Kit Harington feels like a piece of meat, and he’s not going to take it anymore. Ahead of its Season 5 premiere, the Game of Thrones actor told Page Six that he thinks being called a hunk is “demeaning.”
Instead, Harington – who plays Jon Snow on Game of Thrones – would rather people concentrate on his work than his “ripped abs, sky-high cheekbones and soulful eyes,” as the gossip rag put it.
“When an actor is seen only for her physical beauty, it can be quite offensive … I’m in a successful TV show in a kind of leading man way and it can sometimes feel like your art is being put to one side for your sex appeal. And I don’t like that.”
Harington’s body is usually hidden with layers upon layers of clothes and grit on Game of Thrones and surely will continue to be in Season 5. His screaming female fans only got a peak in the show’s first season – back when all the Starks were still alive – and during an erotic love scene with wilding, Ygritte, in a cave above the wall (which actually didn’t feature his caboose at all, but a stunt caboose).
Regardless, the Game of Thrones actor is one of many hunky celebrities who are constantly asked how they feel about hunk-hood. And the question is no less offensive than when a female actor is complimented on her appearance rather than the quality of her work.
In other words, sexism goes both ways, in Time Magazine‘s opinion.
“Some male actors are constantly asked what it’s like to be heartthrob or—slightly more subtly—what it’s like to have thousands of young teen girls as fans. The implication here is: ‘You are famous because people want to have sex with you.'”
Game of Thrones‘ Harington, Benedict Cumberbatch, Channing Tatum, and Taylor Kitsch are regular victims of these questions. But no one has been more objectified, perhaps, than John Hamm; fans have dedicated a Tumblr page to seeking out the actor’s – well, private parts – through his pants.
“And of course, part of the job description of being a movie star is being beautiful. Objectification comes with the territory, and it’s hard to muster sympathy for someone who seems to have it all,” Time continued. “But journalists who interview Harington, and the people who read those articles, can hear his request, think about it and try to respect it.”
Ironically, those legions Game of Thrones female fans – who’ll no doubt wait for Jon Snow to drop trow in Season 5 – have probably been objectified themselves. After all, women have been turned into sex objects for centuries.
As for Harington, the Thrones star told Page Six he has a lot in common with his character. Not only is he uncomfortable as a hunk, he’s introverted and has a hard time fitting in. And perhaps Jon Snow has given him a bit of courage to speak his mind.
“Well, I have an inner warrior. And I’m proud of my inner warrior. He fights for me every day… I can be quite brave in situations and foolhardy at the same time.”
The Season 5 premiere of the HBO series is on April 12.
[Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]