Movies

Kit Harington On ‘Eternals’ And Why He Swears The ‘Game Of Thrones’ Coffee Cup Wasn’t His Fault

It’s kind of funny how Kit Harington is afraid of screwing up and revealing something he’s not supposed to in regards to the future of his character, Dane Whitman, as the MCU moves forward. After all, this is someone who made it through eight seasons of Game of Thrones without accidentally giving anything away he shouldn’t have. To the point the only thing he can think of where he was blamed for something was the infamous Starbucks cup that could be seen during the show’s fourth episode of its final season. Which he swears he had nothing to do with.

A good guess around the secrecy involving Harington’s character is probably not who Dane Whitman later becomes – in the comics Dane Whitman is the Black Knight and that isn’t really a secret – but probably more to curb expectations about his character in Chloé Zhao’s Eternals. Because he plays an important role in the film’s first act, but that’s about it, and he’s not yet a superhero in this movie. He’s literally just a professor named Dane Whitman who happens to be dating an immortal being, and one of the Eternals, named Sersi, played by Gemma Chan. (Also, though spelled differently, it is kind of funny Harington is in two major franchises with a major character who has that name.)

Ahead, Harington explains why he was a master of giving vague Game of Thrones interviews but is very self-conscious about being the new person in the MCU who might spoil something. Also, he explains how and why he wound up being in the Friends reunion … and, frankly, he’s not really sure why either.

What are the odds you would be in two major world-renowned franchises where you’re dealing with a main character named Sersi?

I know. I think it is just genuinely a coincidence though, isn’t it?

And it’s spelled differently.

Yeah. It’s one of those strange things, it’s a coincidence in so much as that name is a historical name that, obviously, George Martin culled. And so did Jack Kirby. Good name.

So, ”accidentally revealing spoilers” wise, do feel a little less nervous than when you did press for Game of Thrones?

Do I feel more nervous about spoilers on this?

It has to be less, right? Game of Thrones seemed intense.

No, I think I’m more.

More?

Because I knew the rules.

Ah, okay.

Remember, I was doing that for eight years. So I was a bit of a master when it came to not spoiling things.

I see.

Whereas I’m new to this world. And I might go wander in and spoil something. I’m finding my feet about how I don’t say something that I’m not meant to say in this world. You know what I mean? So actually I’m on less terra firma here than I was before.

Interesting. Because I feel like with TV interviews are, “We want to know what happens later on in the season,” as opposed to Eternals, which I’ve seen, and I too don’t want to spoil it for people reading this. So I feel that’s a difference?

Yeah. True. But I think within this, there’s an expectation that there’s going to be further movies, and further things down the line for all the characters. So you just have to stay in the present with the movie you’re in, I guess.

And you’re here to say, “Eternals is the last one. No more Marvel movies.” That would be big news.

[Laughs] Yeah. Yeah.

So you mentioned you were the master, before, of not spoiling things. You never screwed up?

I was pretty good. I think I prided myself.

I don’t remember you screwing up. I believe you.

I got blamed for leaving a coffee cup on a shot once, which wasn’t me.

Wait, the infamous coffee cup? That got into the scene?

Yeah…

You got blamed for that?

Well, she [Sophie Turner] blamed me for that. And I swear it wasn’t! Other than that, as far as spoilers, no, I didn’t. I’m pretty good! I’m pretty sure I didn’t mess anything up.

Now with Dane Whitman, in this movie you’re playing kind of a nice and normal fellow, as opposed to all these people with superpowers. For now, that has to be appealing?

It was. With a movie like this, you’re not given the script necessarily before you come in. You’re told various pieces of information. And enough to get you excited about the character that you’re playing, and potentials surrounding that character. But I didn’t really know before seeing the script what kind of a person he was. Now, it was nice playing someone who represented humanity. He was just a nice guy. He was pretty chill. And he sort of just rolled along with everything that was happening, because I feel it sets him in an interesting place, if that makes sense.

So how does this work? Does Marvel come to you? Do you go to Marvel? Who expresses the first interest?

I had a chat with Kevin Feige a year before. Nate Moore, the producer, called me. Not about Eternals, just generally about their new phase four, and would I be interested if the right thing came along? And, obviously, I said I was because I’m a big MCU fan. And I had a meeting with Chloe, and I asked some questions about who this character is, and what plans they might have for him, et cetera. And based on that information, I was like, yeah, I’d love to come on board. You know what I mean? Look at the cast! It’s a pretty incredible cast of characters.

And working with the person who just won Best Director.

And at the time, she hadn’t.

Okay true…

But it was very clear at the time that, awards are awards only, but I was meeting someone who’s a pretty special director.

So for this character down the line, on your resume do you put, “Also have experience using a sword”?

I assume I don’t have to put it on my resume!

By the way, that was a joke on Friends — Joey Tribbiani makes that joke about playing a doctor. I was about to ask if you watched Friends, but just remembered you are in the Friends reunion.

Yes! That was a moment of pre-pandemic madness for me. Like, “Do you want to be part of the Friends reunion?” I was like, “Yeah. Why am I part of the Friends reunion?”

Wait, so that’s how it happened? “Do you want to be part of the Friends reunion?” “I wasn’t on it, but okay.”

Yeah, now it kind of follows me around. Everyone’s like, “I saw you in the Friends reunion!” I was like, “Yeah, I don’t know why I did that.”

At least you got to talk about the “piv-ot” scene. That’s a good scene.

That is a good scene. It is.

So, Dane Whitman. People probably know who he becomes and who he is a little bit, but not as much as other characters. I feel like that’s got to be nice in a way? Where you can kind of do what you want?

It definitely felt, on me – and I’m feeling it even during the press for it, and being around the other guys – the pressure is not on me in this movie. And that’s nice. I got to have a bit of freedom with this character that could do pretty much what I wanted with. And I spoke to Chloe and she’s like, “Just play it very close to you.” And you look at my character breakdown on the information given out about this, it’s a “human who works at the natural history museum.” There’s not much to go on.

To be fair, they could still go to the Wikipedia page if they don’t know and see a lot more of about what this guy did in the comics.

Like what may or may not, for any certainty. So, yeah, I took this for various reasons, but for the potential of where he might go, it’s exciting.

I was going to say there’s probably not going to be anyone who’s like, “This isn’t my Dane Whitman.” But there will be one person. There will be one person who makes it their mission in life to say you’re not their Dane Whitman.

I promise you there will be more than one person.

I’m guessing one.

There’s always more than one person.

There will be one guy with a hashtag, “#notmyDane.” And that’s it.

[Laughs] “Not my Dane.” Yeah.

I’m only guessing one, because people like you. So I think you’re safe.

Thank you. Lovely thing to hear.

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