Kit Harington aiming for variety in roles outside of Game of Thrones
Kit Harington has said he wants to take on as wide a variety of roles possible during his "out" period on Game of Thrones.
The 29-year-old actor, best known for playing Jon Snow in the hit HBO series since 2011, will portray Doctor Faustus in a new production of the Christopher Marlowe classic in April.
The London-born star once again appeared to dash the hopes of Thrones fans clinging to the belief that Snow, who was murdered by his brothers from the Night's Watch in the season five finale, is still alive.
During an interview with the Radio Times, he said: "All actors crave variety and there can be a laziness you slip into when you go back to a character every year, and I definitely slipped into it in the past.
"I need to do everything possible in my 'out' period."
Harington has welcomed his new venture on the West End stage because it marks a departure from the type of part he is normally offered.
The play is based on Marlowe's Elizabethan tragedy and the role of Faustus sees Harington portray the 'anti-hero' who sells his soul to the devil.
After winning critical acclaim and the adoration of ardent fans around the world for Game of Thrones, he admitted this has added to the pressure of his forthcoming stage stint.
Harington told the Radio Times he has not slept much recently.
On the subject of reviews, the How to Train Your Dragon 2 voice artist said he does not know if he will read any for Doctor Faustus, whether they are positive or negative.
"They could have a hugely adverse effect on the performance running for 10 weeks," he said.
"It could either destroy my confidence, or it could turn me into a cocky p***k who stops thinking about what he's doing - so if I can possibly avoid them, I will."
Harington's screen breakthrough came in the television adaptation of George RR Martin's series of fantasy novels, but he has a background in the theatre.
"The ultimate ambition was to leave drama school and get a role as a spear carrier at the Royal Shakespeare Company," he told the magazine.
"Aged 17, I saw Ben Whishaw playing Hamlet and that was it for me. I was like, 'I want to be Ben Whishaw'."
"I think because of Game Of Thrones and other things I've been in, I'm usually thrown a lot of classic hero roles who are essentially very good men with their heart in the right places," he said.
"Doctor Faustus is not that person, he's an anti-hero, he's a selfish man with a dark secret and a dark soul."
The actor, whose full name is Christopher, addressed reports he had been named after playwright Marlowe and admitted it was partly true.
"My mum was a playwright and a fan of Marlowe and liked the name so I'm going to go with it," he said.
:: Doctor Faustus opens at London's Duke of York's Theatre on April 9.