On Game of Thrones, Kit Harington played the lonely, taciturn and somber Jon Snow, whose status as a bastard child within the Stark household informed his aloof personality. In next year’s MCU film Eternals, he’s set to play the Black Knight, and a broody name like that might make you assume he’ll be a similarly gloomy hero. Well, a new interview with the actor hints that this may not be the case.
Speaking with The Telegraph, Harington revealed that his parents raised him in what he describes as a “gender-fluid” environment, saying:
“I idolised my mum. I followed her around the house. It was because of her that I wanted to be an actor. She used to take us to the theatre at least twice a week. I asked for a Mighty Max and she bought me a Polly Pocket. I asked for an Action Man and I got a doll – it was very gender-fluid from the word go. And I went with it.”
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He went on to discuss how rigid gender boundaries are harmful to men and boys, going on to talk about how it informs his future choice of roles, explaining:
I feel that emotionally men have a problem, a blockage, and that blockage has come from the Second World War, passed down from grandfather to father to son. We do not speak about how we feel because it shows weakness, because it is not masculine. Having portrayed a man who was silent, who was heroic, I feel going forward that is a role I don’t want to play any more. It is not a masculine role that the world needs to see much more of.”
He makes a good case and the troubled yet silent superhero who bottles up his feelings has certainly become a cliche. It’s notable that some of the most critically acclaimed comic book movies have tried to get under the skin of these types of characters and give them a deeper emotional dimension. For example, Logan peeled back the layers of Wolverine’s gruff personality and Avengers: Endgame showed Captain America (who is actually from World War II) leading a support group meeting to help people process their feelings after Thanos’ Snap.
Showing a generation of young male viewers that being open about what makes you happy or sad isn’t unmasculine has got to be a positive thing. Let’s hope this is a hint that Kit Harington‘s Black Knight lives up to these ideals and is an emotionally literate character and not trapped in outdated patriarchal gender roles.
Source: The Telegraph