Let’s be honest, out of all of the surviving characters in fantasy drama Game Of Thrones, Theon ‘Reek’ Greyjoy (played by the incredible Alfie Allen) has definitely suffered the most.
Although we all kind of hated him at the start of the series, Theon won our sympathy when he was eventually taken captive by the evil Ramsay Bolton and tormented, tortured, and even castrated.
Which is why when I met up with Alfie to discuss his role of Ted in Jesse Eisenberg’s new West End play ‘The Spoils’, I was happy to hear that he was finally able to play a blissfully happy character.
Speaking exclusively about his new role, Alfie said: “I’ve definitely come across people in my life where they’re just so happy and you mistake their happiness for a sense of them being completely oblivious to themselves.”
However, the star went on to add that playing the role of Ted in the play hasn’t softened his approach to Theon – admitting that he hopes life continues to deteriorate for his Westeros counterpart.
He explained: “To be honest with you, Theon Greyjoy is one of the most human characters in the show because he makes mistakes and it’s definitely one of those things everyone can relate to.
“We’ve all made mistakes in life but that’s what makes him human, Theon is a dark character but for me as an actor I’d like to see if they’d make it any darker, I’d like to see if that’s possible.
“But as a person I would like to see some kind of light at the end of the tunnel. It took me a while to realise that I really enjoy playing Reek because I got to do a lot of acting with my eyes, I had the opportunity to figure out my way around these different characters with no words.
“It was a challenge but it was great and I loved it, so to be able to do The Spoils and have another tormentor is completely different, it’s great.”
And Jesse Eisenberg, who wrote and stars in The Spoils, revealed that Alfie’s performance in Game Of Thrones is what helped convince him that he was right for the role of Ted, telling me: “I was really worried that it would be hard to find somebody to play that character and Alfie is so phenomenal.
“Obviously a lot of people know him because he’s on the most popular show in the world but I think a wonderful thing of seeing this play is that he is totally different and it’s really fun for me to see him on Game Of Thrones and then see him in this every day and see how somebody who is a really great actor can do so many different things in ways that are the same level of entertainment and quality.
“It’s not like he can do one thing better than the other, he’s just so great and talented that I feel incredibly lucky. This play lives and dies by the actors in it so it’s fortunate to get someone like Alfie.”
But does the fact that he is such a well-known TV actor put added pressure on Alfie’s theatrical performance?
“That’s not how I go about my career,” Alfie reasoned, “I know when you do some roles it has a massive impact on some people’s lives but for me, I just like to challenge myself and see if I can rise to the challenge and that is what this is helping me do.”
A mindset that was no doubt mimicked by Kit Harington, who plays Theon’s pal Jon Snow in Game Of Thrones and is also currently starring in the West End – but Alfie insists that there isn’t any friendly rivalry.
He laughed: “I know it sounds cheesy but me and Kit are like brothers so we just take the mickey out of eachother the whole time, there is definitely no kind of rivalry there at all.
“He hasn’t given me any tips but I went to his opening night and he was fantastic so I guess that’s a tip in itself, just seeing him perform.”
And I’m willing to bet that Alfie will be leaving more than a few audience members feeling inspired when he takes to the stage as Ted; I certainly couldn’t be happier to see this whole new side to the actor.