The Game of Thrones star on seeming glum even when hes happy, cleaning around John Malkovichs feet and his relationship with fridges
Born in Dublin, Aidan Gillen, 49, constructed his name in Queer As Folk in 1999. In 2004, he appeared on Broadway in The Caretaker and was nominated for a Tony. He played Tommy Carcetti in The Wire and plays Petyr Baelish in Game Of Thrones. His films include The Dark Knight Rises, and his latest, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword, is released next week. He lives in Dublin and has two children with his former spouse; his current partner is singer Camille OSullivan.
When were you happiest?
I won a local art competition aged 10 the first time Id won anything.
What is your greatest fear?
Being tickled to death by large spiders.
What is your earliest memory ?
Looking through a veil hanging over what must have been my pram. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself ?
Gluttony. I cant pass a fridge without feeing something from it. What was your most embarrassing moment ?
When I was about 15, I operated out into a PE class, but I had forgotten to set my shorts on. What is your most treasured possession ?
My coffin bank. Its a 1970 s money box, and when you set a coin in the right place, a skeletons hand comes out and slides it inside. What would your super power be ?
House tidying through telekinesis. If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose ?
Underwater cockroaches the size of hands. Who would play you in the film of your life ?
Barry Ward. Or Cate Blanchett. And, for the older version, Kirk Douglas. What is your most unappealing habit ?
I look gloomy even when Im happy, which comes across as surliness. What is your favourite word ?
Unhalfbricking. What is your favourite smelling ?
Chips, salt and vinegar in a brown paper bag.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A stuntman. Evel Knievel was an icon.
What is the worst thing anyones said to you ?
When I was 14, another kid told: You really talk too much. Nobodys interested shut up. What is your guiltiest pleasure ?
Too Shy, by Kajagoogoo. To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why ?
Teachers at my school, for being such a smartarse. What or who is the greatest love of their own lives ?
My children. What was the best kiss of their own lives ?
The first teenage one, which was up against a caravan in County Sligo. What is the worst undertaking youve done ?
Cleaning around the feet of John Malkovich with industrial carpet cleansers while he was trying to learn lines in the vestibule of a theatre. If you could edit your past, what would you change ?
The floral waistcoat and shocking-pink shirt combo I wore on my 21 st. How do you relax ?
Meditation, alcohol, sleep, cycling. What is the closest youve come to death ?
Last year, driving in California, I find myself on the wrong side of the road. I was 30 seconds away from reaching two autoes arriving the other way. What maintains you awake at night ?
Foxes making love: its a very unsettling sound. What ballad would you like played at your funeral ?
Pyramid Song, by Radiohead, live.
Tell us a secret
I dont know what I am doing most of the time.
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