The actor, who recently starred in Bodyguard, sat down with actress Amy Adams for Variety’s Actors on Actors discussion, which was published on Tuesday.
Amy mentioned she binge-watched Richard’s HBO hit just to check out his acting skills.
Because of her viewing tendencies, Amy said she wasn’t aware of how many seasons she watched and described the experience as “just one long epic”, and asked Richard to specify when his character actually died.
In response, Richard offered way more than just the simple answer of “Season 3.”
“I died at the end of Season 3,” Richard said. “It was such a hard thing to finish because from first pilot to my death was five years. But five years was a great time to be on the show.
“It helped me so much with my career and experience. I learned a lot from shooting 30 hours of television. You really start to learn the trade doing that. And then I was thankful to leave it.”
He added: “The actors on it now must be 11 years into playing these characters. Give these guys some medals, because that is a marathon.”
Since the HBO smash hit wound down last month, many of its stars have become more transparent about how playing their roles for such a long time have affected their lives off-camera.
Both Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), who were on the show since they were young girls, have expressed struggling with mental health issues that seem directly correlated to their Game of Thrones fame.
It was also confirmed last month that Kit Harington, who played the show’s central hero Jon Snow, had checked into a “wellness retreat” shortly after the show’s finale to seek treatment for “personal issues.”
Earlier this year, Kit was frank in another interview with Variety about the emotional toll of playing Snow for so many years. He said his rapid rise to fame and his eventual role as the show’s focus spurred him to seek therapy.
“It wasn’t a very good time in my life,” he said. “I felt I had to feel that I was the most fortunate person in the world, when actually, I felt very vulnerable. I had a shaky time in my life around there — like I think a lot of people do in their 20s. That was a time when I started therapy, and started talking to people. I had felt very unsafe, and I wasn’t talking to anyone.”
He also expressed how leaving the show was difficult for him in an interview with Esquire published in April.
“I felt fine ... I felt fine ... I felt fine ... Then I went to do my last shots and started hyperventilating a bit. Then they called, ‘Wrap!’ And I just fucking broke down. It was this onslaught of relief and grief about not being able to do this again,” he said.
So, maybe Richard is on to something.