11 Times 'Game Of Thrones' Star Jack Gleeson Was Nothing Like Joffrey In Real-Life
Game of Thrones actor Jack Gleeson portrayed the villainous Joffrey Baratheon until — spoiler alert — Joffrey's death in Season 4. Off screen, though, the two couldn't be more different. To hear the cast, crew, and the actor himself tell it, there are at least 11 times Jack Gleeson was nothing like Joffrey IRL. And that's a good thing. A really, really good thing.
After a few smaller roles — like a brief appearance in Batman Begins — Gleeson landed the role of Joffrey Baratheon in HBO's Game of Thrones. Though the show is still on the air, Gleeson left following his character's demise in 2014. It was probably for the best; King Joffrey was pretty vile. And for a young actor, being associated with a role like that can be difficult. Fortunately, Game of Thrones actors took every opportunity to talk about what a sweet, charming, and gentle person Gleeson really is. From playing and singing ukulele to baking breads out of boredom, he's always demonstrated his genuinely good nature off screen.
Once the show wrapped, Gleeson retired from acting — potentially for good. He enrolled at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and hoped to lead a life as a normal student. Here are just a few times that Gleeson was nothing like his Game of Thrones character:
1. When He Majored In Theology & Philosophy At Trinity College
Gleeson double-majored in Theology and Philosophy at the historic Trinity College in Dublin. Those just so happen to be two of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking courses of study in existence. Dutifully pursuing philosophy and religious theory courses is a far cry from Joffrey's "off with their heads!" approach to ruling. Reading and writing and studying and practicing and trying to have a moral, historical-based view of the world to move forward with? What an angel.
2. That Time He Gave A Precious Quote About His Fansite
In response to an interview question when he was asked the "greatest thing that had happened to [him]," Gleeson responded: "There's a fan website that was brought to my attention, which seems to just feature my face with photoshopped flower garlands on my head. I think I look quite good in them. It's nice." So gentle. So pure. So delicate. So not Joffrey Baratheon. The cognitive dissonance is so real.
3. How He Baked Bread In His Spare Time
Speaking with Trinity College's University Times newspaper in 2016, Gleeson revealed he picked up some useful skills while figuring out the next step in his career. He said, to the interviewer at the time:
"I'm a good baker. I baked some baguettes yesterday. And some brioche. It's really out of boredom than out of interest."
Page The Great British Bake-Off's Mary Berry, ASAP!
4. The Fact That He Retired Early From A Profession That Afforded Him Fame & Fortune
After Joffrey's death on Game of Thrones, Gleeson retired from acting. Not went on a hiatus, or "decided to choose his projects more carefully", or anything like that. He literally retired from a lucrative and high-profile career to live a more everyday life. Joffrey, obsessed with wealth and power, would never.
5. Any Time He's Ever Made A Joke, Ever
King Joffrey Baratheon (cough, Lannister) was hardly known for his lighthearted sense of humor, but Gleeson has shown fans that he can crack a joke unlike his Game of Thrones character. While Joffrey was never able to poke fun at himself, due to deeply-rooted insecurity and the fact that he was a spoiled brat whose mother indulged his every whim — no matter how malicious, Gleeson once joked, "I don't have a girlfriend, no. No, I don't. I'm free, I'm a free man. You can check out my dating website profile, Joffrey Loves the Babes."
6. The Time He Played A Ukulele Surrounded By Puppets
It's rare to have something this pure on the internet also be so impossible to discover the origins of. In absence of that, here's that time Gleeson channeled his horror show of a king to the tune of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood".
7. He's #TeamHodor
Joffrey is eternally Team Joffrey, so, what else needs to be said, but Gleeson once said that he thinks "Hodor should win the throne." Sweet Hodor being cheerleaded by one of the cruelest characters on the show? Yeah, this one is a pretty big distinction between the actor and the character.
8. When He Was Nice To Literally Everyone — Especially Security Guards
Obviously, being a famous dude on campus meant requesting a little extra security when it was available. To thank them for it, Gleeson did the best he could. Per the student paper:
"I loved the security guards when I was living on campus … I tried to be nice to them and bring them coffee and pizza and stuff to try and curry favor with them. It went okay. I think it was more that I was famous rather than the coffee or the pizza that swung it for me."
Could anything in this or any parallel universes be less Joffrey Baratheon than going out of one's way to reward and appreciate security guards just for doing their jobs? The Kingsguard certainly never received such treatment.
9. When He Cuddled A Puppy
Like, not to get too much into detail, but Joffrey definitely killed at least one of Tommen's cats, so, safe to say he wouldn't be much of a puppy guy either. But Gleeson seems to love this puppy as much as a normal non-evil person would. Point one billion for Gleeson.
10. When He Was Humble AF
Gleeson is always quick to downplay his status as an actor, even though any one of his projects (like, you know, Batman Begins or Game of Thrones) is beyond impressive. Meanwhile, Joffrey legitimately walked around demanding people acknowledge his status as an incredible king, so. Does this need any more explaining?
11. That Time Something Made Him Giggle & It Was Too Precious For Words
Joffrey only ever grimaced; he never smiled for real. Unless there was torture involved, but... none of Littlefinger's employees were harmed in the making of this .gif!
Seriously, any thing Joffrey could do, Jack Gleeson could do the inverse of it 10 times better. From laughing and joking to actually thinking of others, there's no kindness the retired actor can't perform. So, if you run into him on the streets of Dublin, don't go out of your way to say hi! Maybe wait until he offers you a slice of freshly baked bread first.