With 30 years in the business, Conleth Hill’s career, well, “Varys,” but how much it changes may be surprising.
The actor told The Huffington Post that with the exception of “Game of Thrones,” he generally doesn’t play the same character multiple times. He switches things up. In fact, Hill said that the only similarity between the mysterious eunuch he plays on the HBO show and the troubled author he portrays in his new thriller, “A Patch of Fog,” is that, you know, he’s both of them. In addition to those roles, Hill is currently in rehearsals for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in the West End.
Like on “Game of Thrones,” Varys is just a busy guy.
Hill’s character on the HBO show has been known as the Master of Whisperers, so while chatting with the actor about his new projects, we asked about some real-life whispers, too. It may surprise some that Hill confirmed he already made a bid to sit on the Iron Throne as another character.
One time, I saw you dispelled that you were once a married fisherman before becoming an actor.
They took it from the Wikipedia entry, which I didn’t do. I don’t really go, apart from reading The Huffington Post, near the internet, but someone had filled in my Wikipedia with lots of mysterious details, which I have to say I found amusing.
There are other rumors, too.
Don’t believe anything you read.
One says you almost didn’t play your character, Sandy Duffy, in “A Patch of Fog.”
Thankfully, fortuitously, the guy who was gonna play him dropped out. I think before principal photography started, so I didn’t have much time to prepare, but I’m dealing with a great script, and everything I needed was on there.
Another rumor says you originally tried out for King Robert Baratheon on “Game of Thrones.”
It is true, to be honest, but I have to say that I came out of the meeting, which went all right, and looked who was in after me, saw who it was, and went, “Well, he’d be all right for it,” and he was, and he got it. You know, that’s showbiz.
(Robert Baratheon was portrayed on “Game of Thrones” by actor Mark Addy.)
So then you had to read for Varys, too?
I read for it, parts of the dungeon scene with Ned and the chest scene where he explains how he was made from sort of a slave to the security of Westeros, and I think once I had already accepted the part, they said, “How do you feel about shaving your head?”
How is it finally getting to keep your hair in “A Patch of Fog”?
It’s seasonal. I cut it out and then it grows back. A bit colder this year because it’s a little bit later, filming well into the winter, but it’s just what I looked like before.
At the heart of your movie is this obsessed fan interacting with his idol, and there are some awkward selfies. What’s been the weirdest fan experience you’ve had so far?
I’ve been very lucky. Most “Game of Thrones” fans are well-mannered and courteous. I have no trouble taking photos with people if they want it. I think the weirdest one was someone came running toward me with their hand in my crotch area, saying, “I wanted to see if something’s really there.”
What? Really? That’s pretty crazy.
They didn’t make contact, so it was OK. Yeah, like I’d be that method.
“A Patch of Fog” is on VOD and iTunes Jan. 24.