Ian McKellen & Derek Jacobi On Working With Game Of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon In Vicious

“Game of Thrones” actor Iwan Rheon took a break from playing Ramsay Bolton, the young man who took joy in torturing Theon Greyjoy in Season 3, to join Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi in the PBS comedy “Vicious.”

Iwan plays Ash Weston, the upstairs neighbors of long-time partners Stuart (Jacobi) and Freddie (McKellen) in the sitcom, which is heading to PBS this summer. Earlier this year, when AccessHollywood.com spoke to Iwan during the “GoT” season, he said the two men were curious about his HBO fantasy series role. So, when Ian and Derek attended the PBS portion of the Television Critics Association Winter Tour via satellite on Monday, Access asked about working with the young actor.

“I haven’t seen ‘Game of Thrones.’ I recently played Prince Charming’s father in Ken Branagh’s film of ‘Cinderella,’ which hasn’t come out yet and my son, Prince Charming was an actor called Richard Madden, another ‘Game of Thrones’ stalwart. But, Iwan was wonderful,” Derek said during the “Vicious” panel session. “And I think at first, he was rather in awe of Ian and myself, but we soon loved him up something rotten and he grew and grew in the series. And now, [he is] totally indispensable and totally wonderful.”

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Ian said he was impressed by the Welsh actor’s chops and confidence.

“He may have been over impressed by working with two old codgers, but frankly, the reverse is true on working with young people who know effortlessly how to be charming and get a laugh and behave as a … professional like Iwan does is – it’s a joy and I think, why did it take me so long to learn what he already seems to know,” Ian said.

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Earlier this year, Iwan told Access he was impressed by how normal it was to film a comedy with two esteemed actors.

“It was great,” Iwan told Access. “They’re such gentleman. It’s really invaluable to see how gracious and kind they were to everyone and how un-starry they were. There was none of that going on. They were just really hard working. They cared about the work. It’s just like an absolute dream for a young actor to be involved in that. … That’s where I want to be when I’m their age, and hopefully a young actor will be speaking to a journalist and saying the same thing and I hope that I can take that on now, what I’ve learnt from these amazing men.”

At the time, Iwan told Access that Ian and Derek were intrigued by his “Game of Thrones” work.

“They were just interested because they hadn’t really seen any of it, so they were just quite interested and they were quite interested in finding out what character I was playing, I suppose,” he said.

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As for what Iwan told them about his character, Ramsay Bolton, whose true identity wasn’t revealed until after he filmed “Vicious,” the Welshman focused on the facts.

“I was like, ‘He’s a complete psychopath!’ They were like (puts on posh English accent), ‘Oh dear!’ I think they were quite interested because my character in ‘Vicious’ is completely different,” Iwan said.

“Vicious” premieres July 6 on PBS.

-- Jolie Lash

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