Jack Gleeson, the ruthless King of Westeros Joffrey Baratheon, has announced his intention to leave the series Game of Thrones.
It seems that the County Cork actor (21) is overwhelmed by fame and wants to return to being a normal young man when his time on the hit HBO show ends.
The popular young actor recently told the Irish Independent, "It was always a recreation beforehand, but when I started doing Game of Thrones perhaps the reality was made too real for me.
"The lifestyle that comes with being an actor in a successful TV show isn't something I gravitate towards."
The down-to-earth star said he never watches himself playing the creepy young ruler.
"I don't tend to. It's bizarre when you see clips," he said. "You tend to abstract yourself from the creepiness of it when you're playing it, but when you see it on television it sends shivers down my spine.
"I would like to try and defend him, but I would have a pretty hard job doing it," Gleeson added of Joffery.
"I suppose he's the product of his context and his family. In terms of redeemable qualities, there wouldn't be many."
Gleeson added that his decision not to pursue an acting career after Thrones was partly the result of his studies at Dublin's Trinity College, where he's been focusing on theology and philosophy. "I'm 21, so it's hard to decide what kind of course life will take," he said.
Another factor was his recent work with the aid agency Goal helping homeless citizens in Haiti recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake. "I'd been looking to use the celebrity I've got from the show to bring awareness for causes Goal supports," he said.
"I had the connection with the organization through my uncle, Tim Gleeson, and he worked with Goal in the 1980s. It was inspiring to see the improvements being made in Haiti, to see the motivation of the people to improve the quality of life. People are eager to get on with their lives and be resilient.”
Game of Thrones is currently moving ahead with its fourth season, set to return to HBO in the spring.
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