Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: People thought show was 'going to be so bad'
Danish actor on playing the Kingsguard knight Jaime Lannister and the final season of pop culture phenomenon Game Of Thrones
When he was first cast in the role of Kingsguard knight Jaime Lannister in the hit fantasy series Game Of Thrones in 2009, Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau remembered being met with a heap of scepticism.
The 48-year-old told The New Paper at a roundtable interview to promote the show in London last month: "When we started out, I told people I was doing an HBO show. The HBO part, they thought was so cool. (They asked), 'Is it about gangsters?'
"And then you say, 'No, no, it is like a fantasy with dragons and magic', and people looked at you like, 'Oh my God, this is embarrassing, this is going to be so bad'."
But over the past decade, Game Of Thrones has gone on to become a global pop culture phenomenon, receiving 47 Emmys, including Outstanding Drama Series in 2015, 2016, and 2018, more than any other primetime scripted television series.
Its eighth and final season premieres on HBO (StarHub TV Ch 601/Singtel TV Ch 420) on April 15 at 9am, with a same-day encore at 10pm. It is also available on HBO Go and HBO On Demand.
Coster-Waldau said one thing he learnt from working on Game Of Thrones is an "old truth" - you never know what will be a hit.
And with just six episodes left until it all comes to a close, fans are in for a treat, he said.
"This final season, you read it and you go, this is impossible to shoot because the ambition is ridiculous. But then to see it unfold, it just blows your mind."
LONG & TOUGH
He recalled how the shoot, which spanned almost nine months, was a long and tough one, though the Dane relished the challenge - "even if it's tough, physical or cold".
"There is still something about being a part of (a show) like Game Of Thrones. The scale, the expertise, the quality of everyone involved is such that it is just exhilarating... I think every actor worked more days than they'd ever done (in any previous season). The scripts were great. I can't wait to see it."
Coster-Waldau's character Jaime has been on a redemptive arc, culminating in his decision to leave his twin sister and lover Cersei (Lena Headey) in the Season 7 finale.
He said: "It has been so much fun to play (Jaime) because he has had some pretty big things happen in his life that have forced him to re-evaluate himself and his personal relationships."
"There were so many secrets that the audience would only learn over the years. So in the beginning, you just go 'What a ****ing d***', and then you realise later on, you go, 'Maybe he wasn't all that bad'."
But will fans be satisfied with how it all ends for the person known as the most dishonourable man in the world?
Like the rest of his cast members, Coster-Waldau is tight-lipped: "Who knows if it is an end. Maybe it's a new beginning. You never know."
What is for sure is that he does not think there will be another show quite like Game Of Thrones.
He said: "We're at a time when every big network or streaming service is making their own version. Even HBO is making another Thrones (prequel). They clearly haven't learnt their lesson. You can't put it in a bottle. You have to come up with something original."