Kit Harington on entering his villain era with Blood for Dust

After playing "an out-and-out hero in Game of Thrones" for eight seasons, Kit Harington was thrilled to play an arms-dealing, drug-slinging sociopath in his new crime thriller.
Fendi Fall/Winter 2024/2025 -  Milan Fashion Week – Front Row
Fendi Fall/Winter 2024/2025 - Milan Fashion Week – Front Row / Pietro S. D'Aprano/GettyImages

Kit Harington played the heroic Jon Snow for eight seasons on Game of Thrones, during which time he saved Samwell Tarly from bullying, saved the North from Ramsey Bolton, and saved the world from the White Walkers. Jon Snow was always helping people, and apparently doing that for nigh on a decade could get a little frustrating for an actor like Harington. "My heart goes out to people playing heroes," he told Entertainment Weekly. "They're f---ing hard to play and to make interesting."

These days, it sounds like Harington is trying to get as far away from heroic characters as possible. Take his new movie Blood for Dust, a crime thriller about a down-on-his-luck salesman named Cliff (Scoot McNairy) who gets pulled back into a life of crime by his old friend Ricky. Harington is Ricky, a sociopathic drug dealer with a handlebar mustache that screams "sinister."

"I rarely get the opportunity to play the Rickys of this world, the antagonistic dirtbag types, and I was excited to be presented with that opposite an actor like Scoot," Harington said. "So that was the kind of pull, and then Rod [Blackhurst], the director, had such a clear idea of what he wanted to do and had it so well planned that I just felt very much in safe hands. It felt well put together. And then it's all about growing a big old mustache and adopting a seriously American accent."

"That is seemingly what I've been hunting a bit. If I look at the roles I've taken since playing an out-and-out hero in Game of Thrones, I have to admit there seems to be some sort of pushback about playing a hero. I'm not so interested in heroic roles, and if I am, they have to be pretty anti-hero-ish."

It really is all about the handlebar mustache and the scratch-voiced American accent, although I think I hear Harington's British accent coming through in lines like, "If I wanted you gone, you'd be gone" around the 1:26 mark. The transformation is still fun, though.

"It is more fascinating as an actor, I think, to empathize with someone deeply faulted and wrong, to try and find your way into why they are doing these things," Harington continued. "[Playing] a guy who is doing all the right things and is driven by being good, it's harder to do that. And I think people who do it successfully, who play classically heroic roles, are very talented actors. But at the moment, I just find it more interesting looking for the f---ed-up people."

Jon Snow did a lot of good things over the eight seasons of Game of Thrones, so Harington may be on a villain/anti-hero bent for a while to make up for it. Blood for Rust opens in theaters today, Friday, April 19, so you can go see for yourself how good a fit for Harington it is.

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