5 minutes with Gethin Anthony: 'I cried when I got a call from the RSC'

As he prepares to play Jake in Sam Shepard’s ”A Lie of the Mind”, we chat to the actor about working with the RSC and his part in ”Game of Thrones”

(© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage)

I was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, but my upbringing wasn't particularly stagey. My teachers we the ones that really got me into acting. I was very lucky at the schools I went to. I had this amazing set of teachers at ‘big school’, they had us doing The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui when we were 11. They made the drama studio a really welcoming, creative space. Then I went to uni and did nothing but plays. Pubs and plays.

I think I cried a bit when I got a call from the RSC. I did the winter season in the 2012/13 and I was just so excited. It caught me off guard. I remember walking past the dressing rooms when I was about 13 on a school trip and seeing the actors hanging out the back. I thought: 'That’s where I want to be'. The Swan is a beautiful space, it’s like being inside a womb. It’s beautiful to play. It was probably the biggest thing I’ve done on stage.

It's funny how Game of Thrones is still a talking point five years after I filmed it. It kind of builds as people are still starting the series now. People who are really into the show always manage to see through the beard recognise me. It's a huge thing that extraordinary to be a small part of.

Gethin Anthony and Michael Fox in rehearsals for A Lie of the Mind
(© Lidia Crisafulli)

A Lie of the Mind is a fantastic Sam Shepard play. It's set in in Southern California in the '80s and it's this incredibly dark family drama. My character Jake has just beaten his wife to within an inch of her life. His family scoop him up to deal with him and you see his journey after that. More importantly, you see how Beth and her family deal with healing.

If you’re interested in incredible poetic drama, Americana, and a fantastic bunch of actors (apart from me I’m rubbish), then come and see it. It’s one of Sam Shepard’s best plays. At the end of the first week, I thought we had a real sense of how hard it might be to go into this world every night. But by the end of it, you realise how cathartic the play really is.

I would love to get the chance to play Cyrano. I got to do it at uni and it was extraordinary. A hell of a laugh. It was fun, but I’ve probably jinxed it now. I’ll never get asked to do it.

A Lie of the Mind runs at the Southwark Playhouse from 4 to 27 May.