‘Game of Thrones’: Kit Harington Isn’t Happy With Most of His Scenes

You could look at all the greatest method actors of all time as setting a precedent most actors could never live up to again. All the greats from the late Marlon Brando to Meryl Streep have demanded perfection in their acting parts and usually felt they could never live up to their personal standards.

British actors frequently live up to those standards more than modern American actors do. One you maybe didn’t expect was like this is Kit Harington from Game of Thrones.

As popular as his role of Jon Snow is, Harington recently made claims he’s never satisfied with many of his scenes. Is he right, or just an obsessive method actor?

Trying to properly portray the ever-complex Jon Snow

Evidence of how critical Harington is of his acting comes from a recent and very insightful interview he did for Variety. The interview was done as a sort of swan-song to Game of Thrones as it begins its final season this April. In the piece, we learn Harington always found it daunting playing Snow because of the symbolism he brings as the show’s moral center.

One other thing he reveals in the interview is he watches each episode of GoT by himself so he can study his acting technique. He says he thinks he’s only gotten things right 70% of the time and wishes he could do another take on all other scenes.

While it may sound like a typical artist criticizing their own work, keep in mind the director of GoT has praised Harington’s acting as being “tremendous.”

Is Harington right about his acting, or is he just modest?

To any non-actor, it’s clear he’s put in more than anyone would expect an actor to do in making Jon Snow one of the most complex characters in TV history.

For Harington, it seems his view on his performance has evolved over time. Back in 2015, he was noted for saying the acting on GoT didn’t feel like work. Because each season has become more complex, you can see how an actor like him would start to feel like they’re climbing a mountain in doing their character justice.

More likely, Harington felt self-critical due to the higher expectations fans expected each season. Also, with the work schedule being more than a little exhausting, it’s possible Harington did slip up on his acting from being tired. This would have been only noticeable to him rather than any average viewer.

Having this mindset on acting, though, could prove a complicated one when working on future projects.

Will Harington’s expectation of perfection be detrimental in the future?

We find it refreshing to see an actor bring complete commitment to a role, something becoming less of a standard artistic choice. Even the great method actor Robert De Niro has arguably become a little lazier in acting approach, which is understandable based on how much energy it takes.

One thing unique about Harington is GoT was his first acting gig at age 24. Working on this show has been his life for the last eight years. Movies have been sort of sporadic since 2012, but gave him a preview of what he might do later in film.

Setting overly high expectations for yourself as an actor after being in GoT might lead to disappointment if he faces the problem of typecasting. Then again, with Harington already changing his appearance once filming ended, he might be able to reset his persona.

Let’s hope he can land Oscar-winning roles

Kit Harington
Kit Harington | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Other than the recently released How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Harington doesn’t seem to have anything lined up immediately as a GoT follow-up.

Typecasting is one concern, yet we have no doubts he’ll be able to transition. Being British and having formal acting training means we’ll likely see Harington in something distinguished down the road.

If it’s a role where nobody recognizes him, the movie industry may finally realize he’s a chameleon along with being very method in his acting.