INTERVIEW: Alfie Allen

Published in The Music (QLD, VIC, NSW) and on, Mar 2016


Dark Spaces In Far Away Places

Tackling the darkest role on Game Of Thrones, Alfie Allen tells Daniel Cribb he hopes Reek’s storyline gets grimmer on the “political soap opera drama with swords”.

Jetlag has hit Game Of Thrones star Alfie Allen hard when he picks up the phone during a Melbourne promo run. “It won’t affect my amazing answers,” he laughs. It’s not the first time the English actor has been to Victoria, recalling a time when he was 10 years old and his father, Keith Allen, filmed The Bite with Hugo Weaving in the state. “I haven’t been back to Melbourne in years, but I loved it back then and I’m loving it even more now as an adult.”

It was these kind of experiences that helped shape his introduction into film and TV and ultimately secure the role of Theon Greyjoy (now known as Reek) in the massive HBO hit, a character whose multiple dimensions leading into season six have given Allen a wealth of elements to play with. “It’s obviously been pretty tough and it’s taken me to dark places, but I don’t think I’ll ever get an opportunity to play a character like this again,” he says. “I get to basically play three different characters in one person; I play Theon, then I play Reek, then I play Reek pretending to be Theon. As an actor, you can’t really ask for more than that.

“My dad said to me years ago that acting is all about the eyes, and when I didn’t really have much to say in seasons four and five I had to do a lot of acting with just my eyes, so that was challenging and interesting.”

He’s tight-lipped at the mention of the new season, and with good reason. Any spoilers or scoops would surely result in an internet meltdown similar to that when the season six trailer dropped, not that Allen would necessarily be aware of it. “I barely know how to open my own emails, mate,” he laughs.

But he does have some thoughts on why it’s had such a massive impact and has created such an epic global community. “When it first came out, it had the fantasy tag attached to it, where really, now, it’s more of a political soap opera drama with swords. I know it’s sort of weird to say, but it’s a family show, a family drama. There’s sort of different motivations going on in different families and I think that mirrors politics and countries, if you can represent countries as families.”

As far as Reek’s destiny goes, Allen has conflicting views on the matter. “As a person, I would like to see Reek get to a nicer place and see him flourish into another man, but as an actor, I just want to see what they are going to offer up, and if it gets darker, that will be just as exciting as if it didn’t. I’m just up for a challenge, really, and I would like to see how much darker they can make the storyline.”