Entertainment TV News

Friday 20 July 2018

From First Dates to Winterfell... how this Irish farmer landed a role on Game of Thrones

*WARNING* Spoilers ahead for season seven of Game of Thrones

First Dates star George Beattie landed a role as an extra on Game of Thrones
First Dates star George Beattie landed a role as an extra on Game of Thrones
George and Amanda on First Dates Ireland

Sasha Brady

You may have recognised one of the Stark guards in the season finale of Game of Thrones.

Or maybe not. It was a blink and you'll miss it moment but one that was pretty special for the extra involved.

George Beattie (26), who appeared on the last season of First Dates Ireland, made his drama debut on Monday night's season finale of Game of Thrones.

It was a "surreal" moment for the Wicklow farmer who is a big fan of the HBO fantasy epic.

My claim to fame, Stark Guard #gameofthrones #countrylife #kinginthenorth #got7 #beard

A post shared by George Beattie (@georgebeattie1) on

"My friend works on the show and I'd been pestering him for months for a part and I finally got the chance when an extra pulled out at the last minute," George told Independent.ie.

With a beard that helped him look the part of a Northener of Westeros, he made the trek to Belfast to film one of the most memorable scenes of the episode: Littlefinger's death sentence.

George appeared as one of the Stark guards and watched in the baCkground as Littlefinger's scheming finally unravelled and he was sentenced to death by the Stark sisters.

"It took two days to film but they were long days. We'd start at about 5am and go right through until 7 or 8pm," he said.

George filmed his scenes with lead stars Sophie Turner (Sansa), Maisie Williams (Arya), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran) and Aidan Gillen (Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish).

While he said all actors were "brilliant" to work with, it was the former Love/Hate star that impressed him the most.

"He was acting the whole way through. He didn't break out of character. Everyone was shooting little bits and pieces throughout the day but he worked the entire time," he said.

"He was really sound too. He thanked everyone. He's such a professional."

George admitted that he'd love to work on the show again but he's not keen to make the move into full-time acting.

"It's a long, long day. It's really hard work. It's so repetitive. We filmed each section of the one scene about 20 times. By the end of it, I think I knew everyone's scenes word-for-word," he said.

"I used to think acting was a very glamorous job but that's not the case.

"All the [interior] scenes of Winterfell are filmed in a massive shed. The heat from the lights and the fires burning was so intense.

"Also, the costumes are so authentic. We had to under layers with the rug-style blankets. Even the chain mail is real. As you can imagine, we were sweating the whole time."

George filmed scenes for the final episode of season seven which means he was aware of some of the season's key moments but he wasn't tempted to reveal any spoilers.

""Oh my God! I got to see so much. I knew that Arya had made it back to Winterfell. I knew that Littlefinger was going to die.

George and Amanda on First Dates Ireland
George and Amanda on First Dates Ireland

"They make you sign [non-disclosure] disclaimers where you practically have to sign your life away," he joked.

The Blessington man appeared on the latest season of First Dates Ireland when he was mismatched with Tipperary masters student Amanda.

Their date took an awkward turn when George told Amanda that "men are bad at making sandwiches" in an attempt to compliment the former deli worker.

He told Independent.ie that he's "gotten a little better" at making sandwiches but he joked that he still "gets the life abused out of me" whenever he visits a deli.

While he didn't find love with Amanda, First Dates opened the door on romance for him.

He joined the online dating site Bumble and matched with a girl who had seen him on First Dates Ireland.

"She messaged me and told me that she saw me on First Dates and told her mam 'I'd love to go on a date with that man' and five months later we're still dating."

Maybe he could take her down the King's Road on the next date before winter comes.

Online Editors

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment