Finn Jones plays the ever unattainable (for women at least) Knight of the Flowers, Ser Loras Tyrell. He’s Game of Thrones’ resident “confuser”, breaking hearts on both sides of the gender divide. As the anticipated fourth season of Game of Thrones approaches and the Supanova Pop Culture Expo is right around the corner, I got to chat to the charming British actor, who will be in Australia this week. We spoke about everything from those “which character are you” online quizzes to Joseph Campbell’s theories on mythology, story and archetypes. Oh, and what his family made of “those scenes”. Here’s the transcript of my interview. Top bloke indeed.
Sally Browne? I love your name. That’s a serious name. Sally Browne. I love it.
There’s a lot of songs about Sally Brown. Old sea shanties and the like.
So you’re the fantasy of every pirate then?
That’s right. I think she was some sort of Creole girl in the 1700s or something. If you’re into music you should check out the compilation Rogue’s Gallery. It was co-produced by Johnny Depp and has all these actors and singers doing traditional sea shanties. The Sally Brown song is on there.
I’ll definitely check it out. I’ll be thinking of you when I listen to it.
Where are you right now?
I am in Hollywood being driven around by my chauffeur as I’m taking these calls.
The life of a knight.
I’m telling you, it’s hard work.
What are you doing in LA?
I’m living here at the moment. I’ve moved here for three months, auditioning for movies and TV shows, saying hello to be people and actually just chilling out here as well. Getting a bit of sun. Getting away from the London smog and drizzle back home.
You’re coming to Australia for Supanova. Is there anyone at the convention you’re keen to catch?
Oh my God, yes, do you watch Adventure Time, that kids cartoon show? I’m absolutely obsessed with it. I’m a hardcore Adventure Time fan, so the idea that both Finn (Jeremy Shada) and Jake (John DiMaggio) are going to be there is totally blowing my mind. I’m definitely going to fan-girl out. I’ll be crying, screaming, fainting, crawling at their feet.
There’s two Finns?
Yeah, Finn the actor and Finn the cartoon character.
Tell us about your fans.
Do you know what, I get nothing but love. It’s really nice. I’ve never had a bad fan experience. I’ve never had anyone say anything nasty to me. It’s always been good positive vibes, which is really nice. I go to a lot of these conventions and wherever it is in the world I always meet a lot of nice people who say nice things. And they’re really intelligent as well. They’re not just mindless, stupid fans. They’re really thoughtful and they always have something intelligent to say about the show.
What about love letters? You must get a few love letters, from both genders.
From both genders, yes. I love the fact that I get male love letters and girl love letters. I got quite an x-rated one the other day, which was quite full on. But it’s all fun and games.
You’re obviously not prudish, to have done some of the scenes you did, what was your mum and dad’s reaction to all of that?
Oh my God, well, it wasn’t so much my mum and dad’s reaction, rather my grandparent’s reaction. I kind of just don’t speak to them about it. They just say, oh, saw you on that television show the other day, good work. Thank Gran, thanks Grandad. A bit awkward, but they’re proud of me so that’s fine.
You grew up in Bromley, what did your parents do?
My dad works in the police and my mother is now a foster carer. They’re very nurturing, lovely people, they’ve all been very pro me doing what I do, lots of support, which is nice.
What’s it like on the set of Game of Thrones, who do you tend to hang out with?
Kind of everyone really. There’s a really good family vibe on set. I’m not saying this just to say it but I genuinely mean it. Everyone that comes on the show are really amazing people. It’s great to hang out with them. I’m really good friends with Gwen (Christie) who plays Brienne, and Alfie (Allen) who plays Theon. I always say it’s one of the best things about the show. Not only is it a hit TV show which is being seen by millions of people and allows me to do really good work, also it’s connected to really nice, wonderful people who will become lifelong friends.
What do you do in your downtime on set?
You stand around, maybe in the Greenroom playing games on our iPads. It’s nice in Croatia you get to go down to the old town, have some nice meals, go to the beach. When you’re stuck in Belfast it’s a little bit wetter but there’s always a nice vibe to catch with everyone. When you’re going on to a new season it always feels like you’re returning home. It’s always nice to see everyone.
Have you done one of those Game of Thrones – who would you be characters? I got Khaleesi, by the way.
Khaleesi! Nice. I think I’d be most like… I don’t know who. I’d like to think I’d be like Bran, Bran Stark. I think I relate to him most out of all the characters. He’s my favourite. That’s who I want to see on the Iron Throne. I want to see Bran and Hodor side by side, ruling the realm. I think they’d do a good job.
Is there someone you’d like to play?
I quite like the badies. I like Jofrey. I like Theon. I think they’d be characters that you could really get your teeth into, but personally Bran’s my favourite.
I see from your Twitter post that you’re a fan of (mythologist and author of The Hero with A Thousand Faces) Joseph Campbell.
I’m a massive, massive fan of him.
Game of Thrones has so many heroes and so many journeys. How do you think it follows the hero’s journey pattern?
Wow. I don’t know actually. It’s really difficult to tell the hero’s journey because the journey hasn’t finished yet in Game of Thrones. And I thought about Loras’s hero’s journey, and Loras doesn’t have a typical hero’s journey. What’s interesting about Game of Thrones is it doesn’t use the typical hero’s journey formula – like Ned Stark being beheaded. And I think in today’s day and age when we don’t have any modern day mythology to relate to and to see ourselves through, that’s why people are allured to it because it’s not conventional. As an actor, I’ve only started reading Joseph Campbell in the past seven months. I’ve read the book and listened to all kinds of audios and interviews and all that kind of stuff. Personally, as an actor I’d love to be given a role that fulfilled the whole hero’s journey, the whole arc, but a lot of the characters don’t fulfill the archetype. But again, I think that’s why it’s so popular. We’re in a day and age when nothing is perfect anymore and we need a new mythology for our times.
I think maybe out of everyone, Tyrion embodies the hero archetype. He’s the outsider, he tries to do the right thing, he gets beaten down, all that kind of stuff, so I think Tyrion is the true hero of the story.
What do you love outside of acting?
I love books. Joseph Campbell’s one of them. I’m hugely into music – hopefully when I’m in Australia there’ll be some good bands to see. I like nature. Outdoorsy things. It sounds like Australia is the perfect place for that. I love to go exploring and getting lost in the world. I like people as well. I’m a real people person.
Go meet him in person at Supanova, Gold Coast, April 4-6, Melbourne, April 11-13.