Peter Dinklage didn’t waste any time jumping into other projects after wrapping Game of Thrones this summer. His latest is My Dinner With Hervé, an HBO film that premieres later this month, in which he plays Fantasy Island star Hervé Villechaize, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1993.
The role is personal to Dinklage, who grew up with conflicted feelings about Villechaize and his one-dimensional character Tattoo, with his ubiquitous “ze plane ze plane” catchphrase on the series. After working on the role for 14 years however, Dinklage says he’s developed a genuine love and affection for the late actor.
In a new interview with Vulture, Dinklage explains how playing Villechaize was different from Tyrion Lannister in Thrones, because it was the first time he had ever portrayed someone who had been “a living, breathing person,” and that the role had challenged his judgments. As such, Dinklage had to really put himself in Villechaize’s shoes in a way he hadn’t had to do before with Tyrion:
I don’t know if I’m [a] Method [actor] in that way. I was a little Method with Hervé — staying in that voice. But you can’t really be Method for nine seasons of a TV show. You’d go nuts. And there’s a difference between being Method and indulgent. You can smell that ego thing a mile away.
It’s good to stay in the zone, but if it’s about showing off your peacock feathers, I’m not buying it. Acting is a trick. I wouldn’t say it’s difficult. Elements of it are. For me, the fame thing is. But the work itself — we’re not digging ditches for a living. I think acting is one of the professions where everybody who’s doing it wants to be doing it. That’s not true for every job.
My Dinner With Hervé premieres on HBO on October 20, while the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones premieres … well, sometime TBD in 2019.