaac clearly enjoyed interacting with fans, taking photos, etc.

  28. H. Stark
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink
  29. loki
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    H. Stark, balons death it is then.

  30. Tar Kidho
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    serum:
    hdoro,

    and sean bean could play Duke Leto I, hahaha!

    Somehow I never managed to really get “into” Dune (book nor film), but a remake featuring Isaac and Sean would probably do the trick :)

  31. Tar Kidho
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Interesting… I’m almost certain GOT will twirl everything else out of the water!

  32. Rock
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Everytime I search his name on Google the word “shritless” is always the first thing that comes up in the suggestion. Everytime I’d click on it hoping to actually find something interesting…

  33. Lewis Lanster
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Great interview FaB! They’ve all been great, but this was my favourite interview so far, largely because of the great back-and-forth you and Isaac seemed to have. Thanks for all the TitanCon coverage!

  34. FrYo
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    GRRM at TitanCon 2014? ok.

    GRRM at TitanCon 2014 to release the Winds of Winter as a world premiere? HODOR!
    (to be fair, I would settle for GRRM reading two chapters of the Winds of Winter at the Literature night)

    Isaac is a brilliant lad, even if his chatting with everyone was holding up the queue at the signing session :)

    Congrats for the TitanContents, it made me feel as if this year’s Con was not really over yet.

  35. loco73
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Nice kid…er…or should I say young gentleman! I am soo glad he is on the show. To my mind no one else could have pulled off Bran’s honerous and painful journey as Isaac has and will!

    He has really become part of us, of our awareness, excitement and enjoyment of “Game Of Thrones”, for the excellent job he has done all these years and the marvellous gift he gives us every time he appears on our screens bringing to life both Bran and the wonderful tale he represents, with such grace and class!

    I wish him continued health, happiness, and a long and illustrious life and career!

    Way to go Isaac! Winter Is Coming!

    PS And a special thank you to FaBio, Winter, Ours and the rest of the dedicated crew that keep this site up and running and giving us fans all these sweet morcels and tidbits of news and information, to keep us going over these long winter months (and in my case I’m literally not kidding) until that time when the familiar intro music and credits herald the return to our favourite world and people!

  36. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    FrYo:
    GRRM at TitanCon 2014? ok.

    GRRM at TitanCon 2014 to release the Winds of Winter as a world premiere? HODOR!
    (to be fair, I would settle for GRRM reading two chapters of the Winds of Winter at the Literature night)

    According to GRRM’s website, he’ll be at CapClave in DC this coming weekend (Oct 11-13). The programming schedule says he will read excerpts from TWoW or “The Princess and the Queen” on both Friday and Saturday. Maybe worth a trip?

    http://www.capclave.org/capclave/capclave13/individual_schedule.php?pid=148

    Still naively optimistic about TWoW in 2014!

  37. perplexity
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Even though he has role where he is usually laying down, he is getting to old so i hope they will recast him as soon as possible.;)

  38. Rock
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    perplexity,

    What part of aged up characters you don’t understand?

  39. Ulff
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Isaac’s simply the best

  40. Rose1
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    Selmy,

    That was my first thought too. Also wasn’t sure if the “lack of pretentiousness” remark was a jab at the British, or just all actors in general. lol
    Oh well, I wouldn’t say he’s a different kind of Brit though. He seems very much like a lot of young boys his age in the UK.
    It’s good to see the limelight hasn’t changed him or forced him to hide his character. I hope he does well beyond GoT.
    Love how relaxed the interview was. Especially when he asks FaB about his name, you can see FaB slowly getting lost in the conversation and forgetting about the interview. Thanks :)

  41. FrYo
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: According to GRRM’s website, he’ll be at CapClave in DC this coming weekend (Oct 11-13). The programming schedule says he will read excerpts from TWoW or “The Princess and the Queen” on both Friday and Saturday.Maybe worth a trip?
    http://www.capclave.org/capclave/capclave13/individual_schedule.php?pid=148
    Still naively optimistic about TWoW in 2014!

    DC? That is a bit far for an European just to attend a reading :p (and short noticed!)

  42. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    FrYo: DC? That is a bit far for an European just to attend a reading :p (and short noticed!)

