Game of Thrones actor John Bradley reveals he was left with a stutter and 'performance anxiety' after playing Sam for eight years

Game of Thrones actor John Bradley reveals he was left with a stutter and 'performance anxiety' after playing Sam for eight years

GAME of Thrones actor John Bradley has revealed he was left with a stutter and "performance anxiety" after playing Samwell Tarly for eight years.

The 31-year-old actor spoke candidly about his time on the show and how it had affected him on the Blank Podcast.

Speaking to Giles Paley-Phillips and comedian Jim Daly, John admitted he lost control at one point during the show's eight series run.

He said: "Towards the end of Game Of Thrones, it became the only way I could act, and I got into the unconscious mindset that people want me to do this.

"I got into this trap with Sam, I set myself traps, because he had a traumatic childhood and suffered a lot – and it manifested through a stammer and a twitch sometimes."

John added how Sam was brought up in an environment where he was frightened to speak and even as he got older, he was fearful of whether he could express an opinion.

But by the mid-way point of the series, John had lost control over when he stammered.

He continued: "There are takes of me where it felt like it would be five minutes where I am just standing with other the actors and I couldn’t speak and I just can’t get the words out and certain sounds would trip me up.

"In one scene I came in first with Kit Harrington and in the nicest way he said to me 'can you come in a bit quicker?' so I can react a bit quicker and I was like 'I can’t, I just can’t'.

"As lovely as the crew were, they assumed it was because I had forgotten my lines. It took me a while to get out of it and it went away over time."


The stammer went on to affect John's auditions for jobs outside of Game of Thrones too.

He explained: "When I was in character I developed a stammer that I wasn’t in control of and it’s hard enough to be an actor anyway without having to read a script the night before you were going to do it and thinking that’s really going to trip me up tomorrow and the more you think about it the worse it gets.

"Towards the end of that journey, that stammer would turn up in non-Sam acting and I’d do auditions when I’d stammer because it just seemed like the default place that I went to when I acted.

"I think people thought it was part of me but it wasn’t, but it was performance anxiety."

Game Of Thrones: The Complete Collection is available on DVD and Blu-Ray now.





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