Kristofer Hivju is branching out after playing the loveable wildling Tormund Giantsbane on Game of Thrones for six seasons. In 2019, the Norwegian-born actor played a double role as brothers Erik and Adam in the crime drama Twin. Most recently, you can see him alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell in Downhill, a new dark comedy hitting theaters today.
“They asked if I wanted to play against my two favorite comedians of all time,” Hivju told Entertainment Weekly about acting with these two legends. “It was like, ‘I’ll do anything.'”
I enjoyed playing with Julia and Will a lot. If you improv and do something else, they catch the ball and hit it back at you with such a funny touch. What I also really enjoyed was to watch them play a more dramatic side of their talent. I know that both of them have done that before, but it’s not often you see that.
Hivju also reminisced about saying one final goodbye to his Game of Thrones costars, and what it meant to play such a fan favorite character. “It hadn’t felt like it’s over,” he said. “You ended when you wrapped, and then you ended when it airs, and then you ended when there’s some awards shows.”
But this felt like the last last thing. It feels good. I gave everything to Tormund. I love the direction that the character went, with falling in love and becoming more of a comic relief buddy. He started out as an antagonist on the show and he ended up as a big bear.
And what are Tormund and Jon Snow up to now that Game of Thrones is over forever and they are living with the wildlings north of the Wall? “Jon is in a huge depression, so he needs Tormund to cheer him up, by the fire, warming each other,” Hivju joked. “Tormund is pretty heartbroken himself, so maybe they can bond over that.”
One can only assume Tormund is “heartbroken” over losing Brienne, the very unrequited love of his life. Either that, or he’s fresh out of giant’s milk.