ON TOP OF HIS GAME
compared to his excitement over what is coming his way next – not least starting a family with his actress wife.
After falling for each other in 2012 while playing out Jon Snow’s steamy romance with her character Ygritte, Harington and Leslie ( below) fi nally tied the knot in June last year. private joy. “I met my wife in this show so, hopefully, it gave me my future family and my life from here on in,” he says. “It has changed my life completely. You could not ask for a better job than to be an actor in It’s been the most amazing thing.”
Fans of the acclaimed HBO series embraced Harington’s character arguably more so than any other – reacting mutinously when he appeared to be killed off in season five.
Playing the bad guy may often offer actors richer material to work with, but Harington was grateful Jon Snow was on the right side of the narrative history.
“He’s pretty much one of the only good guys in the story and that’s a nice thing to play,” he says.
“There’s a lot of other people like Iwan (Rheon), who plays Ramsay Bolton, who just gets abuse in the street; or Jack Gleeson, who played Joffrey, who still gets abuse because people can’t detach them from the character. I get a lot of love because a lot of people seem to root for Jon.”
Harington was 22 and “pretty much fresh out of drama school” when cast in the role that has consumed his twenties and changed his life. Back then, he admits, he had no idea it would become the cultural phenomenon it is now – especially looking back on the pilot episode.
“I didn’t know what I was doing! I was like, ‘ Oh this is fun, I’m in a TV show!’ I had no idea it was going to be so big, or even a success,” he says. “Apparently the pilot was a disaster. I still haven’t seen it. They blackmail me every now and then, threatening that they will release bits on YouTube. Apparently it was terrible and I had an awful wig.”
Fast forward to season eight and Jon Snow looms as an audience favourite to steal power and take the Iron Throne. Not that he can hint either way, even rebuffi ng his family and friends’ attempts to tease clues out of him.
“No! [Rose], my friends and I all have an understanding now,” he says. “It goes, ‘ You don’t really want to know.’ A lot of people try and trip you up. They’ll go, ‘ So you sit on the throne, right?’ and you’re like, ‘ No, no, no. I’m not going anywhere near that question!’”