I think “The Wire” was the first project that I first saw you in as an actor, and I’m curious if you learned anything from that experience that you took forward with you for the rest of your career.
Well, I learned a lot. I learned a lot about America, and American politics, and local government politics, what a city like Baltimore is like. Because I was there for a long time: Three seasons at seven months apiece, or whatever. Just in terms of, dialogue was never changed. Those scripts were written, [and] were timed. They wouldn’t let you change a word. That was something that happened on “Game of Thrones,” as well. Very difficult to get them to change a word. You really had to go through the process and consult the writers.
I was like, “Why?” “Because we timed it. If someone puts in an extra line there, this really good line down here is going to go.” There was one character, Felicia Pearson, who played Snoop, was allowed improv. Because it was so good. I think she was dyslexic. I don’t even know how good a reader she was. I don’t know, but there were certain hall passes. Yeah. I suppose I knew what I was getting into, and there was a lot of truth, and integrity, and non-showbiz stuff about that. But even “Game of Thrones” felt like that. HBO were good at that. It felt like in the old days, to get a lead part in a TV show, you had to be conventionally or really handsome. It’s like “CHiPs.” It’s like Erik Estrada and [Larry Wilcox]. You had to look like a movie star. HBO kind of reversed that with stuff like “The Sopranos,” and “The Wire,” and “Game of Thrones.” Suddenly it was just people — interesting people.
So not showing off, no messing, not asking for too much. There was a lot of that. David Simon was one of the guys behind “The Wire” — the main guy, I would suggest, behind “The Wire” — said, “Yeah, everyone thinks they’ve not got enough to do in this, but we think all this stuff through and every one of these characters are necessary. We have this much time, we’ve got 60 episodes, everyone’s going to get plenty to do. Just wait. Wait your patience, and play your moments well, because that’s what’s important. It’s not like having a massive speech, it’s just whatever you’re doing in this scene, it’s what you’re doing.”
I suppose I was kind of familiar with it before anyway, just the small pieces of storytelling, just thinking of things as jigsaw pieces, or pieces of a puzzle. I had been thinking about that just before I came to “The Wire,” actually. I got cast in “The Wire” out of a play, a Harold Pinter play I was doing on Broadway called “The Caretaker.” It was quite difficult to decipher what was going on, but I embraced that and just thought, I’m going to present all these different pieces and then at the end maybe we’ll put them together. I was thinking that way. I definitely thought that way on “Game of Thrones.” It’s small pieces, just little pieces of a big mosaic.
I was wondering about “Game of Thrones.” Did [showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] ever tell you about a possible direction they might take with Littlefinger, only to eventually change their minds and go on a different path?
Not much. I don’t think we had many conversations like that. There was stuff that was in the books that was mostly there. Then, when it moved beyond that, they didn’t really give too much away. I went to them plenty of times, but I wouldn’t ask too many questions, because I didn’t want to know. It’s nice not to play the future, because then you’re playing it. “The Wire,” you came in every week, you got it, you didn’t know what was going to happen. That was reflecting real events in Baltimore, also. “Game of Thrones” was similar. I think maybe they might give you three [scripts] at the start of the season, then they’d trickle in. But I just found it’s nice not to — if you don’t know the end game, you don’t play it. Although, there were certain things that did happen that I thought, Well, I thought that was going to happen. Then as far as deaths or anything like that, go, well, that was easy. You get a phone call from somebody who never rings you up, and you go, “Well, I know what this is,” and it doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve been dying in things since I was like 20. [laughs]
Source From: www.slashfilm.com