Peter Dinklage Reveals What It’s Like to Be a Dwarf Actor in Hollywood

Peter Dinklage
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20, 2015: "Game of Thrones" star Peter Dinklage at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre LA Live. (Featureflash Photo Agency /

Peter Dinklage opens up about being famous in Hollywood and how opportunities have changed for dwarf actors.

Peter Dinklage plays one of the most famous little actors of all time Hervé Villechaize in HBO Films’ My Dinner with Hervé. Villachaize is best known for playing Tattoo on Fantasy Island and in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dinklage discusses how things have changed for small actors since Villachaize’s death in 1993.

Dinklage admits the hardest part of playing Villachaize was keeping up with the actor’s energy. He explains, “Hervé lived pretty hard and I had to match his energy. And during a lot of the film, he doesn’t feel physical very well at all. So it was those two things. He’s such a complicated man. He was such a bright light and everybody around him loved him so dearly. But he burned too brightly. Obviously, it’s a common tragedy in Hollywood. But he lived much longer than anybody expected him too. He was also in a tremendous amount of pain due to his dwarfism, both physical and spiritual, and he just couldn’t take it anymore.”

Peter Linkage Dwarf Actor
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 20, 2015: “Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre LA Live. (Featureflash Photo Agency /

When asked if he believed that little actors have more opportunities now, Dinklage says, “I would like to think so. I try to be optimistic about it. I never really set out to change the parameters of casting. I just like good writing. The fame thing for me is a little hard. I don’t enjoy it… But yes, I’d like to think more opportunities are out there, but cynically it’s hard to speak to it without sounding like I’m not being critical of somebody else’s choices. I just know what I want in my career and I respect the choices of actors who are my size, or not, make. And I understand bills have to be paid. But it does perpetuate things. Not to get too political about it, but it’s a stereotype that still exists. Dwarf tossing still exists. There are still people of my size dressing up as elves at Christmas time. And if everybody continues to do that, then it won’t stop. But my daughter doesn’t think I’m a mythical creature. Unicorns don’t exist, but I do. It’s tricky, what we put out there, to perpetuate for future generations.”


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