IWAN RHEON: THE RAMPANT RAMSAY
Words MICHELLE GANNEY
He plays one of the most terrifying characters on TV. He stabbed his own father in the heart, he fed his baby brother to the wolves and he raped his wife. If that wasn’t quite enough, he then forced his hostage/slave to watch him while raping his wife. I mean, it’s safe to say he’s kind of the worst.
So where do you begin in talking to a man who plays such a character? Well, it turns out Iwan Rheon, who play the infamous Ramsay Bolton on HBO’s Game Of Thrones, is a very down to earth and normal guy. Who would have thought!
I have to say, I was very excited to be speaking with someone who is genuinely known as the most hated character on TV. No? Okay, it might be a tie between him and that little tyrant Joffrey Baratheon (ehem Lannister).
When speaking to Iwan the most endearing thing about him was his humility and his ability to laugh at himself and his crazed character. The 31-year-old actor recently teamed up with Red Nose Day to perform a funny skit alongside some fellow TV villains, including Danny Trejo and Steve Buscemi. “Yeah yeah, it was really good fun. It’s always nice to do things like that.”
Iwan joined the two men for a hilarious musical number as they tried to sing their way into the hearts of the people. Iwan really showed off his musical prowess for the clip as he sang;
“The only thing that’s tough about me is my luck,
People think I’m scary,
But I’m gentle as a baby duck,
I’m not really mean,
I just happen to look that way,
Why can’t I be a part of Red Nose Day…”
Trust me it’s funnier if you watch it, so just YouTube it after reading this.
Game of Thrones has an intense and global following, so it’s no surprise that he gets recognized on a regular basis. Speaking about the attention he receives, Iwan commented, “When the show is on TV yeah you get a lot of attention, unfortunately! I don’t mind it. Generally people are good but sometimes people can be really weird and especially if you’re having a bad day or you’re on the tube and you’re just trying to keep a low profile and they just out you in front of everyone, it’s a pain in the arse!” But overall, the Welsh-born actor is happy with the show’s dedicated fan base. “It’s great that the show’s got such a huge following.”
There has been a lot of chatter recently with regards to Ramsay’s fate on the show. He recently appeared on a British talk show and revealed that his character certainly deserves to die. And of course I had to ask him specifically how he’d like to go. “Being a Welsh man I like dragons. I just thought that, yeah that would be a cool way to go. I think you know it would be pretty epic. Might as well get all three involved [dragons], yeah [laughing]. Yeah I think all three.” With the ninth and penultimate episode of Season 6 being named Battle Of The Bastards, Ramsay may finally get what’s coming to him…we’ll see.
Despite playing a sadistic psychopath on the show and being responsible for numerous gruesome murders, apparently Iwan is just like us – he wants George RR Martin to stop killing off our favourite characters! “Yeah I have a lot of them [favourite characters] but they keep killing them! I used to be a big fan of Robb [Stark]. He was great. And Tyrion [Lannister] of course, he’s a brilliant character, so wonderfully played by Peter [Dinklage]. Great, great part, great character.”
Iwan and I bonded over our mutual grief at the death of Robb Stark. But he did admit he’s glad his character wasn’t around for that infamous Red Wedding scene when Roose Bolton, who played his father on the show, clinically and tragically stabbed the beloved Stark. He admitted if his character were around the outcome could have been very, very different. “Yeah, he put the final nail in the coffin [Roose Bolton]. I guess if Ramsay were around he would have probably done it himself though.”
In the show he may have taken him hostage, renamed him Reek, cut off his fingers and cut off the only thing that could give him an heir to the Iron Islands, however, in real life Alfie Allen and Iwan have quite the bromance. “Me and Alfie (who plays Theon Greyjoy) work so closely together, we kind of formed a bond. We went through a lot together and it was just the two of us. And Michael McElhatton, we had a wonderful time working together.”
Iwan is part of another very successful show, the British sitcom Vicious, where he plays Ash Weston. The show follows Freddie and Stuart, an old gay couple who have been together for nearly 50 years. Their lives consist of entertaining their frequent guests and hurling insults at each other at every opportunity. This role is a very stark (excuse the pun) difference from his role on GOT. Iwan admitted it’s nice to play a happy character for once. The hour-long series finale will premiere on June 19th at 8 p.m. ET/PT on PBS.
And of course for all you GOT fans, the epic fantasy drama will return to our screens for the ninth and penultimate episode titled Battle Of The Bastards this Sunday on HBO.
Photography JOSEPH SINCLAIR
Styling VIX ADAMS
Grooming BRADY LEA @ Stella Creative Artists
Shot on location at
The Woolwich Equitable, London