    :-) Just jump on LF’s magic carpet! I’m gonna try to take the train from NYC to see a session or two. GRRM will probably be pushing the “Dangerous Women” collection that comes out soon. I’ll be the obnoxious goof in the room with the “Where’s TWoW?” t-shirt and shouting “Save Jon!” and “Screw the Giants!” Afterwards, in lieu of the gov shutdown, I might go to the capitol and protest with my “Tommen Rules Better Than These Kids!” poster.

  43. Hodoor
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Berelyn,

    As if he’s not already an heartthrob…

  44. Marcus
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    This video makes smile the whole time:)
    But what were they talking about at 6:40? Something about being 16?
    The audio is a bit rough so I don’t quite catch it.

  45. Qthulhu
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Marcus:
    But what were they talking about at 6:40? Something about being 16?
    The audio is a bit rough so I don’t quite catch it.

    “It’s been nights?

    We’ve done one, yeah.

    OK, so not too brutal yet.

    No, and I, ’cause I’m a a child I have to finish mine by twelve midnight, which is great for me, it’s like, it’s like “Bye, guys!”, and then you’re off til…

    Wait til your eighteenth birthday, then the whips come out…

    Oh, sixteenth! Only sixteenth.

    Is it sixteen for Britain?”

    Is that clear enough?

  46. Marcus
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Qthulhu,

    That certainly helps. Thanks.
    Something unrelated. I’ve heard in films they usually shot the night scenes at day to avoid poor lighting, then later made it darker with CGI during posts production.

  47. perplexity
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Rock,

    The “faithful adaptation” part. From start approved by GRRM ( i know he doesn’t have real partnership authority anymore but he gave permission to sold the rights), but he implicitly admits that important part in persuasion was truckload of money delivered outside of his house. and prospect of having his franchise super-hyped

    To me it’s fascinating to the stupidity level compared with biggest nationalistic propaganda that people are ready to buy any character change (and characters are important part of story i think, maybe it’s all just matter of opinion and i’m angry book purist, LOL) because writers have aged them.
    They have aged them all (or almost all, or they’re great actors who can make you forget that this is not the same character) into typical hollywod species. Dumbed down, mediocre representation of George’s unique vision. Mass appealing to legion of tumblr teens.

  48. Marcus
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    perplexity,

    Good luck finding magical child actors who don’t age at all.
    Are you going to complain about how they didn’t cast real dragons on the show next?

  49. perplexity
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Marcus,

    well that’s why i proposed recasting if you actually read quoting discussion

    and IHW was 11 years old when filming first season, year younger for the pilot, book bran is 7 years old at the beginning of saga

    and they didn’t age characters solely for the actor aging reasons! even creators don’t say that

    great sense of humor btw

  50. Marcus
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    perplexity,

    Bran’s one of the few characters who is better on the show than in the books due to the actor’s maturity and performance. And he’s only 4 or 5 years older than his book counterpart. What about those who are 10 years older that their characters and can’t act for shit?
    As for recasting, I think it’s harder to find an 8 year old who can act and doesn’t have dramatic change in appearance after 4 years than actually casting a real dragon. So there’s no point in recasting any child actors on the show unless you want to see new faces every season.

  51. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    perplexity:
    Marcus,
    well that’s why i proposed recasting….
    and IHW was 11 years old when filming first season, year younger for the pilot, book bran is 7 years old at the beginning of saga and they didn’t age characters solely for the actor aging reasons! even creators don’t say that.

    Well, that’s a first. A supporter of recasting! Although I don’t believe it would work for GoT (like it has for James Bond movies and Dr. Who, which span decades), I see your point. However, the books and show are hardly about chronological growth for GoT’s many teens and tweens; they are primarily about psycho-social growth, adaptation and increasing one’s mental dexterity. Darwinism at its finest.

    Since I started reading the books in 2001, I have always had to age-up the young characters in my mind just to process their often-morbid storylines. They were too young to begin with, imho. If some child at their “book-implied” age (if indeed their years coincide with terran years) were to face the things they faced, it would be a silly Disney-like affair. The intense intertwined storylines between youth and mature adults in the book and TV series is what sets this mature work apart from its peers and prevents the youth from descending into “Lord of the Flies” stereotypes.

    The GoT children are growing quickly, but what interests me is their mental and existential growth, not their physical growth.

  1. […] TitanCon interview: “The Horrible” Isaac Hempstead-Wright: Yep, you heard it from us first. He’s horrible! FaB here, bringing the last of the TitanContent for 2013: my sit-down interview with the very engaging Isaac Hempstead-Wright!  […]

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