Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, long before he ever appeared in the hit HBO fantasy series, watched a man die on a Los Angeles street, a haunting memory he recounted in a recent interview with Esquire Magazine — and he was even more freaked out when the Esquire reporter suggested that Dinklage’s own fame may have caused the man’s death.
The story takes place in 2003, shortly after the now-44-year-old star had first gained a measure of fame for his role in the acclaimed drama The Station Agent. While the award-winning film was not widely seen, as anyone who has watched even one episode of Game of Thrones will know, he is instantly recognizable because he stands just 4’6″ tall.
In fact, the New Jersey-born Dinklage is undoubtedly the most successful actor with dwarfism currently in the film industry. During the interview, Dinklage was asked if it is annoying, as a celebrity, to have constant encounters with people you’ve never seen before.
To which Dinklage replied, “Sometimes the encounters can be meaningful.” Then he launched into the story of the deceased motorcyclist.
This is how the Game of Thrones star himself recounted the memory. He was walking on Los Angeles’s famed funky-fashion-and-food strip, Melrose Avenue, on the way to breakfast at a restaurant.
“There was this guy on a motorcycle right in front of me — about as far away as that plant, maybe six feet?” Dinklage told Esquire interviewer Mike Sager. “And he looked at me. He didn’t wave, but he looked at me, and then he pulled out into traffic and this car, like, boom — killed him instantly.”
Dinklage was “the last person he saw on Earth,” the actor recalled.
The future Game of Thrones regular then attempted to call for an ambulance, but it was too late. The motorcyclist was indeed dead at the scene.
The twist in the story came when the interviewer asked if Dinklage, now even more recognizable from his Game of Thrones fame, believed that his own then-nascent stardom might have sparked the rider’s curiosity, causing the fatal crash.
“Oh, my God! F*** you. How dare — Oh, Mike. I never thought of that before,” the mortified Game of Thrones actor said. “This was supposed to be a story about how I actually connected with a stranger. Oh, f***. Oh, man. Dude!”
If you’ve never seen the film, here’s a clip of the Game of Thrones star’s breakout role in The Station Agent.