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Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson – who gained his nickname ‘The Mountain’ from the HBO show – spoke about how he got the job on podcast Anything Goes with James English, and said he was as surprised as anyone to be offered the role of Ser Gregor Clegane.
Thor said: “I never ever thought that I would become an actor.
“I had no acting experience at all and in those years my English wasn’t even that good.
“For some reason speaking English was a challenge for myself over my strongman years, but over the years I became better.
“I was always nervous.
“I thought to myself, 'Am I going to be good enough, is it going to look OK?’
“A lot of these things you think about – self-doubt.
“You’re doing it for the first time, like anything, you get nervous.”
He continued: “Luckily for me, as an inexperienced actor, I didn’t have many lines, I had very few lines.
“I killed a lot of people, there was a lot of physical stuff to do.
“This was better for me, because I’m good in those areas and I’m able to move my body weight and able to learn those things fast.
“So, that was easier for me to do, it was a good beginning of my acting career.”
However, when the first call came through, he wasn’t even sure whether it was for real or not.
He said: “I came in season four [when] it was already successful.
“I was [already] watching the show, when I heard the news that they wanted to see me and wanted to get me in for an audition.
“I was like ‘what?’ I didn’t believe it.
“I thought it was some kind of prank, but it wasn’t.”
Björnsson went on to claim that his time on the show has helped him in ‘small degrees’ with the training ahead of his forthcoming fight against fellow former World’s Strongest Man winner Eddie Hall.
“[In] Boxing you have to be on your toes, you have to move very well, but maybe in small degrees [Game of Thrones helped] but boxing is a very technical and extremely difficult sport and there’s so much to learn.”
The full interview with The Mountain is available on the Anything Goes with James English YouTube channel this Sunday (28 November) from 10.00am.