The three amigos have disbanded on “Game of Thrones.”
With Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) locked in a cell, awaiting trial on a charge of regicide, that terrific trio of Tyrion, Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman) and Ser Bronn of the Blackwater (Jerome Flynn), has been forced to split up.
Bronn’s getting by, trading insults with sparring partner Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), but the loyal (and oftentimes surprising) Podrick is leaving (at Tyrion’s command) King’s Landing. And, with an ear-to-ear grin in last Sunday’s episode, Pod was presented to the fiercely independent Brienne of Tarth, the woman least likely to want or need a squire.
With Daniel’s character beginning a new adventure, AccessHollywood.com spoke with the Scottish actor, who addressed shooting that heartbreaking goodbye between Tyrion and Pod. He also hinted at what is in store as two of Westeros’ most mismatched characters team up in the quest to find Sansa.
AccessHollywood.com: That was a really sad scene between Pod and Tyrion when they had to say goodbye. Tell me about filming that. I’m assuming they kept it serene and serious on set.
Daniel Portman: Yeah. That was one of the first things I shot last year, and as it was quite a longish scene, it was quite an emotionally charged day in terms of how the atmosphere was because it was such a sad scene. And it was a real privilege for me to get the opportunity to sit down and just do a scene where there were just two guys staring each other in the eyes and talking to each other and getting to do that with Peter — it was a real privilege for me because he is such a wonderful actor. Getting the opportunity at a young age to work with him on that kind of material was really, really good fun.
Access: I know they spent a little extra time on the Brienne/Jaime bath scene, and shot the Shae/Tyrion breakup in a special way. Did they do anything special for the Pod/Tyrion scene or take a little more time with it?
Daniel: We did take quite a bit of time over it and we did do a few long, single takes of things to try and capture it all, but really, because it was quite a small set, it was quite a personal environment really, and we were left to our own devices really. Alex Graves, who directed that episode, was just so supportive and all his thoughts and suggestions were so, so helpful that it made something that could have been quite challenging, in terms of continuing the focus for that length of time, he made it so, so easy and he gave us so many great ideas in terms of things we could play with. I certainly was really, really happy when I saw it. I was really pleased with the overall result. It was exactly how I hoped it would turn out.
Access: What was the last one you filmed with Peter?
Daniel: The last scene I filmed with Peter was the first scene of the [season] that we’re in together.
Access: Waiting for Oberyn.
Daniel: Yeah, [we filmed that] in Croatia. That was quite nice that Jerome and Peter and myself all got to film a scene together like that near the end. It was nice for me to be able to part that way from them.
Access: Did you guys have a leaving lunch together?
Daniel: Yeah, we got a bite to eat and a couple of drinks in Croatia, said what we needed to say and then sort of left each other, as it were. But we had a bite to eat and chatted and all that kind of stuff. Mulled it all over.
Access: Pod is now with Brienne. How would you describe their relationship? She was not pleased to see [him] at all in that first scene you [and Gwendoline] had together.
Daniel: (Laughs) No, no. That vibe continues throughout the next episode. She is really, really not pleased that he’s there and poor Pod is trying to do everything in his power to make her like him and he just can’t do anything right.
Access: Do you think she’s displeased because she has a companion, or because he doesn’t have the kind of skills that she’s used to being around? She was around Jaime for a while, and she saw him fight before he lost his hand. Now she’s with a young guy who has been squiring at King’s Landing.
Daniel: I think she feels it’s a bit of a burden, and especially with the way Pod is handed over in terms of, [it being a] favor, so she has more responsibility on her shoulders to almost look out for this guy that she’s not asked for. … But he’s useful in his ways, Pod. And he knows quite a lot of things other people wouldn’t have known because he [worked] so closely within King’s Landing and with Tyrion for so long. He knows quite a lot of things that other people might not know, so, he’s useful in his own ways.
Access: And he has the axe — Tyrion’s Battle of the Blackwater axe that Bronn passed on.
Daniel: I thought that was such a lovely little nuance that they put in the script. Just a great, great moment and I think something like that would mean the absolute world to somebody like Podrick, being honored with something like that. As you see in the episode, he’s absolutely stunned he’s been given something as nice as that as a parting gift.
Access: But can he use it, or is that something he’ll have to learn in these next few episodes?
Daniel: Oh, well, you know, it’s a dangerous place. Who knows? He might have to use it sooner rather than later. Or he might not. But there’s every possibility.
Access: Some of the most lighthearted and fun-to-watch moments in ‘Game of Thrones’ are when you pair up two people who might not otherwise be put together. Is there some comedy we’ll see as well?
Daniel: Yeah. They’re an odd couple and Brienne being quite so stern and focused on the job at hand and Podrick being quite awkward and quite clumsy and shy and just out of his depths, yeah, it makes for some quite funny stuff throughout the series.
Access: I know you have been to some of the conventions. Have you been able to meet people from your cast who you’d never met before, or people who had been on the cast?
Daniel: I got to meet Geth --Gethin Anthony, who played Renly [Baratheon], who’s a really great bloke. I’ve done quite a few shows with Gemma Whelan, who plays Yara Greyjoy and she’s a delight. She’s such a lovely, lovely woman. Finn Jones [Ser Loras Tyrell] — I get to work with Finn occasionally, but we’ve done a few shows together as well, and we get on really well. Quite a few people. Yeah, James Cosmo [Lord Commander Mormont] was another one who I’ve done a few shows with. I did my first ever job back in 2009, I did with Jim as well, so it was nice to sort of see him again, and see these people. So yeah, I’ve met quite a few people from the show who I never got to actually work with, or meet while we were shooting, through the conventions. … You do have this connection already that you’re involved in this same thing and you’ve probably seen each other’s work and you’ve read the same scripts that you would be working on, you’re in the same episodes, but you’ve never actually met. It’s nice to have that chance to actually talk it out in person and get to know one another.
“Game of Thrones” continues Sundays at 9 PM ET/PT on HBO.
-- Jolie Lash
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