Before you go on reading, be warned there may be spoilers ahead!
Jack Gleeson sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss his reaction to the now infamous Purple Wedding episode and what the future holds for him. To those who haven't read the books, the death of King Joffrey came as a shock, especially so early into season 4. With previous seasons it had become something of a formula for Game of Thrones to use the first eight episodes to build towards a big event in the ninth, using the last episode to set up the next season.
So you just shot your death scene. How was that?
Jack Gleeson: It’s relieving, in a way. You want to do the scene and character justice. It’s a complicated scene; I’ve never had a death on screen before. You want it to look believable — the choking and the coughing. It’s calming to know I’m in the great hands of [director] Alex Graves.
After portraying the character of Joffrey so well, highlighting his talent as an actor, it may come as a shock to many people that Jack Gleeson intends to retire from the industry. Even after the backhanded praise from author George R.R. Martin congratulating him on his performance, Jack will seek to go back to education and carve a new career path, although admittedly he does not know what field as of yet.
Now you’re giving us another twist in this story by retiring at the age of 21. Why?
Gleeson: The answer isn’t interesting or long-winded. I’ve been acting since age 8. I just stopped enjoying it as much as I used to. And now there’s the prospect of doing it for a living, whereas up until now it was always something I did for recreation with my friends, or in the summer for some fun. I enjoyed it. When you make a living from something, it changes your relationship with it. It’s not like I hate it, it’s just not what I want to do.
Personally I would love to see Jack Gleeson stay within the trade. There is no denying he has been fantastic as the character everyone loves to hate. Following his anti-celebrity culture speech and comments to Entertainment Weekly about how he has lost his passion for acting, no longer seeing it as a hobby, it is no surprise that once his contract with Game of Thrones was over he would bow out of the industry. To those questioning his decision he has this simple reply.
Many who follow entertainment in Hollywood will have a tough time wrapping their head around you
Gleeson: Deal with it.
I wish you all the best for the future Jack Gleeson. You have been terrible but you have been brilliant. The King is dead! Long live Jack Gleeson!