For Glaswegian actor Daniel Portman, best known for his role as the loyal Podrick Payne in Game of Thrones, those in a position of influence have a duty to share their beliefs
Getting to know Game of Thrones actor, Daniel Portman, and his beliefs
Being the son of an actor I understood how the industry worked. But I didn’t want to be an actor when I was young – I wanted to be a footballer, rugby player or rockstar. Then when I was 17 I auditioned for a film and got the job. I fell in love with acting and have been very lucky ever since. I had a bit of an advantage in terms of expectations and I was exposed to scripts, plays and films that kids wouldn’t be watching unless their parents were involved in the industry.
Though it is a fantasy show, Game of Thrones is, at times, very realistic. The politics and the corruption, conniving and backstabbing is reminiscent of our society. The ruthlessness is human in terms of how people react to war and oppression.
I have been playing Podrick for six years. He is so well-liked because he is such a good guy. Pod is selfless and honourable. He sticks out like a sore thumb in amongst the other characters who are all motivated by power and greed, but he’s just a guy who wants to help people. Also he’s a bit clumsy and a bit funny and he trips over a lot – that is very endearing in a show filled with beautiful, powerful, smart and dangerous characters.
I look a lot different from how I do in the show. I’ve got longer hair and a beard so if anybody spots me then they’re usually big, big fans of the show. When I’m in London it happens several times a day now, but people are always nice.
My old man (fellow actor Ron Donachie) and I have a great relationship. My parents are the closest people in the world to me. My dad was also cast in Game of Thrones, but our characters never overlapped. We have different surnames and so they didn’t know we were related when I auditioned.
I’m a true Glaswegian. Of course I think Glasgow is the centre of the universe and the greatest place on earth. However, a close second is the island of Iona. My mum and Gran both went there on holidays as children so my family have been visiting Iona for about 50 or 60 years. It’s probably my favourite place in the whole world, it is paradise.
Anybody with any sort of following has a duty to stand up and start talking about what they believe in. I feel like I’ve been given the chance to do it and I use my Twitter and Instagram to talk about things that are important to me. The great thing about social media is that anyone can express their view or tell a story. We don’t have to rely on biased media sources anymore.
I am a Laphroaig man. I like my peaty Islay whiskies. I drink beer as well, but whisky is my nightcap. My friends and I sometimes meet up and have a whisky night. We’ll drink a few different whiskies and compare them, then usually end up getting quite drunk.
England deserved to win the Six Nations this year. They’ve been playing great rugby for a little while now. But I was impressed with the Scotland team, they are a great side and it’s good we’re now starting to get the results. I hope we can give South Africa and the All Blacks a bit of a run for their money in the next World Cup.
A big part of my heart is still in Scotland. I live in North London now but still try to go up to Glasgow every six weeks or so. I have a lot of friends and family up there. I would like to see Scotland given a chance to become everything it can over the next few years.
Season 7 of Game of Thrones will return to Sky Atlantic on 17 July