'Game of Thrones' star Kristian Nairn appreciates that Asian fans are so polite

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“Game of Thrones” star (Hodor) Kristian Nairn at a photoshoot for HBO at Fullerton Hotel in Singapore on Dec 5, 2018. (PHOTO: HBO)
“Game of Thrones” star (Hodor) Kristian Nairn at a photoshoot for HBO at Fullerton Hotel in Singapore on Dec 5, 2018. (PHOTO: HBO)

Game of Thrones actor Kristian Nairn, who is also a DJ, was in Singapore recently to spin for a private HBO party. Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore caught up with him for a little chat.

Nairn started off as a club DJ in Belfast, Ireland, but his role as gentle giant Hodor in HBO’s blockbuster fantasy drama (who tragically died as wight chow in season six) has catapulted him to worldwide fame.

The towering 43-year-old now spends his time juggling acting and DJing. Besides touring in America, Nairn has also performed sets in Asia in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manila, Bangkok, and Jakarta.

Nairn told us how his Asian fans are different from those in the West (they’re not as rude, apparently). The out actor also had some words of encouragement for his gay fans in Asia.

Do you find that your fans in Asia are different than in the West?
Music-wise, EDM, house music and dance music are really starting to grow in the Middle East and Asia, so people are very enthusiastic and it still feels very new. Whereas in America, it feels like people have seen this and done that all before.

From the acting point of view, my God. People are so enthusiastic here. They’re so nice and so respectful. You don’t tend to get rude questions here; people are very polite.

What kind of rude questions have you gotten from people?
The first thing people (in America) would ask me was, was that your real penis (in season one of Game of Thrones)? And I’m like, really? Is that all you have to ask me? But they never ask me that here (in Asia).

Hodor (Kristian Nairn) and Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) in “Game of Thrones”. (PHOTO: HBO)
Hodor (Kristian Nairn) and Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) in “Game of Thrones”. (PHOTO: HBO)

Do you find that your fans know you first from Game of Thrones or as a DJ?
Game of Thrones, definitely. Before GOT I was a local DJ in Belfast, Ireland. I did very well as a DJ in my home country, but not beyond that. GOT allowed me to take a bigger step on the international stage.

Are you doing more acting or DJing now that Game of Thrones has made you famous?
It’s a bit of both. My diary every month is different. I might be doing Comic Con, I might be doing commercials, I might be writing music, I might be DJing, or I might be acting in something. I just like to perform. Music is very important to me, but so is acting.

What acting projects are you currently involved in?
I just did a horror movie called The Appearance which will run in selected cities in the US. There are some things starting next year I can’t talk about, unfortunately.

I also played Wallace, a gay man (a guest role in US drama The Rookie) who got beaten up and is afraid to leave his apartment. He was able to give advice to one of the policemen about how to get over your fears instead of being trapped.

You came out to the media in a 2014 interview and said that gay people should stand up and be counted. There’s been a lot of debate about gay rights in Asia. Do you have anything to say to your fans in Asia?

To be happy in your life, you can’t hate who you are. If people don’t accept you for who you are, you just have to move on and just be yourself. I don’t care what you do in bed with someone else – I’m not interested. Why do you care what I do? Get a f***ing hobby! Something’s messed up in your life if you’re worried about what I do or somebody else does. But I know it’s not easy for people. But things are progressing. The more we keep poppin’ up like little moles underground, people might realise we’re just part of society and we’re always gonna be here. We’re not gonna go away.

The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones premieres in April 2019 on HBO (StarHub Ch 601) and HBO Go. All past seasons can be streamed and downloaded on HBO GO.

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