Most people recognize Peter Dinklage as the inimitable Tyrion Lannister from HBO’s Game of Thrones. What many people don’t realize is that this resident TV badass has been making a name for himself in show business for years. At the age of 46, Mr. Dinklage has been in countless movies, on many TV shows, and even video games. Known for his deep voice and no-nonsense attitude, Peter Dinklage is the perfect example of how sometimes your reputation preceding you can be a good thing. Everywhere he goes, he seems to exude the attitude that’s now earning him his own fan site: “F*** Yeah Peter Dinklage.”
From interviews to award shows, Peter Dinklage seems to approach every situation with a critical eye and sharp humor. Has anyone ever seen this man get flustered? We have a feeling he could be between Pope Francis and Oprah at dinner in Buckingham Palace and not be phased. What can we learn from this majestic being? Everyone relates to humor, acceptance speeches should be as succinct as possible, and animals are the best. Let’s all reflect on the life and times of Peter Dinklage and consider it a master class of cool. A study in swag. A lesson in levity. Peter Dinklage, you can do no wrong. Here are 11 things you probably didn’t know about this living legend.
11. Animal Love
Peter Dinklage has been a vegetarian since he was a teenager and suggests other people should follow suit. He has done a vegetarian testimonial for PETA and supports humane efforts for all animals. As always, Peter decided to do even more than the typical Hollywood-vegan-pusher and even made a video supporting his cause. His video, called “Face Your Food,” encourages people to take the pledge to eat plant-based and void all animal products. He’s said, “I like animals, all animals. I wouldn’t hurt a cat or a dog-or a chicken or a cow. And I wouldn’t ask someone else to hurt them for me. That’s why I’m a vegetarian.”
Dinklage often references adopting dogs and supports animal rescue efforts. He doesn’t just talk about his gorgeous pooch, Keving, either. Peter Dinklage is constantly photographed walking his furry friend around the block near his house, earning his dog a fan club of his own. In fact, during a 2011 acceptance speech, Peter went so far as to thank Kevin’s dog-sitter for making his award show attendance possible. Now, that’s respectable.
10. Sharing Germs Is A-OK
At the 2015 Emmys, it pretty much shocked no one when Peter Dinklage won the Outstanding Supporting Actor award for his work on Game of Thrones… expect maybe him. After hearing his name called to the stage, Peter Dinklage appeared to not only kiss his wife, but spit his gum into her mouth, too. Caught on camera, his gum-sharing became a main headline of the award ceremony for days following. To top it all off, he walked up to the microphone, spoke with humility, humor, and gratitude, and said ‘good night” before saying too much. Talk about making award shows as enjoyable as possible!
9. He Hula-Hooped At A Night Club
A couple of years ago, a story about Peter Dinklage went viral following the release of a few pictures of him at a club. You may be thinking, celebrities go to clubs all of the time, why was it news-worthy? Well, reportedly, Mr. Dinklage was enjoying himself at a Canadian gay bar with some other Game of Thrones cast members, including his on-screen nemesis, Lena Headey. The group was partying to honor another cast member who was DJing that night. While thinking about the Lannisters partying in a modern club is entertaining enough, photos of the occasion did not disappoint. Peter was photographed spending the evening hula-hooping in a light-up version of the toy. As he should.
8. He Rocks A Man Bun
The biggest male hair trend of 2015? Arguably the man bun. Debuting his man bun for the world to admire at the 2015 Emmys, it just seemed like one more notch in Peter Dinklage’s belt of ultimate coolness. Joining the likes of Hollywood cool guys Leonardo DiCaprio, Harry Styles, Jared Leto, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Chris Hemsworth, Mr. Dinklage fits right in with this hairstyle peers. He must’ve felt confident that fans would universally rejoice at the site, because his costar Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) has been considered the pioneer of the man bun trend all along. Just add this to the list of reasons Peter Dinklage slays in every way. Swoon.
7. He Wants People To Be Nice To Each Other
Peter Dinklage has a genetic condition called achondroplasia which affects bone growth and ultimately resulted in a form of dwarfism. Despite his genetic condition, Dinklage has succeeded in Hollywood and overcome a great deal of adversity. It’s not uncommon for television reporters to ask him about his height and rise to fame, but Peter Dinklage refuses to be self-centered in his response. Instead, Peter Dinklage uses the interviews about his physical appearance to talk about bullying. To help kids everywhere, he encourages everyone to take a stand against bullying, which he calls a “worldwide epidemic.” We stand by you, Peter!
