Ed Sheeran may be King of Glastonbury and the folk rock men, Regnant of over seven guitars and breaker of strings, but his recent singing cameo in the Game of Thrones season seven opener prompted a Mountain of negative comments, leading to Sheeran deleting his Twitter page (which has since been reactivated).
However, Jeremy Podeswa, director of the episode Dragonstone, has spoken out in support of Sheeran, telling Newsweek “I think Ed did a lovely job—he’s a lovely actor and a lovely person.”
Podeswa also went on to say that the negative comments were largely a reaction to Sheeran’s level of global stardom: “He was appropriate for the part because he needed to sing. If people didn’t know who Ed was, they wouldn’t have thought about it twice. The hoo-ha seems to be from things that are outside of the world of the show. In the world of the show he did a lovely job, and he looks like he belongs in that world.
“I think people interrogated it too much, they’re bringing so much of his [superstar] presence into the thing which is far beyond what anybody was thinking going into it. He is known to the producers of the show and some of the cast, and he’s a gigantic fan of the show. As everybody knows, the show really eschews stunt casting—it’s never, ever done that.
“I was quite surprised about the reaction actually because I know he’s very well known and a successful singer but you’re in the bubble of the show—the cast are well known too, everybody is really well known…none of them can walk down the street without being followed. You don’t think about that very much in this context.
“The only thing I don’t feel great about is that Ed is such a lovely guy and really genuine and down to earth,” Podeswa concluded. “He came into this with only lovely intentions to come and do a good job and sing well. So I think that’s the only drag.”
Sheeran’s not the only musician to enjoy a cameo on the HBO hit. Coldplay’s Will Champion featured at season three’s Red Wedding and indie group Of Monsters and Men popped up as travelling musicians in Braavos, but none of those had speaking roles.