Asked about "Reign of Fire" during a recent panel discussion at New York Comic Con, the 24-year-old Irish actor dismissed it as a "mediocre" movie he hasn't seen in years.
"I remember really needing to go to the bathroom, at one point," Gleeson recalled, noting adults on the set kept telling him to wait because they were about to start filming.
"And I was like: 'I just have to kind of wet myself.' So, as like an 8-year-old or 9-year-old kid, I had to piss my pants. So, 'Reign of Fire,' maybe that's why I think it's mediocre ... I tried to be as cool and collected as possible and then I acted my socks off. I didn't let it affect my performance."
Of course, a few years later, Gleeson landed his iconic role of Joffrey, a sadistic, medieval royal on "Game of Thrones." He played the part for four seasons before Joffrey was poisoned and died.
Asked if there is an acting sequence for which he is particularly proud and enjoyed the most, Gleeson replied: "I don't know if there is a scene where I did my best work. The final scene that I appear in is when Joffrey's corpse is, like, lying on a plinth on the set and I just kind of got to sleep for the whole day, which is actually amazing. So, that was definitely a fun experience. I don't know if I did my best work because I would literally kind of just fall asleep and they put these ceremonial stones on my eyes. So, you know when you're kind of like dozing off and then you kind of wake up and you realize that you've been asleep and you shouldn't have been and you kind of [start]? And I realized they were acting and they were filming."
Gleeson said he regards the chance to play such a pivotal part on the wildly popular show as "an immense privilege," but emphasized he was ready to leave when Joffrey died.
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"Three seasons and two episodes, that's enough. That's a lot. You have to end it at some point. I feel like the novelty wears off after a while," he explained. "My dad always says to leave a party wanting more. You should never be the last to leave when everyone's sleepy and cranky. ... I feel like I left at the right time."
He went on to say he doesn't watch the series now to see how the story continued after Joffrey's murder.
"There's too much to catch up on. I haven't a clue what's going on. It's crazy," the actor laughed. "Maybe I should get into it. I mean, I hear it's good. It always wins Emmys and I've heard the acting is pretty good. Maybe I should give it a shot."
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