As Joffrey on Game of Thrones, Jack Gleeson created a truly sadistic and repulsive character, one who will forever be immortalized by topping lists of "best bad guys" for years to come. But it seems the 24-year-old actor learned how to leave audiences pissed much earlier than his debut on HBO's hit series.
While his reign in Westeros taught him the nuances of torture and crossbows, Gleeson's career as a child actor whet his appetite for a career in the industry. As well as an appearance in Batman Begins — playing a young child who encounters Batman — Gleeson also shared a set with Bale in Reign of Fire.
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The 2002 film was a B-movie masterpiece and in a prelude to his time on Game of Thrones, set in a post-apocalyptic world where dragons are awoken from the depths of the London underground (I shit you not). Take a look at Gleeson's smiley pre-Joffrey face in the clip below:
Ignoring Christian Bale's authentic and acoustically pleasing Darth Vader impression, Gleeson is at the front row with a group of children, watching a rendition of The Empire Strikes Back and cheering along gleefully. Although it looks the the constraints of filming long hours on set were a lot for the youngster to handle.
During New York Comic Con, Gleeson reflected on that appearance, while also leaking some private information about what was going on behind-the-scenes. In an interview with MTV News, he said:
“I just kind of had to wet myself. I was like an 8-year-old or 9-year-old kid and I had to piss my pants on set of Reign of Fire. I tried to be as cool and collected as possible, and then I acted my socks off. I didn’t let it affect my performance.”
That kind of resolute action served Gleeson well during his stint as King Joffrey. Although in hindsight, maybe his luck would've been better if he'd tried to become head of the Riverlands, rather than King's Landing.
The New Aquaman?
Following his exit from Game of Thrones, Gleeson revealed that he would be retiring from acting as he had intended only to act as a hobby. Despite his reputation as one of TV's most dislikable characters, off screen Gleeson is amiable, articulate and honest, once giving a talk on celebrity culture to Oxford University.
Rumors Gleeson will be coming out of retirement to replace Jason Mamoa as Aquaman in Justice League are unfounded.
Which Game of Thrones villain was worse?