If there is one thing to get you excited at the start of a new year apart from un-used gym memberships, it has to be the gain in excitement as Game of Thrones prepares to come back onto our screens. One of the literal biggest characters of the last season is of course the ‘Mountain’ played by actual strongman champion and Icelandic guy, Thor Bjornsson.
In the run up to the latest series of Game of Thrones, we say down with Thor to chat training, eating, basketball and of course GoT as part of his campaign with Sodastream to ride the world of plastic bottles. Read on for the full interview below.
Average Joes: Ok, first few questions are personal Thor, at which point in your career did you decide to become an actor. Was it something you fell in to or was it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Thor: So er, I started my career well I was a basketball player in my younger years, and then I decided I wanted to do Strongman and my plan was actually never to become an actor, that was not something that I was looking for or something I was trying to get in to. I guess my success in the Strongman world and my size and my unique look, helped me to go in to the acting world. Obviously the people in Game of Thrones saw something in me. They saw the unique look, they saw how strong I was, how big I was, and that I was capable to play the Mountain. So they contacted me and so on, it started to move on and I decided to take a part in that. Obviously I had to go through some training, I had to meet up with CC Smith their sword teacher, and they had to find out if I could play the Mountain, they had to find out if I could handle a sword well enough. Straight after the first class they saw that I was capable of doing the job enough.
Average Joes: When was that? Do you remember the first time when they contacted you?
Thor: It was, if I remember rightly, it was early 2013 or late 2012 I might be saying this wrong but I think it was December 2012 that they first contacted me and I believe I did start filming season 4 in 2013. Yes.
Average Joes: Have you always been larger than average, you know, were you bigger than all the other kids, can you remember at school?
Thor: Yeah, I remember myself in my younger age, I had all these friends that were smaller than myself so I was always taller than everybody else and I was also muscular when I got in to teenage years. I always liked to work out, I trained every day, sometimes I over trained I trained so much. I remember myself when I look back I did so many push ups every day, I did chin ups, I was very active as a kid, very active.
Average Joes: And nowadays how often do you still train? Do you go to the gym or is it kind of more free stuff and outdoors?
Thor: I train very specific you know. I have very good people around me. I have coaches that put my training up, and a nutrition coach that puts up my diet so I have two great people who take care of my training system and right now I am training six times a week with the weights and I’ll do more work but that’s just some cardio work that I’m doing. Nothing crazy obviously because of my size I don’t need too much cardio for my sport, but I moving with heavy weights, I am running with heavy weights and so on.
Average Joes: And depending on what you’re doing and if you’re filming, will you potentially walk around off filming at a different size as in if you were filming, so kind of like when a fighter cuts weight?
Thor: Ah. I’m always a similar size, I’m always around 180kg, let me tell you when I’m competing in the biggest Strongman shows I might go up to 190kg or I might drop maximum to 175kg. When I was playing the Mountain weighed 175kg but usually I stay around 180kg, that’s the weight I’m normally at.
Average Joes: How does it feel to play such a huge part in one of the largest series of the last 20 years, but never talk?
Thor: You know; I am very proud of being in the show. Obviously yes, that’s true, my character doesn’t speak at the moment. In season 4, I did put out a few words but then again he didn’t really like to talk too much in the show, but when he was killed in the show, then from that moment he hasn’t been spoken of. So my character right now, it’s like he’s supposed to be dead but still alive, so I would say he’s like half a zombie I would say, but not really a zombie. So right now he is just big and protecting his queen and he is willing to do whatever he can to protect her and he will kill anyone who is in his way or anyone who do anything to threaten his queen, or he would will kill anyone who upsets him or her.
Average Joes: Can we expect to hear you speak either in the next series or the future?
Thor: That is something that I don’t know. Like you probably know, ….. and everyone there, they hash the books and they don’t tell anyone what’s going to happen in the future. So this is something that I have no clue about. To be honest with you, I think that my character will probably most likely not speak at all, that’s my theory but like I said, I have no clue what is going to happen. They are obviously going ahead of the books so they are working, maybe they don’t even know, they got to know so probably know what is going to happen, but like I said they don’t tell anyone. There’s probably just a few people that actually know how the season will pan, but that’s a big secret.
Thor was speaking to us as part of the Sodastream campaign to promote the use of fresh tap water and home bubbles instead of buying plastic bottles which often end up in land fill or in the sea. Watch the video, Shame or Glory here: