"To always be put on a pedestal as a hunk is slightly demeaning,” laments Kit Harington, 28, who stars as Jon Snow on the award-winning hit TV series, "Game of Thrones." “It really is and it’s in the same way as it is for women. When an actor is seen only for her physical beauty it can be quite offensive,” says the London-born actor.
It’s not often you hear of an actor complaining about being sexually objectified but it seems that the "Game of Thrones" fan base can be rather passionate.
He explains further, “Well, it’s not just men that can be inappropriate sexually; women can be as well. I’m in a successful TV show in a kind of leading man way and it can sometimes feel like your art is being put to one side for your sex appeal. And I don’t like that,” he says.
“In this position you get asked a lot, ‘Do you like being a heart-throb? Do you like being a hunk?’ Well, my answer is, ‘That’s not what I got into it for.”
Be that as it may, his ripped abs, sky-high cheek bones and soulful eyes have no doubt helped him remain gainfully employed. He has been a regular in the wildly popular fantasy drama since it first hit the screen, in 2011.
Has any of Snow’s warrior tendencies rubbed off on him? “Well, I have an inner warrior,” he smiles. “And I’m proud of my inner warrior. He fights for me every day. That’s one of the things I like about myself. I can be quite brave in situations and foolhardy at the same time. Like Jon, just like Jon.”
In what other ways does he resemble Snow?
“I guess the way we’re both black sheep although I don’t feel like I’m an outcast in society like he is, but I share his difficulty in fitting in sometimes. Also, we’re quite private people. I can be just as introverted as Jon. I’m not naturally good at being an extrovert, being showy,” he says. “Although around my friends I can be quite lively.”
We’ll be seeing a lot more of Harington in the near future. While fans eagerly await "Game of Thrones" season 5, which begins airing on April 12, Harington switches gears and leaves his warrior furs behind to star in the upcoming WW1 film, "Testament of Youth," based on the memoir by Vera Brittain.
“I knew the book because I studied it at school. I was very excited to play Roland Leighton. I love the way he wrote those beautiful letters and poems to his loved one. I like doing that myself, and it’s really a lost art,” he says. “Actually, I have that Tom Hanks typewriting app. I love it. There’s no spell check so you really have to think it out,” he laughs. “I like writing in that way. There’s a great romance in writing to people, which is very apparent in 'Testament of Youth.'
“I’m a hopeless romantic, maybe to a fault at times, because it’s gotten me into trouble,” he chuckles. “But I love romance. I think it’s one of the greatest pleasures in life. It’s about giving each other something, it’s giving something away and it should be a most unselfish act. It’s saying, ‘I’ve hired a little cottage somewhere. We’re going away! Surprise!”
Though Harington may wax lyrical on the merits of love and romance, he confirms his romantic status is currently single. His last reported relationship was with his former "Game of Thrones" co-star, Scottish actor Rose Leslie, who played his onscreen lover/nemesis Ygritte. Their on-again, off-again romance ended last year.
“I’m single and I have been for a while. And when I said that I’m a hopeless romantic, I’m trying not only to search for the love of my life, but to learn to be happy with myself and who I am as a person,” he says, candidly.
“Hopefully that lovely lady will come along one day. And although I love romance, I’m trying to live without it at the moment.” (he was also rumored to have been in a relationship with Aussie beauty Emily Browning, with whom he starred in "Pompeii" last year).
And like Jon Snow, Harington has the same weakness when it comes to women. He laughs. “Redheads,” he says, nodding his head. “Love redheads.”
Speaking of hair, I broach the matter of the much-discussed mop of dark curls that are not quite as wild this afternoon at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills as they are in the TV series.
Unsurprisingly, the state of his hair is not one of his favorite subjects.
“Yeah, it irritates me,” he bristles. “People become fascinated by very particular things and I find that really interesting, whether it’s a catchphrase or someone’s hair. He lightens up a bit. “But I love that I seem to have brilliant hair. I suppose it’s a great thing in life, isn’t it?” He laughs. “Especially that I’m terrified of going bald.”