Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Peter Dinklage of “Game of Thrones” — by Dan Kois

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Dan Kois has a terrific profile of one of my favorite actors, Peter Dinklage, in the New York Times, who plays Tyrion in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

YouTube Preview Image

[H]e couldn’t book commercial jobs, because he wasn’t interested in the kinds of roles that paid well for dwarves. Specifically, he wouldn’t play elves or leprechauns. Even after Dinklage’s memorable first film role in the 1995 Steve Buscemi indie comedy Living in Oblivion — Dinklage played an actor who’s annoyed to be cast in a dream sequence, demanding, “Have you ever had a dream with a dwarf in it?” — he still couldn’t get an agent. “Word got out,” he says. “I started to build up a resentment. And that fueled my desire to live in a cold apartment and be like: ‘I don’t need you! I’m gonna write poetry. Why would I want to be a member of your club if you don’t want me?’ ”


After a recommendation from Buscemi, the New York-based film director Alexandre Rockwell cast Dinklage in his shaggy-dog ensemble comedy “13 Moons.” When Rockwell met Dinklage just before his first day of shooting, they were instantly simpatico. “You might come in with some luggage about Peter’s physicality,” Rockwell says. “Right away he cuts right through that. You’re thinking, He’s a dwarf, he’s a dwarf, but Peter comes shining through as a personality beyond any kind of diminutive-size issue.”

“Alex attracts Steve Buscemi and Seymour Cassell and all those actors that are in his movies,” Dinklage said, then added with pride, “I’m one of them.” By the end of the ’90s, Dinklage was managing to make a meager living. “What I really want,” he told a theater Web site in an interview, “is to play the romantic lead and get the girl.”


Then Tom McCarthy, a recent Yale grad, met Dinklage when the actor portrayed Tom Thumb in a vaudevillian play McCarthy directed and co-wrote. The two became friends, and McCarthy was soon convinced that, indeed, Dinklage was leading-man material. “It was crystal clear,” McCarthy says. “There are qualities that leading men possess, this kind of self-assuredness and this vulnerability. Pete had both.” One day McCarthy and Dinklage ran into each other on a Manhattan street corner — “Peter was temping, and I was just scraping by as an actor” — and McCarthy later thought that Dinklage might be perfect for a script he was working on, The Station Agent, about an introverted train aficionado who inherits a tiny depot building in rural New Jersey. “We never imagined,” McCarthy says, “that conversation would alter both of our careers.”


YouTube Preview Image

For a treat, be sure to see “The Station Agent” and his wonderful performance as a wedding planner in The Baxter.


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mary Keeley

    So glad to see Mr.D in “Game of Thrones”! Without a doubt, my favorite male character in the series. And yes, everyone should see “The Station Agent”; wonderful story, great acting all around. Now I have to find “The Baxter” somewhere!

    • Nell Minow

      Thanks, Mary! I think you’ll enjoy him in “The Baxter.”

Previous Posts

Big Stone Gap
Even in small towns, big things can happen. Sometimes the most famous movie star in the world stops by and makes international headlines. And ...

posted 5:51:50pm Oct. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore), a 23-year veteran of the police force, learns that she has terminal cancer. And then she learns something even ...

posted 5:50:17pm Oct. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Mr. Peabody to Appear on Jeopardy!
Everyone's favorite educated canine appears tonight on Jeopardy to match his matchless historical knowledge against the contestants. He will be the first dog to host an entire category. [iframe width="560" height="315" ...

posted 4:35:58pm Oct. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Romantic Comedy "You Cast a Spell on Me"
[jwvideo vid='OCuEIYdB' pid='GvkPWNBE'] We are delighted to premiere an exclusive clip from the bewitching romantic comedy "You Cast A Spell On Me," starring Ryan McPartlin ("Chuck") and Nikki Deloach ("Awkward"), now available on Digital HD ...

posted 4:26:21pm Oct. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Tribute: Kevin "Moochie" Corcoran
We mourn the loss of actor/producer Kevin Corcoran, a child star in classic Disney movies and then a producer and director. Kevin was one of several Corcoran siblings to appear on television and in movies in the 1950's-60's. His sister ...

posted 12:08:40pm Oct. 08, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.