Kit Harington Throws Shade? “I Don’t Want to Be Bruce Willis”

Kit Harington – with his journey as Jon Snow coming to an end, as audiences anxiously await the series finale of Game of Thrones – has been playing the upstanding, morally correct, and protective character since 2011.

Kit Harington
Kit Harington |Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Harington is intimately tied to Jon Snow, and grateful for the opportunities the role has presented him, including his work in Gunpowder and The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. However, Harington has explained that he is ready to move on from his iconic character and venture into new and vastly disparate projects.

During an interview with Variety, Harington explained that he yearns to break away from the mold casting directors expect him to fill since he began playing Jon Snow. He told the interviewer, “I have to graft myself out of being a heroic TV actor, and that’s a challenge, and that’s fine,” before continuing on to discuss the direction he would like to see his career go in.

Kit Harington talks more “characterful” roles following ‘Game of Thrones’

During his interview, Kit Harington discussed typecasting inevitabilities and commented on the lengths he will have to go to prove he is capable of darker, more psychologically traumatized, or tumultuous identities. He told the interviewer:

“Right now, I would expect Aaron Taylor-Johnson to be sent a more interesting, darker, more characterful role than I would. I have to get myself to a point where I can prove to people that I can do those.”


Kit Harington explained to Variety that if – throughout the rest of his career – he doesn’t make it to award ceremonies and/or star in big-budget Hollywood blockbusters, he won’t be disappointed. He would be more content following roles that inspire him (regardless of recognition), as he no longer feels the need to chase money and fame. Game of Thrones has likely padded his wallet for the time being.

Kit Harington on the actors he admires and what he doesn’t want for his career post ‘Game of Thrones’

According to Variety, Harington admires the careers of fellow British actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Ben Whishaw, who are both known for successful franchises and more independent, less mainstream work. However, he goes on to state, “I don’t want to be Bruce Willis and be an action hero” before explaining, “but I think those days are sort of done anyway.”

Whether or not “those days are done” is up for debate. Though the amount of successful action heroes has dwindled, they have not been eliminated, for Jason Statham, Nicolas Cage, and Dwayne Johnson still mostly operate in the action sphere. However, fans wonder if Kit Harington is taking a jab at action heroes? Is there something wrong with being Bruce Willis? He seems to be doing just fine career-wise.

While the sentiment is fair game, as Kit Harington years for a more “colorful” portfolio of acting gigs, many feel that drawing upon Willis, specifically, to forge the comparison paints Willis’ career in a negative light and works to diminish the impressive work he has accomplished. Let’s not forget Bruce Willis is a Golden Globe and two-time Emmy winner.

While it’s likely that Harington meant no harm by his statement, the remark does feel like a jab at action heroes. And though many action-centric actors have grown accustomed to these remarks, that doesn’t make them fair game. An actor may merely enjoy action movies; pointing to the actor and stating a version of “I don’t want this” feels like an attack against the successful career Willis has strenuously worked to develop.