Cinema Online met Tom Wlaschiha in Singapore recently and discussed all things "Game of Thrones" with the actor.
A man is No One, is what his "Game of Thrones" character would say, but this man is someone and he has a name too – Tom Wlaschiha. The German actor was recently in Singapore to meet with the media and talk about the HBO series, "Game of Thrones", which he's been a part of since Season 2.
This being his first time in the Southeast Asian country, the actor admitted to Cinema Online during a press interview at The Fullerton Hotel that he was happy to find out the people in Singapore cook spicy food as that is his favourite. Describing tucking into the famous Singaporean Chilli Crab as somewhat of a surgical procedure, the actor voiced his satisfaction of having tried it and various other local food including laksa and chicken rice (with plenty of chilli).
Foodie talk aside, the actor also spoke more about his character in the hit TV series. Read on to find out what he thinks of author George R. R. Martin, how the series changed his life and why he greets fans with "Valar Dohaeris".
Tom Wlaschiha has starred as Jaqen H'ghar in three seasons of "Game of Thrones" so far.
Cinema Online: Why did you decide to join "Game of Thrones"?
When I auditioned for "Game of Thrones", I had no idea what the show was. Because I auditioned for season two and season one hadn't aired yet. It was a good thing because I was really nervous when I did the audition, I just thought it's some American fantasy show with some dragons. I hadn't read the book and I never heard about it, so that was a good thing, I would say. Then when I read the script and the books, I definitely wanted to get involved because both were amazing, the way they were written was so rich and detailed. The characters are very cool.
Did you take any cues from the books in developing your character?
Of course, I took cues from the books and the script. The thing that I immediately liked when I read the books was that he's so mysterious, and that he seems to have secrets and secrets is a good thing because it gets the audience hooked.
Who are your favourite characters from the books?
I have not read all the books, I only read the first two. I like the bad guys. Ramsay Bolton, Joffrey. I thought they were perfect, they were so evil. I really liked that. I always think that bad guys are more fun.
What do you think of George R. R. Martin?
He's a genius. I only met him once at the series premiere of Season 5 in San Francisco. I chatted with him for, like, 10 minutes. Yeah, he's a really funny guy. It's amazing this universe he's created, so rich, so detailed.
Do you meet the rest of the cast often or just Maisie Williams?
All of my scenes are with Arya (Maisie) and in seasons five and six are with Faye Marsay, who plays the Waif. Because the storylines are quite separate, you hardly get to meet the other guys. We do read-throughs at the start of each season. I hardly get to meet the other guys that I'm not in the scenes with. We meet at premieres and read-throughs.
How do you spend your break time with Maisie and how would you describe the dynamic of your characters' relationship on the show?
I tried to teach her German. She now knows what train station is in German. She tried to teach me British accent. That's what we do when we were sitting in this little green room, this tent thing, whenever they set up a new shot.
Throughout her journey, Arya has had different teacher characters and they have all been very important to her, to make her into what she is now. I found it very interesting that at the end of Season 2 when my face changed, I got a lot of reaction from fans saying "oh no, why did you change your face", I said "it wasn't up to me, it depends on the script" [Laughs]. "We want you to come back". And then when I came back in season 5 and my method has changed and I was beating her with the stick, the same fans said to me "how dare you! I hate you! I wish you'd never come back!"..."Guys, she deserves it, she didn't do what I wanted so..." It's a rough method at the House of Black and White. But in the end, it was successful. She's quite an important player now and she can change her face.
Does that mean you already what's going to happen throughout the season?
Before every season starts filming, we get all the scripts. So we know what's going on. It's also important because you need to know, as an actor, how your storyline relates to what else is going on.
Who do you think will in the end sit on the iron throne?
Well, my personal theory is that in the end, maybe no one will sit on the iron throne.
Tom Wlaschiha on Season 8: "A man knows nothing".
What are your favourite scenes from the series?
One of my favourite scenes is the last scene in Season 2, the first time I changed my face. That was fun to do because we had to do a little choreography, me and the other guy who I changed into, we had to do the exact same movement, we've got the same wig on. They CGI'ed it...hmm, I don't really know when it comes to technology, I have no idea what I'm talking about, but they did some magic and it looked like I changed my face, so that was good fun.
I also like the last scene of Season 5 when I offered Arya the poison, I drank it myself and I dropped dead and I came back to life. Who doesn't want that? [Laughs].
Where were your scenes mostly shot at?
Most of my scenes were interior, it was mostly in the studio in Belfast. I had a couple of days in Croatia, that was the exterior of the house of Black and White. And then I had a couple of days in Spain for a street scene.
How has your life changed after joining "Game of Thrones"?
To be able to work in a series like this is a gift to any actor because it's a worldwide phenomenon. People knowing my face, my name, of course my professional life has changed quite a bit since "Game of Thrones" and I'm very grateful for that. I'm being offered many other parts just because this show's such a worldwide phenomenon. It's made my name and face somewhat more known.
Why do you think "Game of Thrones" is such a success worldwide?
I think one of the reasons why "Game of Thrones" work that well is because it works on a human level. All the characters are human in essence and they have human problems, even though some of them can change their faces and fly on dragons, but it's human stories and that's what's appealing. This is how I look at any script, the genre doesn't matter that much, it's more the character.
Did you get recognised while walking around in Singapore?
I did get recognised a few times by people walking past. My hairdo is different but I still get recognised.
What has been your most interesting fan interaction, anywhere in the world?
People come up to me on the street and speak to me in third person all the time. I get a lot of "Valar Morghulis", to which I reply "Valar Dohaeris", makes people happy.
Are you going to be in Season 8?
That's a very good question. Hmm, a man knows nothing. That's my standard reply to any spoilers that you might want to get out of me.
"Game of Thrones" is available on HBO On Demand (via Astro GO)
Cinema Online, 02 January 2018