Most of the actors involved with HBO’s hugely popular Game of Thrones series hail from backgrounds you’d expect. Namely, years of acting training and rising in the ranks before hitting it big with what is now one of the best-known shows on television. But when you comb through the backgrounds of the cast, there are some actors whose pre-Game of Thrones work might surprise you. Here are the six Game of Thrones actors with the most interesting backgrounds. Warning: Some spoilers ahead, if you aren’t caught up on Game of Thrones.
1. Rory McCann
Rory McCann became one of the breakout stars of Game of Thrones due to his portrayal of Sandor Clegane, better known as “The Hound.” But it’s hard to believe that only six years ago, after completing a viking drama in Iceland, McCann decided to stay there to work as a carpenter when acting roles dried up.
“I pinch myself all the time — we were shooting in Iceland this year and thinking that it was only six years ago I was working as a carpenter in Iceland,” McCann told The Daily Record. “Now I’m back and swanning around in a chauffeur-driven car and part of one of the biggest TV shows in the world. I’m a very lucky boy.”
Eleven months later, the actor was back in the U.K., but acting roles still weren’t coming his way. A friend pointed him toward a job cutting down trees in Windsor following the hurricane before a series of acting gigs ultimately led him to Game of Thrones. The rest is history.