'When you become the cliffhanger of a TV show...the focus on you is f*cking terrifying'

Kit Harrington has opened up about the pressures of playing Jon Snow on "a TV show probably at the height of its power".

The 32-year-old has spent the best part of a decade as a star in the hit HBO series Game Of Thrones with his character's role growing season-on-season.

In a wide-ranging interview with Variety, Harrington has spoken about the hysteria that surrounds the show.

The cliffhanger in Game Of Thrones season 5.
The cliffhanger in Game Of Thrones season 5.

His character's death in season five was one of Game Of Thrones' biggest cliffhangers and he said the focus on him after it aired was scary.

"When you become the cliffhanger of a TV show, and a TV show probably at the height of its power, the focus on you is f*cking terrifying," said Harrington.

"You get people shouting at you on the street, ‘Are you dead?’ At the same time you have to have this appearance.

"All of your neuroses — and I’m as neurotic as any actor — get heightened with that level of focus."

Harrington also revealed that he started therapy around the same time as it was a "shaky time" in his life.

Harrington as Jon Snow in season 7 of the HBO series.
Harrington as Jon Snow in season 7 of the HBO series.

"It wasn’t a very good time in my life. I felt I had to feel that I was the most fortunate person in the world, when actually, I felt very vulnerable," he told the entertainment magazine.

"I had a shaky time in my life around there — like I think a lot of people do in their 20s. That was a time when I started therapy, and started talking to people.

"I had felt very unsafe, and I wasn’t talking to anyone.

"I had to feel very grateful for what I have, but I felt incredibly concerned about whether I could even f*cking act."

Harrington added that the early reception of Jon Snow as being "boring" also affected him.

"My memory is always ‘the boring Jon Snow.’ And that got to me after a while, because I was like, ‘I love him. He’s mine and I love playing him.’

"Some of those words that were said about it stuck in my craw about him being less entertaining, less showy."

The final season of Game Of Thrones begins on April 14.

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