Game of Thrones really helped put Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) on the map as an actor, and prove his sister, Lily Allen, wrong. What does his sister have to do with this? I’ll direct you towards the singer’s 2008 song, “Alfie,” in which she pretty much calls her brother a pot-smoking slacker.
Well, Lily, those days are long behind him, and the man is killing it. Not only was Alfie nominated for an Emmy for his role as Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones, but the guy has been busy as heck. Things haven’t slowed down for him since his days as Theon have come to an end.
Allen spoke to The Guardian about what life has been like since Thrones ended, reflecting on his future, his career, and being a father. I imagine him as a mushy, gushy dad who showers his child with love. And I’m right. “I’m very lovey-dovey,” he said. “I like to put her on my chest. She’s the cutest little thing and I can’t wait till I get to see her.”
Taking on Game of Thrones was quite the challenge, as we’ve heard time and time again from its cast and crew. But that challenge, and the stress that came with it, was ultimately a motivator.
I was excited to move on, without a doubt. I think there was always that fear from when we started: God, you know, this is going to be for quite a while. You don’t want to get sucked into thinking negatively about something that’s essentially a very positive thing, but I would fluctuate. The majority of the time, the feeling for me was: I either give it my all, or I piss and moan about it. Even if you are going to piss and moan about something, you’re going to use that emotion to the betterment of your character, and that’s what I tried to do.
And let’s forget that Theon had rather a lot to complaint about. Allen described the experience of playing him as “isolating,” since “[t]he character was ridiculed at times.” Playing Theon, who was always struggling with a Stark-Greyjoy identity crisis on top of all the torture, made Allen think more deeply about issues related to men’s mental health. “I think it’s important that we talk about our problems without wearing that as some kind of badge of identity,” he said. “Look at who is in power [in the US]. A lot of the bad decisions are down to toxic masculinity. If we can eradicate that, it’s going to be totally beneficial for future generations, and for any kind of kid growing up.”
I appreciate you, Alfie Allen. I really do.
Speaking of male posturing, Allen remembered an early-season competition between the lead male actors:
At the beginning, me, Kit Harington and Richard Madden were definitely in some sort of competition about who could be in the best shape. It’s not like we were comparing, but there was definitely a macho vibe going around But I wouldn’t say there was competition in any sense other than who had the best six-pack. And Kit will always win that.
Judge for yourself:
Naturally, Allen also weighed in on divisive ending to the series:
People were just massively emotionally invested in it, and that’s testament to how great the show is. Things ended in a similar fashion with Breaking Bad and The Sopranos. There’s never a good ending and I think [showrunners] David Benioff and DB Weiss had a huge amount of pressure on them.
I can’t say I agree with him on Breaking Bad; that ending it pretty much universally beloved. People are still split on that Sopranos cut to black, though. Theon’s ending was pretty free of controversy, though. It’s hard to begrudge him dying to protect Bran Stark from the Night King.
With Game of Thrones behind him, Allen has made a splash in movies like Jojo Rabbit (directed by and starring Taiki Waititi) and How To Build A Girl, which is produced by his own mother, Alison Owen. And sister Lily Allen has a cameo in it! A family affair indeed.