Joe Dempsie Talks Gendry Proposing to Arya and THAT Sex Scene for Esquire Magazine

Posted on May 08, 2019

Joe Dempsie, aka Gendry, is featured in the latest issue of Esquire magazine photographed by Tyler Joe.




On Gendry proposing to Arya: “Gendry just got a bit excited, didn’t he? He’d just been made a lord—he’d known for awhile now where he’s come from but the recognition of that by someone in authority has given him an ability to find a place in the world that I think he’s been searching for his entire life. And he just got a bit gassed and asked someone to marry him. And she quite rightly told him where to go. What a stupid question! I think he knows deep down in his heart of hearts there is no way Arya will ever be anyone’s lady.”

On Gendry and Arya’s sex scene in S8E2: “The most common thing Thrones fans have wanted to talk to me about over the years was this suggested relationship with Arya. I always found that conversation quite uncomfortable at the time, particularly in the early years. I was a 25-year-old man being asked whether I would like my character to get together with an at-the-time 14-year-old actress. It was always something I thought wasn’t fair to ask me personally … I felt there needed to be an understanding that even though what we’re making is fantasy, actual execution of that had to take place in reality. It was never really something I gave much thought to.”

On feeling personally uncomfortable shooting the sex scene: “It was strange for me having known [Williams] since she was 11 or 12 years old and being asked to play out a scene like that. That discomfort I had initially seemed to have been shared by quite a lot of people who have watched that episode, too. But I found the subsequent conversation actually really quite interesting. What that scene ended up doing was forcing people to confront their own hypocrisy in a way. I think the root cause of that unease and discomfort in a lot of viewers is because they feel like they’ve seen her grow up on screen. That’s something that happens to us all—we all start off young and then the majority of us start having sex and we’re all perfectly capable to finding that journey out for ourselves. But we still find it difficult to watch someone else take that journey, say, on a TV screen.”

On what Gendry’s legitimacy will mean for the character going forward: “I don’t think necessarily that all the trimmings that come with Lords of Storm’s End are really the kinds of things that he was after. Power and the land and the wealth that you would imagine Gendry would acquire now, that’s all kind of superfluous to him. I think the main thing that he would take from it is the legitimacy and that he’s no longer a bastard. The fact that he’s been recognized as a legitimate son of somebody—it can be as simple as that. You can imagine he’s not a particular fan of heirarchy but he can place himself somewhere within it now.”

On auditioning for the role of Jon Snow and two other characters before finally landing the role of Gendry: “I auditioned for the pilot. I had no idea what Game of Thrones was. Didn’t get it. Kind of forgot about it…Nobody knew it was going to become the biggest TV show on the planet at that point. It was just another audition…[I] was convinced that they must just think I’m a terrible actor. Then Gendry came along and again I went along to the audition and I think it was three auditions I had. I had one in London, then one in Belfast where I met [showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] for the first time. And then a final one where David and Dan were there again. And there was like four other producers in the room, too. And I was fairly convinced it was the worst audition I’ve ever given.”



[Photo Credit: Tyler Joe/Esquire Magazine]

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