Kit Harington never watched Spooks, the BBC1 spy drama that ran for ten high-octane series and ended with a heart-rending climax in 2011.
What attracted him to the big screen version – released today – was the chance to play a hero who doesn’t wield a sword, and isn’t particularly heroic.
“I liked his anger. There was a rage in him,” Harington explained to RadioTimes.com.
“[He’s] the bit of muscle in the film. He’s obviously very good physically but emotionally he’s a wreck, and for that reason he doesn’t actually make a great spy because he can be manipulated by everyone around him. He’s a kind of puppet to many people in the film. I like that about him. I like that he’s…not so noble as other characters I’ve played.”
In other words, it was a refreshing change from holier-than-thou Jon Snow in mega-hit Game of Thrones – although the trademark curly locks are still present and correct as they’re written into his HBO contract.
Yet the shows have plenty in common, including stunts aplenty and a penchant for killing off much-loved characters in grisly scenes. “Spooks did what Throne has been given great credit for – before Thrones did it,” says Harington.
He went on to explain where he draws the line when it comes to violence on the big or small screen:
Spooks is released in UK cinemas on Friday 9th May