Kit Harington hails West End 'anti-hero' role as departure from Game Of Thrones
Game Of Thrones star Kit Harington has said his new role on the West End stage was a draw for him because it marks a departure from the type of role he is normally offered.
Harington, best known for playing Jon Snow in the hit HBO TV show, will play Doctor Faustus in a new production of the classic written by Christopher Marlowe, with two new acts introduced by Irish playwright Colin Teevan.
The production will be directed by Jamie Lloyd, whose credits include the musical Passion and Macbeth, which featured James McAvoy.
The play is based on Marlowe's Elizabethan tragedy and Harington's role as Faustus sees him portray the "anti-hero", who sells his soul to the Devil.
Harington told the Press Association he did not like flippant romantic comedies or "things that have no stakes in them".
He said: "I think what was really a pull for me for this is that it's a character and a part that I'm not often offered.
"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 and 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 29-year-old, whose full name is Christopher, addressed reports that he had been named after Marlowe, admitting it was partly true.
"I may have made that up at some point ... But my m um was a playwright and a fan of Marlowe and liked the name so I'm going to go with it," he said.
Teevan's two new acts will see Faustus portrayed as a magician and Harington revealed that, in preparation for the role, he has been talking to friends who are magicians and going to watch a lot of magic shows.
The Game Of Thrones Season 5 finale had viewers outraged as his character lay bleeding in the snow after being stabbed by his brothers from the Night's Watch.
Harington said he was not prepared for the outpouring of grief over the supposed death of his character, although fans have continued to speculate about whether or not Jon Snow is really dead.
"I'm never prepared for anything that might come with any performance. I wasn't prepared for Thrones to be big. I think I was happy it wasn't a jump for joy that he was dead and more an outpouring of grief," he said.
A poster released in November last year, featuring only Jon Snow's face, caused further speculation as to the fate of his character.
"I didn't hear a word about me being on the poster, I just saw myself on the side of a building one day," he revealed.
Asked if Jon Snow is really dead, he refused to give anything away, but said: "I'm sure it's going to be an incredible season - I've heard great things."
:: Doctor Faustus tickets go on sale today (January 26) and the play opens at the Duke of York's theatre in April 2016.