We notice you have a few scars. Do any of them have interesting stories?
I have a pretty big scar that runs from my neck to my eyebrow. I was in a band called Whizzy for many years in New York. We were this punk-funk-rap band. We played a show at CBGB, and I was jumping around onstage and got accidentally kneed in the temple. I was like Sid Vicious, just bleeding all over the stage. Blood was going everywhere. I just grabbed a dirty bar napkin and dabbed my head and went on with the show. We didn’t care much about personal safety. We were smoking and drinking during our shows, and one time my bass player fell off the back of his amp because he passed out. It was one of those bands.
So, a great band? Someone needs to build me a time machine so I can go back to whatever year this was, and watch Tyrion Lannister drunkenly “play the trumpet, rap, and chant while a bunch of beardos made a racket behind him,” according to an excerpt from Poseur: A Memoir of Downtown New York City in The ’90s. That’s a million times more important than seeing dinosaurs or killing Hitler, which is probably the name of one of their songs.
There’s a video on YouTube called “Peter Dinklage Gets So Much Pussy” in which two guys talk about how much you’ve been getting laid since Game of Thrones. They estimate your sexual activity has increased 600 percent in the past few years. Does that sound about right?
It depends. By “pussy” do they mean actual pussy? Or is it a metaphor, like for gardening? Because if that’s the case, then yes, I’ve been doing a lot of gardening lately. If they mean sex, they might be getting me confused with somebody else. But if pussy means wearing old-man sweaters and watering my herb garden, then absolutely, I’m getting so much pussy.
I bet the kid who plays Podrick is swimming in herb gardens right now.
You are aware that you’re a sex symbol, right? Some might even call you a DwILF.
DwILF, as in Dwarf I’d Like to F*ck? That’s very clever. Honestly, I think there’s an irony in all of this. I take it with a grain of salt. They’ll say, “Oh, he’s sexy,” but women still go for guys who are six-foot-two. It’s nice that people are thinking outside the box, but I don’t believe any of it for a minute.
I believe it.
You’re from New Jersey. Was your upbringing more like a Bruce Springsteen song or the reality show Jersey Shore?
It’s funny you mention Springsteen. I was born in Bay Head, New Jersey, and his manager lived next door to us. Bruce used to come over to his house and hang out. This was when I was two, so I don’t remember any of it. My mom and dad went to a wedding at a surfboard factory, and Bruce was in the wedding band. He was about 17 years old at the time. My mom didn’t think he was that great. She told me he was too loud.
SURFBOARD FACTORY WEDDING WITH SPRINGSTEEN. That’s the best sketch idea of all-time, but it’s REAL.
Last year you gave a commencement speech at your alma mater, Bennington College, and walked onstage with a mace. You mentioned that a student gave it to you. Was that true?
It was. His name was Ben, I think, and he just handed it to me five minutes before I went out. He said it was a gift. It was actually quite heavy. That kid knew what he was doing. Hopefully he’s a successful sculptor right now. The interesting thing was, the ball part of it, which he had bronzed or silvered or whatever, was an artichoke. He had dipped an artichoke in bronze. So if you smelted it, you could probably have a meal afterward. I left the mace with my mom. I think it’s on her mantel right now. The next day I had to fly out to do a job, and I couldn’t take a mace on the plane with me. My mom offered to take it off my hands, and it’s still there. I think she’s using it as protection out in Jersey.
It’s not every day you can use “smelted” in a sentence. Unless you’re Peter Dinklage.