hen a nasty shadow monster took the life of Game of Thrones’ beloved Renly Baratheon, gasps were heard across Westeros and in front of millions of screens. Fully recovered from his wounds, Oxford-trained Gethin Anthony now stars in Copenhagen , a coming-of-age tale with tinges of romance, family mystery and forbidden love.
He presents the film on Wednesday at 6 pm at George RR Martin's Jean Cocteau Cinema alongside director Mark Raso. About to hop on a plane to New Mexico, Anthony took time to speak with SFR and from Charles Manson to the Crown Jewels, no stone was left unturned.
How is life after GoT?
Well, really it's wonderful because I get to be part of something that's a bit of a phenomenon now and I was both lucky and privileged to have been a part of it in the first place. I get to watch the latest series as a fan and that's really fun but perhaps have a little more investment than other fans, because they're all my friends up there and I'm loving watching the storyline develop. What happened in the most recent series was just incredible and I was there with everybody screaming my head off.
What's your relationship with GRRM like?
He's just a really wonderfully supportive man. From day one on the show, he was the perfect mix of being involved—you know in a show of his work—and also giving everyone the support that they needed. He was always there to be a kind of cheerleader for us guys and he made all of us feel really loved from the first year. After my contribution to the show, he was very sweet and took me to the Tower of London for a tour of the Crown Jewels.
This is after your character died?
Yeah, exactly. It was just one of those lovely things, like agreeing to screen Copenhagen in his cinema. It shows how much he's invested in people because he cares.
You know he only kills the ones he loves...
[Laughs] I'd really like to believe that. I just see it now as a badge of honor, to have been killed off by George RR Martin. It's good company to be in, let's put it that way.
Talking Copenhagen, how did you channel your character, William?
I got sent the script by a friend who had heard about the project. He said, 'I read this script and I think you'd really connect to the main character.' I started reading the script and was like, 'What does my friend thing of me, Jesus?' Honestly, I think Will is a bit lost, not really knowing how to conduct himself as a man. He's a late 20's guy, so he's kind of in a phase of life where he should be maturing and he doesn't really know how to do it and then he meets a very young person who kind of teaches him how. Will's story is about that, about maturing through the eyes of a much younger person.
Much like Renly, he deals with a forbidden love.
Yeah, absolutely. It's a funny comparison, I hadn't heard that yet but it is quite accurate. His situation is different, there's no secret about it, there's a moral and cultural taboo about it and he has to deal with that. I think temptation is something that anyone can connect to and he's put in the position of real, very serious temptation in the story.
What is your dream role if there is such a thing?
I don't know if you know this or if I'm supposed talk about this, but I'm playing Charles Manson at the moment. I don't know that was ever a dream role, but it's certainly a dream challenge. You know, playing a real person and someone who is as far from a conventional lifestyle as you can get.
I had no clue!
I'm certainly not doing any interviews about the ins and outs of it yet, but it's out there that I'm playing him for a new show on NBC called Aquarius.
So you gotta sit on the make-up chair, get the swastika tattoo and the whole nine yards?
Actually, no. Our story is earlier. I'm playing him as part of a broader story about the late '60s and David David Duchovny is paying the lead in it.
I read in your bio that you are somewhat of an African dance expert. Is this correct?
OK, dude, I gotta get ahold of Wikipedia or something [laughs]. Here's the thing, I'll be as frank as I can with you about this because this shit has come up before: When I was a kid, like when I was 14 in school, I had the privilege of learning for a few classes, from a genuine African dance expert. It was a free thing that the school put on and a bunch of us got to do it. I don't know how this somehow got out and has since been misinterpreted. I mean, I love a good dance like the next guy, but I'm not good at it.
Finally, if Renly could send a message to any other character in the GoT universe, what would it be?
As an actor, I really enjoyed Pedro Pascal's Oberyn Martell performance. I feel like Renly would invite him over for a party. Right now, I think he'd send a message saying thank you to Brienne for being a beautiful, wonderful person because she was one of the only lights of hope in the series still.
For now, right?
Yeah. Well exactly.