From the experience on the set of Game of Thrones to the viral scene with Pedro Pascal, up to the strongman records and his passion for the gaming world. Our interview with the “Mountain” of Game of Thrones at the Best Movie Comics & Games in Milan.
Actor, former basketball player, businessman, gamer, strongman and so on and so forth. Hafthór Júlíus Björnssonwho became famous for playing “the Mountain” in the HBO series Game of Thrones, has become theman of records: For ten consecutive years he won the title of Iceland’s Strongest Man, as well as excelling in various sports competitions around the world. A giant of over two meters determined and with a tender heart, completely opposite to the character portrayed on stage. Here’s ours interview at the Best Movie Comics & Games in Milan.
Game of Thrones, a baptism of fire
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson’s debut in the world of acting takes place in the fourth season of Game of thrones where he plays the role of “the Mountain”, indestructible guard of Queen Cersei Lannister. And she immediately captures the attention of the spectators.
Can you tell us how you approached the show and how did your first audition go?
I was already a huge fan of the show and the audition happened quite by accident. They sent me this email but it took me days to reply because I thought it was a joke, since I had no experience in the acting world. Eventually the production called me and asked if I could meet CC Smiff, the stunt coordinator of Game of Thrones. They wanted to test my mobility inside the armor and my stage presence. After a few days of rehearsals they told me I was the one for the part.
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The Mountain and Oberyn Martell
One of the most memorable and controversial scenes from Game of thrones sees the Mountain and Oberyn Martell, played by Peter Pascal, collide in a duel to the death. The colossus wins after literally exploding the orbital cavities of the unfortunate Oberyn. A viral scene that has “haunted” the Mexican actor for years as fans asked him to recreate the atrocious death of his character in hundreds of selfies.
Let’s talk about Pedro Pascal, an actor with whom you shared a memorable scene, perhaps one of the bloodiest in the series. Have you become friends? How was your relationship on and off the set?
My professional relationship with Pedro Pascal was very good, he was really a gentleman on set. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see each other often outside of filming because I was busy with my workouts and my diet. To be at your best in physical shape you have to make sacrifices with your social life. But we always had jokes on set and it was hilarious, even after “that” scene.
Usually actors tend to keep some memorabilia from the set. Did you do the same?
I was told I could keep the sword used during filming, but I never received it. Now that you mention it, I should make myself heard (laughs). So no, I didn’t take anything from the set but this should serve as a reminder for the future. When I’m going to act in other movies or TV series, I have to get some memorabilia from the set.
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Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson in WWE?
A few years ago a photo of you and Triple H from WWE circulated on the net. Many have speculated about your debut in the world of wrestling, have you ever thought about it?
I have to be honest with you, I’m not old anymore. Over the years I have performed in various sports competitions, I have practiced boxing and much more. Then came the injury. Unfortunately wrestling is a discipline that requires dedication, patience and many sacrifices. Either you’re 100% into it or you don’t. But I have great respect for them.
But let’s talk about your passion for the gaming world. Why Overwatch?
I decided to open a Twitch profile in 2020, it kept me busy during the first months of the pandemic. I started by uploading videos of my workouts, then I decided to play Overwatch. My favorite character is Reinhardt, not even on purpose a giant with a hammer.
Cosa reservera il futuro per Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson?
At the end of the chat, Hafþór revealed that he wanted to continue with his acting career, also mentioning theexperience on the set of The Northman, but at the same time not to neglect his entrepreneurial commitments in Iceland and in the States. At the moment, his primary objective remains to recover from the injury.