There are no real villains in this world, only heroes extinguished in society. This signifies the inherent goodness in each one of us, however bad our circumstances and experiences may have molded us. And it’s interesting to look at a Villain. To know, what goes into her/his making as the bad guy/gal. Whether it’s theJoker,Lord VoldemortorJack TorrancefromThe Shining, there’s always a mystery around the villainsthat one wants to know more.
Game of Throneshas had its fill of characters who want to inflict pain. Most characters operate in a self-designed net of morality, but some of them seem to keep that net safely hidden from the world.EuronGreyjoyis one of them. One never knows what goes inside him or what he might do next. And he has made a lasting impression in the last two seasons.
PilouAsbæk, who plays Euron, recently talked toSYFY WIREabout his recent roles as Villains and Game of Thrones.
Discussing what was it like bringing his Game of Thrones-run to a close, he says,“I came on board in Season 6, so I had two seasons, mostly. LikeStanislavski, the father of all theater, said, “There are no small roles, only small actors.” It doesn’t matter the size of a character, it matters how you do it. And you can see in Season 7, [Euron’s] impact. There are three or four scenes, but I’m driving them. I love him. I got some great scenes next season as well.”
The Danish actor playsDr.Wafner, aNaziofficer in his new filmOverlordbyBad Robot Productions. His role as another villain has managed to surprise the audiences. He credits this to his discussion with the director,Julius Averyabout doing every scene exactly opposite of how it seems on paper.
“I told Julius, “The reason why we need to do it is, it’s going to be even more of a cliché. So, we need to work with the cliché. We need to make the cliché our strength.” There’s a reason why a cliché is a cliché, there’s some truth to it, we had to turn it upside down. We had to make him charming and fun, not like [Euron] in Game of Thrones.”
He insists that Wafner andEuronare unlike each other.“It’s two very different characters. The only reason why anyone would want to compare them is because they’re both evil. How f**king superficial is that? They’re bothmale. Okay, please, come on!”
The actor has been playing bad guys of late. Is there more?“I don’t want to be caught in the same roles. I want to change it. But this is not my home court. That’s Denmark.
So, whenever I want to do a hero, I go home and I do my drama. And what I take from the Danish cinema is that I act everything for real. No matter what kind of film I’m doing, no matter how silly it might be, I take the premise for real. And I try to do it as three-dimensional as possible.”
He furthers his approach to playing a dangerous character,“It’s all about collaboration. I always say this when I do the “villains,” to put it so superficially, but I have a discussion with the main cast and the director, and I say, “This is a team effort. No one is better than the weakest link. You are the lead in this film, therefore my job is to make you shine.
For me to make you shine, I need a character who is not a f**king idiot. Because the stronger the ‘villain’ is, the stronger you will be.” There’s nothing worse than one-dimensional villains. If you can have a villain that is a mirror, if you can have the antagonist being a mirror of the protagonist, that is even stronger.”
Through the film, Wafner changes mentally as well as physically.Piloutalked about his approach to changing himself.“My background is four years of theater at theNational Prop School of Denmark Copenhagen. One of the courses, we had to build your own mask, where you would sit and create a guy, and with that mask, you would do a Commediadell’arte. You don’t have that tradition in American films. You really don’t work with those things.”
He also had help fromAndy Serkis, the motion capture acting giant fromThe Lord of The Rings,Planet of the ApesandThe Last Jedi.
“He was like, “OkayPilou, what is it you want?” And I was like, “Andy, I’ve never done this kind of transformation, and you did all these incredible films.” He was like, “It’s all about decisions. The more decisions you make, the more freedom you’re going to have.”
His recent roles in films and television have had an impact. He says,“Ghost in a Shellchanged a lot of things, and so did Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones is so massive. I was inChile, and I got pulled over in security. It was like, “Holy s**t!” I felt like a criminal, I hadn’t done anything, but I felt like a criminal.
And then they just said, “We love you in Game of Thrones. Can we have a photo with you?” They closed the whole border! No one came into the Chile airport for 10 minutes while I was taking photos. [Laughs] It just tells you, it travels everywhere. Game of Thrones is the biggest show on Earth. Probably the biggest show there’s ever been.”
He admits to being one of the big fans of Game of Thrones, seeing all of it till the moment he joined. And after that?“The moment I became a part of it, I have not seen one second since.”
On his plans to watch it all when it ends,“Maybe I’m going to be one of those selfish actors that’s just going to watch my own scenes because I’m too lazy,”he laughed.
Here’s another video where Julius Avery and Pilou Asbæk discuss Overlord, Villains, and Bad Robot. The film premiered at the Fantastic Fest in September and releases in theUnited States on November 9, 2018.
Euron is currently believed to be sailing toEssosto ferry theGolden Company, a mercenary army, for Cersei Lannister. We hope for a chilly return. What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments.