Peter Dinklage may be best known as fan favorite Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones, but he has achieved so much more than that. With his charismatic screen presence and distinctively sonorous voice, he has gained a large following and it’s not difficult to see why. An extremely private man, he prefers to stay away from social media, though his Instagram fan account has an incredible 5 million followers, which is testament to his popularity.
Moreover, individuals with dwarfism are a shamefully underrepresented group in the acting world, often given comic roles at their expense (such as Austin Powers’ Verne Troyer, who met a tragic end). But through his turn as Tyrion Lannister, and subsequent movie roles such as his performance in the Oscar-winning Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Dinklage has done immeasurable good for dwarfism representation and refuses to be stereotyped. With GOT having ended, we’re eager to see him back on our screens. In the meantime, let’s get to know him better with these 10 lesser known facts.
10 No One Knows His Kids’ Names
Dinklage can often be seen pushing his adorable daughter in a stroller, but her name remains a mystery. Since 2005, he has been married to theater director Eric Schmidt and they have a second child, born in 2017, whose name and gender both remain unknown. Celebrity kids are often the focus of unwanted paparazzi attention, so shielding his children from the limelight seems like the sensible thing to do.
9 He Urged ‘Game Of Thrones’ Fans To Stop Buying Huskies
Game of Thrones features many Siberian Huskies and Arctic Wolves depicting “direwolves”. As a result, fans were keen to buy the animals as pets. But Dinklage warned them against it: “Not only does this hurt all the deserving homeless dogs waiting for a chance at a good home in shelters, but shelters are also reporting that many of these huskies are being abandoned – as often happens when dogs are bought on impulse, without understanding their needs”, he said in a statement for PETA.
8 He Was In A Punk Band
Clearly, Dinklage is a multitalented man. In addition to being a well respected actor, he fronted a punk band called Whizzy in the early ’90s. Their songs were abrasive and angry, but also had melodic elements. “I was pretty angry back then”, Dinklage said of the experience.
7 These Are His 5 Favorite Movies
In 2017, he shared his 5 favorite movies with Rotten Tomatoes. He exhibited his penchant for comedies, choosing the darkly comic Dr. Strangelove and Withnail and I, as well as the acerbic Marx Brothers classic, Duck Soup.
Additionally, he listed arthouse movies Paris, Texas and Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria among his eclectic favorites.
6 He Is A Vegetarian
An animal lover, Dinklage has been vegetarian since the age of 16. In 2014, he created a video for PETA, encouraging people to try out vegetarianism and listing its benefits. “It’s funny that children, some of their first words are animal names and we have so many books about animals. They really associate with them… To open them up to the dark side of that stuff is pretty terrible,” he said.
5 Before ‘GOT’, He Mostly Acted In Indie Movies
Many indie movie fans will have recognized Dinklage long before his turn as Tyrion Lannister. He has appeared in many acclaimed indie films, such as Living in Oblivion (1995) alongside Steve Buscemi and Tom McCarthy’s The Station Agent (2003) in which his love interest was Michelle Williams.
4 He Is Close Friends With Co-Star Lena Headey
It’s always pleasing when co-stars are close in real life. Dinklage and Lena Headey are no exception. The pair played siblings in Game of Thrones and share a special bond away from the camera.
They actually met before the immensely popular show, when they both starred in the indie movie Pete Smalls is Dead back in 2010. They have been friends ever since.
3 Before Finding Fame, He Lived In A Rat-Infested Apartment
A not so pleasant fact about the much loved actor is that he used to live in squalor, which is sadly a common story among aspiring young actors. Dinklage and a college friend rented a grim apartment in New York. According to Looper, the rats frequently hung out in the kitchen and the oven in particular. Ick. We’re just glad that the actor got away from that unhygienic environment and has enjoyed a prosperous career.ADVERTISEMENT
2 He Has Long Been Interested In The Life Of ‘Fantasy Island’ Star Hervé Villechaize
In 2018, Dinklage starred in HBO drama My Dinner with Hervé, in which he played French actor Hervé Villechaize. He has long been interested in the actor, who is best known for his catchphrase “Ze plane! Ze plane!” on Fantasy Island. But Dinklage sought to show the world that the talented actor was so much more than a mere catchphrase and exquisitely captured the poignancy of his personal life in the acclaimed drama.
1 He Used His Platform To Raise Awareness Of Prejudice
Dinklage was born with achondroplasia, a common form of dwarfism. When accepting the accolade for Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes in 2012, he used his platform to speak out on a topic close to his heart. As he came to the end of his speech, he added one important note before exiting the stage: “I want to mention a gentleman I’ve been thinking about, in England. His name is Martin Henderson. Google him.”
Henderson was a man with dwarfism who was brutally attacked in the UK, resulting in him needing to use mobility aids. After Dinklage’s speech, Henderson’s name began trending on Twitter, so we applaud him for raising awareness of a story that may otherwise have gone unreported.