You know him, you love him, you probably associate him with Game of Thrones—but actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau also has a rich roster of film roles under his belt, including 2013's 1,000 Times Goodnight, which screens at the Jean Cocteau Cinema (7 pm Friday Jan. 17. $15. 418 Montezuma Ave., 466-5528) this week. Coster-Waldau plays the husband of a war zone photojournalist (Juliette Binoche) grappling with the aftermath of a terrible accident. Coster-Waldau also appears at the Albuquerque Comic Con this week, as well as the Jean Cocteau for the screening, which is followed by a Q&A with the actor (thanks, cinema owner George RR Martin!), so we lobbed some of our own Qs his way. (Alex De Vore)
Just to get it out of the way (sorry), and because people will want to know, how has the post-Game of Thrones world been for you? Are you feeling relief and are you excited to start getting into other kinds of roles?
The world seems pretty much the same as it did before. Thrones was a great ride and I am immensely grateful for the experiences and for the opportunities the show has given me. But at the end of the day, it was a job—albeit one that lasted from when we shot the pilot almost 10 years. Because of the nature of GoT most seasons, except the last two, you would work four months a year, so there was time to do other work. One of which the film 1,000 Times Goodnight that I shot just after wrapping season 4, I think. I also shot the movie Shot Caller here in Santa Fe and New Mexico after season 6, and 10 other films over the years.
I appreciate and am proud of the fact that GoT always will be part of my story, and grateful to the many people who have followed and supported the show, some of which I look forward to meeting in Albuquerque Saturday at the Comic Con there. When your job is to tell stories, it is a lot more fun when there is an audience. And with GoT, it ended up being the whole world. I think it's safe to say I won't be involved with a phenomena like that again.
Do you think the 1,000 Times Goodnight's themes and messaging are just as relevant and important as when it first released, especially taking into
consideration today's political climate?
Absolutely. A free press is more important than ever. And it's under attack. If we don't have an independent press to tell the stories about the people in power and the consequences of their decisions, our democracy won't work. If we can't trust the press, then how the hell are we gonna know who to elect? We need journalists that ask the tough questions and we need photojournalists to show us what the world outside our own little picket fence looks like. Juliette Binoche's character in the film is a photographer who documents the most dire of consequences regular people suffer when those leaders don't do their jobs. The movie, though, is really more about [how] her dedication to that job affects her family. I look forward to sharing that film at George's cinema.
Given that you've done some of these massive CGI kind of projects
as well as the more intimate ones like 1,000 Times Goodnight, do you
find yourself preferring one over the other, or do each have their
They both have their place. CGI is an amazing tool that is being used in most films one way or the other. I love watching massive spectacles in the cinema, but as an actor, character-driven stories are what I find myself attracted to these days. GoT combined those two worlds, and I think that's one of the secrets to its success. Doing the show I never felt the CGI got in the way of the characters.