Even though Game of Thrones, the show which conquered the whole world has come to an end, the story and its characters never seem to leave the minds of the people who have been hooked to it for the past decade. The last season aired last month, left both positive and negative impressions among the fans. However, there is no dispute on the goose bumps it gave especially when the Dothraki screamed and ran into the army of the dead. But how many of you know that the man who led the Dothraki in the long night, Qhono, was played by a half-malayali? Staz Nair, opens up with Mathrubhumi Online on the show and his life ever since.
Can you talk a bit about your Malayali background?
My father is from Kochi, so I am half Malayali. I sadly haven’t visited since I was 16 years old.
How does it feel to be part of something as epic as Game of Thrones?
It was truly an honour. Firstly, to be the only south Indian, if I’m not mistaken, to be part of the biggest show in the world is a blessing. It is truly amazing to be facilitating so much malayali pride! My job is about giving something to people that makes them feel or think so to be part of so much malayali pride and that is a true blessing. GOT was the beginning of my career in many ways. I had been living in the corridor of a house just before then and working 2-3 jobs to pay bills, so it represents the shift in my life where I realised, I wasn’t crazy to pursue my passion of creativity.
Your character Qhono in GOT and the impact it had on you?
Qhono was born into a culture that was built on power (the Dothraki) their whole ideology is based on that so when he saw Danaerys kill ALL his kings all he could do was bend the knee and hope that she would take him as a loyal lieutenant. I actually played him like he was in love with Khaleesi, as she was so beautiful and powerful, she was the perfect woman for him, plus it made it more fun for me. All the actors on this show were very gracious and humble. I believe that is why the show did so well, everyone was happy being part of something great but always remembered they were always just a part - it takes collaboration to create something that great.
You’ve been receiving a lot of messages and well wishes from your Malayali fans. How does it feel like?
Honestly, I have no words for the amount of love and support I have received from my malayali brothers and sisters! I am so humbled and honoured to have inspired so much love and support and I cannot wait to visit, hopefully in October. I want to try arrange a meet and greet so I can meet some of the lovely people who have messaged me. My job becomes even more special when it allows me to connect with my culture and its people
What is it which comes to your mind when you think of Kerala? Can we expect you anytime soon?
I am overwhelmed by its beauty, there is a reason why they call it as God’s own country. I remember having the most amazing Lassi ever also, and it all felt so familiar and comfortable. I hope to visit this year and have found my connection to our culture through meditation and mantras.
What are your future projects? What are you presently working on?
I have a couple of projects coming out soon. Some I can’t talk about but one I am playing the villain and in the other, the hero, so it will be fun to play both sides this year.