He may have been the most lovingly hated character in the hit HBO drama’s history, but former Game of Thrones actor Jack Gleeson has somewhat divorced himself from the series and its stories since his on-screen death.
At The Daily Beast, the once King Joffrey (while talking up a new family-oriented puppet show) reflected on his time in Westeros and admitted that he no longer watches the ratings juggernaut and its internet exploding exploration of sexual violence.
“It’s a tricky thing when you are representing misogyny in that way because I wouldn’t say the show ever implicitly condones misogyny or any kind of violence towards women. But, perhaps, it’s still unfair or unjust to represent it even if the gloss on the representation is a negative one,” the actor mused of both his own characters violence towards women and more recent storylines involving the rape of Sansa Stark.
“Obviously as a 23-year-old man, I can never put myself into the mindset of a woman who has been sexually assaulted, but I think that sometimes you have to represent awful things happening onscreen even if they’re for entertainment because you have to expose the brutality of them, because the chances are you’re not going to see that anywhere,” he added. “So there’s a chance it engages some kind of empathy but it is a gray area. It might be very traumatic and stressful to watch those scenes…I think it’s always how you represent that kind of treatment: Are you in some way making it cool, or are you making it into an entertainment product, and is that wrong? Or are you doing it in order to expose the problem of sexual assault?”
Gleeson went on to say that he has not kept up with the show because it’s hard for him to suspend his disbelief on a series that he was a part of, so he has not seen the highly debated Sansa scene from this past season. And he was additionally unable to play along with theorizing on the fate of Jon Snow — the series’ less controversial point of recent debate.
“I remember speaking to [Kit Harington] maybe about a year ago, after I finished, and they were re-signing contracts and I kind of asked him offhand how many years was the contract for, and he was like: ‘I can’t tell you,'” Gleeson noted. “I was instantly exited from the group of secrecy so I’m in the dark just as much as everyone else.”
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