Winter is here and, though the night may well be dark and full of terrors, the Night King, it turns out, was warm under the Delhi sun. Vladimir Furdik, who has essayed the iconic character in the popular series, Game of Thrones (GoT), was a part of a special session at the recent Comic Con Delhi. Since Furdik’s deep-blue, scale-skinned character remains garbed under makeup — that takes nearly six hours to put on — most fans in the Capital saw the person behind the character for the first time. Evading question about fan-theories, spin-offs and prequels, the stuntman-turned-actor offered insight into his journey and the portrayal of what is arguably one of more popular characters of GoT. Excerpts:
You started with preparing horses for films at the age of 15 and then moved to working as a stunt double for actors like Tom Hiddleston, Channing Tatum and Nicholas Cage. You also worked in the stunt department of GoT before taking on the role.
I used to help with horses because horse riding was my hobby at that time. I trained horses, cleaned horse stables, groomed them and cared for them during the shooting. That was my first contact with the movie business. For the next 15 years, I watched and learned.
Of course, I still keep watching and learning. Every new film project gives me a new experience. I never forget that it’s the help of others that helped me to be successful. Stuntmen and actors are close and need to help each other.
The Game of Thrones series has brought its actors global acclaim and popularity. How has it changed you and your life?
My life has changed a little bit because people are talking about me more than before. It has both good and bad sides.
How has your work as a stunt double influenced you as an actor? What is the most challenging aspect of a non-speaking role?
Being an actor is harder than being a stuntman. Yes, my experience as a stuntman helped me with my acting work. I like every job that I’m doing.
One of the great mysteries of GoT is the reason the “Others”, the mysterious undead “Wights” are invading the lands south of the wall. As villains go, they seem pretty unidimensional. As an actor, what do you see as the motivation for your character?
I was offered to play the role as I had prepared and created a lot of stunts for the production in the past. I think working on any project is the same but the people you work with are different. Some are better prepared and some are worse. On GoT, people were super ready and everyone knew what to do.
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