Actor thanks HBO for bringing Game Of Thrones to Northern Ireland

A Belfast actor has paid tribute to a US TV giant for bringing its biggest show to the region.

Ian Beattie, who played the unpopular Ser Meryn Trant on the HBO drama Game Of Thrones, said the positive effect of the show on Northern Ireland is beyond calculation.

He described it as tremendous fun to play the villainous knight although conceded it became harder in later seasons where he was faced with scenes including one where he had to attack Sophie Turner’s character Sansa Stark at the behest of King Joffrey.

Game of Thrones touring exhibition
Left to right; actors Ian Beattie, who plays Meryn Trant, Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Bran Stark, and Liam Cunningham, who plays Davos Seaworth, at the launch of the Game of Thrones touring exhibition at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast. (Liam McBurney/PA)

“He was probably the most unsuitable member of the Kingsguard ever, he was a thug, a coward, a bully and honestly he had no redeeming features whatsoever,” he said.

Beattie was faced with wearing a coat of armour for the role which he weighed as being 28kg.

“But the lovely thing about it is the stunning detailing, and when you put it on, it really helped you with the character you were playing, you just became the character.”

Speaking to the Press Association at the launch of the Game Of Thrones touring exhibition at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast, Beattie went on to pay tribute to HBO.

“Game Of Thrones has transformed so much in this province, we have so much to be grateful for, that HBO decided to bring this show here,” he said.

“We have a new tourist attraction, loads of them, our own beautiful coastline which plays host to many of the scenes in the TV show, the positive effect on our economy to have a major American TV series being filmed here, the training of our crews, our camera people in front of and behind the camera, our artisans, our plasterers, our painters, the hotel trade, everything.

“The trickle down effect of Game Of Thrones has been incalculable.”

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