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'Game Of Thrones' Actor Says Played Samwell Tarly Led To Anxiety Problems And Speech Issue

Gettyimages | Jeff Kravitz
By Clark Sparky

Playing the role of Samwell Tarly on "Game of Thrones" was the biggest role of John Bradley's life, but it has led to some negative side effects since the show finished filming. He talked about those issues with Giles Paley-Phillips and Jim Daly on the "Blank Podcast."

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"Towards the end of Game Of Thrones, it became the only way I could act, and I got into the unconscious mindset that people want me to do this," he said. "I got into this trap with Sam, I set myself traps, because he had a traumatic childhood and suffered a lot – and it manifested through a stammer and a twitch sometimes."

The character of Tarly became shy and anxious, and often stammered, as a result of abuse suffered at the hands of his father as a child.

"There are takes of me where it felt like it would be five minutes where I am just standing with the other actors and I couldn't speak and I just can't get the words out and certain sounds would trip me up," he said.


"In one scene I came in first with Kit Harrington and in the nicest way he said to me 'can you come in a bit quicker?' so I can react a bit quicker and I was like 'I can't, I just can't.'"

"As lovely as the crew were, they assumed it was because I had forgotten my lines. It took me a while to get out of it and it went away over time," he continued.

Bradley told the hosts that he went seeking other roles so he wasn't stuck just playing Samwell, but even then some issues would pop up.

"Towards the end of that journey, that stammer would turn up in non-Sam acting and I'd do auditions when I'd stammer because it just seemed like the default place that I went to when I acted," he said. "I think people thought it was part of me but it wasn't, but it was performance anxiety."

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