For fans of the hit series Game Of Thrones, the news of one of its stars quitting acting altogether is coming as a complete shock.
The success of the HBO series has far surpassed that of the George R.R. Martin’s novels. However, this is not a factor in one its star’s decision to leave his promising acting career.
Actor Jack Gleeson, who has played King Joffrey Baratheon in the miniseries for the last three season says he will leave show biz for a much more rewarding experience.
“(Acting) was always a recreation beforehand, but when I started doing Game of Thrones perhaps the reality was made too real for me,” Gleeson told Ireland’s Independent. “The lifestyle that comes with being an actor in a successful TV show isn’t something I gravitate towards.”
That seems to be a feeling shared by many of his peers from across the pond, who are more interested in truly exploring their craft and not in the limelight that comes along with being recognized and adored by millions of fans around the world.
The 21-year-old, who first auditioned for the role when he was 17, says he will stop acting professionally when the series is finished.
The Game Of Thrones star is enrolled in Trinity College in Dublin, where he studies philosophy and theology.
“Since going to Trinity and garnering an interest in philosophy and with Goal (an aid agency) and my theater company I’ve kind of just re-evaluated what I want to do,” he said.
Gleeson says he doesn’t like to watch himself on the show and finds it “bizarre” when he happens to see an ad on television.
He adds, he can’t defend his character, Joffrey’s behavior, “I suppose he’s the product of his context and his family. In terms of redeemable qualities, there wouldn’t be many.”
Gleeson has done a masterful job making the Game Of Thrones villain one of the most hated ones in the series.
As to what he will do after acting, Jack Gleeson says he wants to become a humanitarian helping those less fortunate.
He recently went to Haiti with Goal to help with relief efforts after a massive earthquake in 2010 killed 230,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless. His uncle worked with the charity in the 1980s, according to The Wrap.
“It was inspiring to see the improvements being made in Haiti, to see the motivation of the people to improve the quality of life,” Gleeson said. “People are eager to get on with their lives and be resilient.”
“I’d been looking to use the celebrity I’ve got from the show to bring awareness for causes Goal supports,” the Gleeson added.
What do you think of Jack Gleeson’s decision to leave Game Of Thrones.