Kit Harington wants to avoid getting typecast in “surly heroic” roles


Life has been pretty great for Kit Harington. From plays to feature films to his lucrative role as Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, the 30-year-old English actor has a lot of irons in the fire.

In a new interview with Elle Magazine, Harington opens up about playing Jon Snow, how he and his castmates kill time during filming, and why he wants to hang out with Big Bird. For real.

Jon vs. Kit

Jon Snow is famous for his bravery, his mystery, and his signature pouty look. It’s a fine role, but like any good actor, Kit Harington is well aware that becoming identified with one character can lead to typecasting, and it’s something he’s guarding against.

"Jon is a hero. He’s a good person, he’s a moral person—a somewhat solemn person—so I get a lot of those surly heroic roles. I’ve learned to try to avoid those now. Otherwise I’m just going to go insane."

It seemed he learned his lesson from the last time he accepted a surly heroic role.

Now, Harington has his sights set on other genres. “I’d like to do comedy, but I don’t want to do romantic comedy. I’m not a romantic comedy guy,” he says. Although we can totally see him in a Love Actually kind of story, we’ll respect his wishes. And he certainly has the chops for non-romantic comedies. In 2015, he starred alongside Andy Samberg in the HBO Sports mockumentary 7 Days in Hell, where he played dimwitted tennis wunderkind Charles Poole.

Life on Set

Harington recently spent some time filming Season 7 in Iceland, and while you might think that would be cold and burdensome, Harington actually enjoyed it.

"You’re usually in the back end of nowhere. The whole crew and cast is in one hotel. There’s no bar down the road you can go to; there’s no restaurant. You stop at four in the afternoon when it gets dark, and you have the whole evening to kill. That sounds claustrophobic and dull, but it’s wondrous because you’re with this family."

Spending so much time with one another in isolated regions encourages bonding. “Everyone comes out of their shell because they can’t sit in front of their screens. You have to talk. People bring out board games, instruments.” Apparently Harington plays “percussion” but didn’t give too many details beyond saying the production has “a little group.” I’m just going to go ahead and picture Emilia Clarke on electric guitar and Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane) on vocals.

What about the board games? “I play Risk,” he says, “It’s about conquering countries. It’s basically Game of Thrones on a board game. It’s Method.”

Being huddled up with so many cast and crew members can also lead to romance. Harington, for example, is in a long-term relationship with his on-screen wildling sweetheart Rose Leslie, aka Ygritte. Harington says he became an actor for the craft of it, not the ladies, although that can be a side benefit. “There’s something about being a show-off, and that gets you attention. And attention gets you the opposite sex sometimes.”

As for what’s next for Harington, he’d like to follow in castmate Peter Dinklage’s footsteps and star on an episode of Sesame Street! He says it’s because it was basically the only TV show he watched as a kid. “That would be a dream for me. I’d be quite starstruck by the puppets.”

You’re welcome for that.