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Friday, March 31, 2023

Why Joffrey Actor Jack Gleeson Took Break From Acting

Many Game of Thrones characters have become iconic, and Jack Gleeson’s Joffrey Baratheon is at the top of that list. Gleeson’s portrayal of the petulant king earned him widespread acclaim, but he’s recently revealed that the role was more draining than fans might have thought.

Game of Thrones was arguably a master at portraying some truly heinous villains. While the series reveled in gray morality most of the time – even Kit Harington’s Jon Snow had some morally ambiguous moments – there were a few truly irredeemable characters. King Joffrey was one of these characters; uncaring for the plight of others, while also being incredibly cruel and power-hungry, yet sniveling at the same time, the character was practically designed to be one that audiences love to hate.


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While giving a speech to a class at University College Dublin (via Unilad), Gleeson revealed that the role made him reconsider whether acting was his calling. “It really come down to just not deriving as much enjoyment as I did from acting as I used to,” Gleeson said. “For some reason, I don’t know it became a bit kind of mechanical and less kind of passionate when I started Game of Thrones.” Gleeson also noted that he had no problem with the show’s production, “I don’t think it’s got anything to do with the way they film it. I think when it became less of a recreation and more of a profession, it kind of put more pressure on the acting itself and made it a tiny bit less enjoyable.”

Game of Thrones, Joffrey Baratheon

Fans have sometimes blamed the series for Gleeson’s move away from the spotlight. Following a disappointing Game of Thrones season 8, fans have found numerous issues with the production, but it doesn’t seem like Gleeson had an issue with the show for that reason. Instead, it looks like Gleeson simply lost his passion for acting. Though he had been acting since he was a child, Game of Thrones was Gleeson’s biggest role, and Gleeson likely faced a new set of pressures that he had not before.

Gleeson’s performance was a masterful one, particularly since the character of Joffrey could have become over-the-top in the wrong hands. Joffrey’s claim to the Iron Throne was tenuous because his father was publicly Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) despite being a product of the incestuous union between Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and her brother Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Many other characters, therefore, had a better claim, though Joffrey ended up outlasting many of them. He was so cruel that fans celebrated during his death in Game of Thrones season 4. However, Gleeson is quite friendly and intelligent by all accounts. Unfortunately, fans seem to confuse character and actor all too often.

In an inverse of the Red Wedding, fans captured their jubilant reactions to Gleeson’s exit from the series. Unfortunately, some of these fans reportedly harass Gleeson thanks to his connection with the character. It’s been speculated that this is one reason Gleeson chose to step away from the spotlight (though he has not said so), which would be unfortunate. Still, Gleeson seems happy with his decision, and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

Game of Thrones is available on HBO Max.

MORE: Game Of Thrones: 5 Intriguing Book Characters Who Never Made It To The Show

Source: Unilad

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