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Kit Harington isn't one to back down from a challenge, whether it's freezing his beard off filming "Game of Thrones" in Iceland or staring the gruesome monsters of "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D" right in the face. It's difficult to discuss his character Vince in the latter without giving too much away, but suffice to say he's a mysterious and cute new guy at school who takes an interest in "Silent Hill" heroine Heather (Adelaide Clemens).
The young Brit made a pit stop in New York City to promote his first feature film at New York Comic-Con in all its 3-D gory glory and was happy to talk about his favorite horror movies, why he's not a tweeter and much more.
Winter is coming to "Games of Thrones," but Kit Harington's career is looking sunny.
I understand that the "Silent Hill" video game was pretty scary for you.
Yes, I'm not good at playing those things. I used to get terrified of "Doom," and when I played this, I was pretty terrified of it. I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to computer games.
They're pretty scary. I used to play them in the dark and totally scare myself.
Yeah, exactly. If I know I'm going to die or something, that freaks me out, whereas if I'm watching a film, I'm not too bad.
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So, how did you deal with the creature effects for the movie? Obviously, it's fake, but if you've got some weird creature with no face coming at you …?
Yeah, I don't mind that 'cause I know, hopefully, that I'm not gonna die in real life. But, for some reason, if I'm playing as a guy on the computer, I really don't want him to die so I get very caring of him.
How much of the actual movie we see is CGI? Like, scenes where things are burning off the walls.
Very, very little, actually. Those are the only bits that are CGI, that and the mannequin monster. All the other monsters and things, anything that could be done viscerally was done like that. Anything we could reach out and touch that could be built like that, was.
Do you like horror movies in general?
I do, I love horror movies. I really do, I'm a big horror movie fan.
What do you like to watch?
Well, I can tell you what my favorites are. I love "The Shining." I love "The Wicker Man." There's a bit of "The Wicker Man" in this, actually. The whole idea of a town with a strange group of people who haven't really moved on beyond a certain time period — I think it's what kind of appealed to me about it. I love "The Ring." I love [David] Lynch as well. I could not get through "Inland Empire." I tried to watch that movie three or four times. I can't get through it. It's too scary. Starts freaking me out and then when it goes black and white … too much, too much.
I've never even tried to watch "Eraserhead." I think it would be too much for me. I love "Mulholland Dr.," but even that kind of got to me at times.
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Today's horror movies are so much gorier — getting flayed alive and such. You had quite an impressive scar happening in the movie.
Yeah, I did. I won't say what happens, but I get a pretty rough time of it at times, yeah.
It's interesting because you can't really talk about what your character does or who he really is.
I can't say anything about him at all. That's the trouble, is that I can't, because he differs from the guy in the computer game.
More and more that these movies come out where you don't want to talk about it and spoil it, but then what do you talk about?
Yeah, we have to tease, that's the thing. I tell you what I don't like in the modern movie industry, and that is that. I don't like it when I see a trailer that shows me the whole film, you know? Because there are so many trailers that do that now, and I think it's gone too far, and it needs to be reeled back in because when I go and see the film, I've seen the best bits already. I don't like doing that to spoil people's surprises when the film comes out, so I keep it all quite close to my chest.
When you went in to make this, "Game of Thrones" hadn't premiered yet, right?
Yes, when I got the part, I'd just finished filming "Thrones," and it hadn't premiered yet.
Emotionally, psychologically, your world must have changed radically since then. You can't go places without it being written about or tweeted or photographed …
You're not a tweeter?
I'm not a tweeter, I'm afraid. I have to talk about myself enough in publicity and stuff that I don't want to do it in my free time as well. [Laughs] Tweet about things, no, no thanks. It's not for me, I'm afraid ...
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But, yeah, it is a [mind trip] a bit, but I'm always looking forward, really. I'm a bit bad for that. I never sit and reflect, particularly; I'm just looking for the next thing, so I just take it as it comes. It creeps up on you because, with the first season, it did well and people started to recognize me or you have that strange conversation in the street with somebody who likes what you do, and gradually, the more people see it, the less privacy you have. You know, I'm enjoying what privacy I have, when I have it.
Do you have any privacy left?
Some, yeah. I'm not at a point yet where I have to put on shades and a hat to walk down the street, I don't think, and I don't mind people coming up and saying they enjoy the show, and usually people are very enthusiastic and have never have any bad feeling towards me, so I just find it flattering. It's good. You get into this industry, and you get a degree of success, and this is what you bought into, so deal with it.
So, have you finished reading the "Game of Thrones" series yet?
No, I stopped reading after Book Three or Book Four, I can't remember which, but I stopped reading because I got too far ahead of myself. And I haven't picked them up since, and I don't think I will until we get to the point where — hopefully we get to the point — where we've caught up with the books. Then I'll pick up the book for the next season and see where it's at. I haven't, but I've been told what happens and I kind of know what happens, but I haven't read them, no. I need to do that.
I was curious because, as a fan of the series, I don't want to spoil the series so I haven't read the books yet. I don't know what happens to you, but does anyone come up to you and spoil it for you?
People get really upset when things get spoiled for them, you know? I get people coming up to me going, "I was following the series, but my friend came up and told me what happened," and they get really annoyed. And I can see why... so I'm constantly avoiding saying spoilers [or] giving anything away that I know what happens, because I know how irritating it is. If someone came up and told me what happened in the last episodes of "Breaking Bad," I'd go nuts! I don't want to know, and I can't wait to see it.