Much like his character in HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Conleth Hill feels most comfortable in transition.
The Irish actor is best known for his role as Lord Varys on the award-winning series, but he’s taken on numerous characters in a career that has spanned nearly 30 years in film, television and theater. Hill is currently rehearsing in London for a return to the stage, in the West End production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” He can also be seen in the thriller “a Patch of Fog,” which is available on VOD and iTunes.
Hill talked with CBS News about his latest role and what he’s looking forward to seeing next season on “Game of Thrones.”
What was it about “a Patch of Fog” made you want to get involved?
I just thought the script was fantastic. It was a really interesting setup to play this lonely man under two very, very different circumstances. One was very well-off and the other had a strange habit that I had to explain throughout the course of the film. But yeah I just thought it was a really interesting script, sometimes I was rooting for one of them and other times rooting for the other.
Did you understand right away the dual personalities of your character?
Yeah, you try not to judge anyone you play, but I think initially he seemed grumpy, like he was hiding something and was kind of elusive about it, but you weren’t really sure until throughout the course of the film when you were told. To be honest I only got [the script] about a week before principal photography started, which didn’t give me much time, but I thought the film was so strong and so clear and so I didn’t need to do lots of research or anything.
You and your co-star, Stephen Graham, share some very intimate scenes together. What was that like?
He was just brilliant, just fantastic. I learned so much from him. His approach was so brilliant and he had this fantastic lack of awareness of personal space. So it was exciting working with him because you didn’t know exactly what he was going to do, but he kept it very much alive.
Let’s talk “Game of Thrones.” What can you share with us about production on the new season and the season itself?
I can tell you that I am done with filming, which is why I am rehearsing for a play in London. I can tell you that their production is still going until the end of this month, maybe the next month. And that’s about all I can tell you.
It’s safe to say the level of fandom for this show exceeds that of any other on TV today. How do you keep so tight-lipped?
It’s not hard because it’s HBO and our bosses are so good to us. In return they ask that we don’t give anything away. But also real fans wouldn’t appreciate being told what is coming up. I’m sure most fans are avoiding these famous leaks that have gotten out. The fans want to watch it unfold and see what happens. It isn’t hard because the fans have a lot of respect.
Do you anticipate the new season as much as the rest of the world?
Absolutely. When I get the scripts I just kind of binge-read them and I just want to know what is going to happen. Every year the writers surprise me and I don’t see things coming. It’s such a thrill to be given the script before the world and to know what is going to happen and then forget about it once you film and then watch it again.
Visions of future events is a regular occurence on the show. What are you hoping for Varys’ future?
I kind of love the journey. I made my mind up quite early -- because of the nature of the show and the nature of people who are bigger names than me being killed off -- that I didn’t take anything for granted. I just said for however long this lasts I’m going to enjoy it and that’s how I’ve been so far.