Game of Thrones' Jack Gleeson says Joffrey was inspired by Joaquin Phoenix

The 21-year-old actor said he enjoys playing the psychopathic villain

He is the embodiment of terrifyingly sadistic, arbitrary power - and now Jack Gleeson has revealed the classic villains which have inspired his portrayal of King Joffrey in Game of Thrones.

The character of the boy king, who holds sway over the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, was influenced by Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus in Gladiator, as well as the monster Hexxus from FernGully, Gleeson told Entertainment Weekly.

And the 21-year-old actor, who studies philosophy at Dublin's Trinity College, said he enjoys playing such an evil character.

“It’s interesting sometimes when an audience can empathise with a villain. But to get completely lost in it, it’s exciting just to be intrinsically evil and not have a speck of good or humanity in their bones,” he said.

However, Gleeson also conceded that there are more “familiar" elements to Joffrey: “Everyone has met Joffrey in some shape or form."

Ahead of the hit HBO show’s fourth series, Gleeson said that he has to completely lose himself in the role.

“Ninety per cent of the time I’m feeling what Joffrey would feel - glee or desire for attention or frustration or whatever. About 10 per cent of the time, there’s a lack of focus, but that’s fun as well; to take yourself out of it and appreciate [the moment]," he said.

“But you wouldn’t be able to work if you did that all the time, you have to focus on what the character thinks."

The actor, who keeps a low profile outside of the show, said he had no desire to further his career once Game of Thrones has been wrapped up.

Read more: The allure of Game of Thrones
The National on Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones season 4: Watch the new trailer
Thomas Brodie-Sangster admits he'd like to play Joffrey
Watch every Game of Thrones death in under 3 minutes

“The crux of it is that I don’t want to be an actor after Game of Thrones. Interviews are good if you want to be an actor because they raise your profile. You’re also more interesting to talk to if you’re more passionate about acting,” he said.

“I don’t need to do those things, and I also suppose I’m just private. I find it slightly uncomfortable to see my face on a bus or a poster. I like just being known by my friends and family.”

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea