Believe it or not, Game of Thrones star Jack Gleeson hasn't had a bad in-person experience with a fan. It was certainly a shock to many attending his panel at the Game of Thrones Convention Friday afternoon.
During a Q&A with host Jason Concepcion at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Gleeson, now 30, mentioned, "Thankfully, I've never had any negative fan experiences or anything.... There's still a chance, if anybody wants to throw a punch."
Gleeson is known by Game of Thrones fans as the actor behind Joffrey Baratheon, one of the most hated villains in television history. Actors have in the past dealt with fans who have trouble distinguishing characters from the people who play them on screen. Gleeson's castmate Dean-Charles Chapman (Tommen Baratheon) is among them, previously sharing that a fan once commented on wanting to punch him in the face. But the guy who played Joffrey? Not so, the man himself swears.
Gleeson chalks it up to a "rumor" that's been spread about him for years. "A lot of people come up to me because I guess this rumor started that people were horrible to me on the street or I get attacked… whereas I've never had one negative experience," he said on stage. "I feel like people are extra nice to me because they think people attack me, so maybe I should keep the rumor going."
The only negative of playing Joffrey that Gleeson could think of during the panel was fans accosting him in public when he's hanging with friends. "While I was filming Game of Thrones, I was also in university in Dublin and even though since I was a kid all I wanted to be was a celebrity, when I became famous, I then realized… whenever I go to a pub all of my friends then just have to become photographers because people give them their phone and then their night is ruined," he recalled.
But "every interaction was perfectly lovely and perfectly nice," he reiterated.
Helen Sloan/HBO Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon on 'Game of Thrones'
Of the quotable Joffrey scenes fans bring up to him the most, Gleeson mentioned lines like, "I'm not tired!", "Kneel before your king," and "Bring me his head."
Gleeson even enjoys the Joffrey memes. He made mention of the GIFs (which, for whoever's keeping score, he pronounces "gif" and not "jif") of Joffrey's Purple Wedding poisoning, or the one where Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) slaps him across the face.
"I like memes as much as the next guy," he said, adding, "I'm into it. I love it. It's just fun."
It was a wild feeling for Gleeson to reflect on his time on Game of Thrones, which came to an end in season 4. "It's funny because it still is such a large part of my life, but it's strange to think that 2014 was the last year I appeared in the show. It's eight years, almost nine years ago," he said, then joking, "I feel like an old man now. Old and wise."
He also revealed that he still hasn't watched Game of Thrones. When an audience member asked for his thoughts on how the show ended during the Q&A portion of the panel, the actor replied, "I never actually watched it and that's an honest thing."
At first he didn't watch Game of Thrones because he didn't like to watch himself on screen. Then he continued not to watch it because, as he put it, "There was something about it where I was just like, 'No, I'll just leave it.'"
Gleeson does know that his friends "were mostly disappointed" by the Game of Thrones final season. "Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but I don't have on personally," he said. "That's not a political answer. I just didn't watch it."
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