About the only mean thing Jack Gleeson (aka King Joffrey on HBO's "Game of Thrones") did during a meet-and-greet at the Waterfront Barnes & Noble this afternoon was deface his own visage on a promotional poster.
Gleeson, in town for the annual fundraiser for Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre Oct. 28, happily scribbled a mustache over his photo in silver Sharpie, also filling in the eyes to give them a wicked look, and wrote "J" on one cheek, "G" on the other.
This is the guy who ordered the execution of Ned Stark??
In truth, Gleeson, 21, seemed a bit shy but was game to discuss his character with fans over the course of an hour-long session. He also talked about some of the actors whose careers he admires -- from Cillian Murphy, whom he met while playing a sacred little kid in "Batman Begins" -- to Daniel Day-Lewis ("I know, it's kind of a cliche answer"), to Mark Rylance, Tony and Olivier award-winning actor who has graced the Pittsburgh stage on occasion and currently is on Broadway with no one, but two Shakespearean plays.
He said he's also inspired by Joaquin Phoenix. It is a coincidence that Phoenix's character in "Gladiator" is akin to Joffrey in many ways, he added.
Through Dublin's Gate Theatre, Gleeson has gotten to work with many fine actors, including Domhnall Gleeson (no relation), star of the upcoming "About Time". The latter's father is actor Brendan Gleeson.
Alan Stanford, PICT producing artistic director who is also heavily involved in Gate, said "I've been very lucky, we've had some incredibly talented people either come up through class or be involved in one of our [Gate] productions.
Among them: Pauline McLynn, Gabriel Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson, the last of whom played Herbert Pocket in Gate's "Great Expectations." Jack Gleeson was young Pip in that one.
"Ireland is a small country and Dublin is a tight theater community, like Pittsburgh, and the cream comes to the surface quite quickly," Stanford said.