6. He Was Absolutely Amazing In Elf
How many times have we all seen the Will Ferrell modern holiday classic that is Elf? Too many times to count, probably. It seems to be streaming 24/7 from November 1st to December 25th and we’re not mad at it. Elf is wonderful for so many reasons: the new meal plan ideas (spaghetti and syrup, anyone?), the ensemble cast (hi, Zoey Deschanel), and of course, Mr. Narwhal. However, perhaps the most magical scene in the movie happens in Buddy the Elf’s dad’s business office. During a children’s book pitch, Buddy immediately identifies one of the meeting attendees as an elf. That character, played by Peter Dinklage, gets grumpy and steals the whole scene. Now you can enjoy your favorite holiday movie with a fresh set of eyes and even more appreciation for grumpy-cat Peter Dinklage.
5. His Daily Show Interview
Ah, those of you who cringe during awkward TV appearance may want to skip this one. How does awkwardness happen between two of the resident cool guys of Hollywood? We’re not sure, but it’s a special kind of magic. In an on-screen interview with Jon Stewart, Peter Dinklage seemed to have ‘checked out’ of the appearance before it even began. Full of weird pauses, eye contact, and quick-witted responses, this interview is a lesson in how to interview Peter Dinklage. Let him do the talking and just laugh at how hilarious, natural, and confident he is. That’s what everyone at home is doing, anyway.
4. He Holds His Own With A-Listers
One of Peter Dinklage’s most recent films was in X-Men: Days of Future Past alongside actor Hugh Jackman. Jackman is pretty much a golden boy in Hollywood thanks for his penchant for blockbuster films in conjunction with his more high-brow Broadway career. A triple-threat and professional schmoozer (he even hosts Kelly and Michael sometimes when Michael is away), it would be easy to be intimidated by someone as successful as Hugh. Not Peter Dinklage, though. At a press conference for the new X-Men film, Peter Dinklage and Hugh Jackman sat on a panel together. While Hugh was being his usual complimentary, jovial self to Peter, Peter was having none of it. In response to Hugh’s kind words, Peter jokingly accused the Broadway legend as sucking up to him for a guest spot on Game of Thrones. Peter’s ending thoughts? “Get in line, Jackman.”
3. He Uses Acceptance Speeches to Benefit Humanity
Are you sensing a trend here? Yes, Peter Dinklage has won a lot of awards and, subsequently, given a lot of acceptance speeches. Mr. Dinklage is not one to use his time with a captive audience for his own self-promotion. Instead, he acknowledges the talents or hardships of others. In his 2012 Golden Globe award acceptance speech, Peter Dinklage asked the world to think about a man named Martin Henderson. Instantly, Martin Henderson Google searches went crazy. Many people were confused when they found the pages of a handsome soap opera actor, but after some digging, you can find the man Peter was referring to in his speech. Peter Dinklage wanted to raise awareness about a United Kingdom man’s story who faced random violence, arguably because he is a little person. Using his acceptance speech to fight prejudice? He’s the best.
2. He can sum up Game of Thrones in 45 seconds
The real problem here is, who has not seen Game of Thrones? In an unimaginable interview, the man asking the questions admits to Peter Dinklage that he has never seen Game of Thrones. This seems hard to believe for so many reasons, but Peter Dinklage kept his cool. He used this opportunity to educate the man and anyone watching about what they’re missing on HBO’s top-rated series. In 45 seconds and very few words, Peter Dinklage captivates by conveying the core of his version of Game of Thrones: violence and incest using nothing more than beautiful hand symbols. No words necessary, Peter.
1. His High School Yearbook Photo
Um, if you haven’t seen this photo, you must. Peter Dinklage’s 1987 senior yearbook photo has been circulated in magazines and websites because it is of epic eighties coolness. With a mullet and his signature no-nonsense facial expression, Peter Dinklage has never looked more admirable. In some serious Hollywood foreshadowing, his chosen yearbook quote is one from the famous actor Sam Shepard: “Words are the tools of imagery in motion.” Did Peter know he would one day be an actor known for his way with words? We can only hope. In black-and-white, his stoic expression seems to be conveying that he knows the secrets of the world and he’s worried about all of us. We’re worried about us, too, Peter. Thanks for making our lives better.