Kit gets him­self fight­ing fit

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - CARIS BIZZACA

IN his lat­est film, Kit Har­ing­ton swaps the snow of Game of Thrones for the lavathreat­ened streets of Pom­peii. The role re­quired him to beef up sub­stan­tially to play a 79AD glad­i­a­tor and in­volved a re­stricted diet and an in­tense four­week boot camp.

“I got re­ally into the whole work­ing- out thing in this and ended up look­ing a bit like that,” he said, wav­ing to his ab- tas­tic Pom­peii poster shot.

“It was great fun, but when it fin­ished I wanted to go and eat quite a lot.”

His food of choice af­ter eat­ing just 1800 calo­ries a day? “Pizza, it was pizza and a burger.”

Al­though Pom­peii is Har­ing­ton’s first ma­jor star­ring movie role, he said it wasn’t daunt­ing to step out of the Game of Thrones en­sem­ble. In fact, it felt like a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion. “One of the rea­sons I wanted to do Pom­peii was it was a leading role in a great, big ac­tion movie and I was step­ping into ter­ri­tory I al­ready kind of knew,” he said.

In Pom­peii, Har­ing­ton plays Milo, a glad­i­a­tor with noth­ing to lose, un­til he meets Cas­sia ( Aussie Emily Brown­ing), who’s set to marry a cor­rupt Ro­man se­na­tor ( Kiefer Suther­land).

He says Milo has some sim­i­lar­i­ties to Jon Snow, in that they’re both out­casts.

“[ But] I think Milo, he’s given up re­ally. All he wants to do is kill people ... he’s driven by rage and blood­lust,” he said.

“Jon’s very dif­fer­ent from that. Jon’s driven by duty and hon­our and he’s grown up in a cas­tle as a noble­man.”

Be­fore shoot­ing on Pom­peii be­gan in Toronto, the film­mak­ers set about de­sign­ing and metic­u­lously cre­at­ing ac­cu­rate sets in­clud­ing an op­u­lent villa, the Pom­peii streets, the am­phithe­atre and the fo­rum.

“It’s one of the great things you get to do be­ing an ac­tor,” Har­ing­ton says.

“You’re one of those few people who can step onto a gen­uine Pom­peii street in 79AD dressed as a glad­i­a­tor. It’s fab­u­lous.”

He said much of the film, from how the vol­cano ex­ploded to Pom­pei­ian so­ci­ety (“it was kind of a Las Ve­gas of its time”) is as real­is­tic as pos­si­ble.

Di­rec­tor Paul W S An­der­son wanted the movie to be so real­is­tic that he ac­tu­ally sent clouds of sim­u­lated smoke, dust, fire and de­bris over the ac­tors dur­ing film­ing.

Har­ing­ton said it was hard to hold those surly Jon Snow looks with ash all around him.

“There were so many out­takes where you would be try­ing to look stern and cool and look­ing like a glad­i­a­tor, and a piece of ash would fly down your throat and you’d start cough­ing ... re­ally hor­rid stuff,” he said.

“If my ex­pe­ri­ence of film­ing is any­thing, then noth­ing is com­fort­able ... Maybe a Hawai­ian ro­man­tic com­edy might be one day.” POM­PEII Opens in Vil­lage Cin­e­mas on March 20

BEEFED UP: Kit Har­ing­ton put on plenty of mus­cle for his star­ring role in Pom­peii.

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