When Irish-born actor Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth) first read the scripts for HBO’s Game of Thrones, he recognized that the show would be a hit, but wasn’t prepared for the fame that it would bring him. Recently, Cunningham spoke with Today FM presenter Danny O’Reilly on A Different Side. He chatted about his newfound stardom and the unexpected cultural impact Thrones has had worldwide.
I knew it was going to be good but I’d no idea it was going to be so huge, but I don’t believe anybody knew. When I read the first episode I knew this was gold. It was such a magnificent, mad anarchic story. When you compress my career down it looks like not many years, but I was an overnight success after 27 years.
Before signing on to Game of Thrones, Cunningham had already been working in film and TV for almost 20 years, appearing in everything from big budget summer blockbusters to small indie productions. (Check him out in The Guard or Dog Soldiers, trust us.) “[W]e won the Palme d’Or with Wind That Shakes The Barley,” he said, reminiscing. “I’ve worked with Spielberg and all sorts of people, but I can still disappear off the radar for a while, and people forget about me, and I kind of like that.”
But Game of Thrones has changed that because now everyone knows who I am; I’ve been outed so to speak. My ego is too big anyway, I don’t need to be famous because I know how wonderful I am!
We seriously doubt Cunningham has much of an ego, although if he did, it would be hard to blame him. Cunningham’s portrayal of Ser Davos stands out even among this show’s wonderful cast. Seeing him rail at Melisandre for killing Shireen, and the wounded expression on his face when she revealed that Stannis allowed it to happen, was one of the highlights of the season. We only hope and pray that Ser Davos survives the series and quietly retire to some corner of Westeros.