Meaning physical pain?
Pain of every kind. I don’t like psychological, emotional, or physical pain. Some people will be like, Oh, I know that it’s very likely I’ll break something, I’ve got to try that. Fuck. That. I don’t think of myself as—I’m not a tough guy.
I don’t live that way. I’m a lubricant. I want people to feel comfortable. I don’t know how to function at the expense of anyone’s comfort level. I’m a people pleaser.
I see some of that on social media, where you seem to do everything you can to make, say, the sci-fi fandom more welcoming and inclusive. You’re very supportive of your sister, for example, who came out as trans in 2021. How are you navigating your role in political spaces?
Total improvisation and ultimately just erring on the side of, like… [very long pause, two deep sighs] My whole heart is set on, you know, the marginalized underdog. It’s not a choice. Like, how dare anyone not support the people who are deserving of support, and are deserving of protection and need more of it than you do. Do you know what I mean?
Yeah, but some actors would say, My star is rising, I don’t want to get involved with this.
Maybe if you pause to think about it, it could keep you from doing the right thing. And this feels like the bare minimum. Like, the bare minimum.
You mean an Instagram post isn’t enough?
No, it’s not. My personal hope is to seize the opportunity to be of service in ways that are true. I’m keeping my eyes open. The truth is that I don’t think I do nearly enough. I’m, like, a LIB-ER-AL, but there are contradictions there as well, because we live capitalistically. I guess we carry, you know, the weight of that shame?
The weight of capitalist shame? The fact that you make money is a bad thing?
You’ve had late-career success. You were consistently working—
I was consistently working, and it was a total struggle in such a typical way, but there was always somebody that would be able to bail me out—to help me pay my rent or help me get groceries.
But now you must be rolling around in all your money like Demi Moore.
[Laughs] Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal?
I don’t have the bod for that. She’s basically the only one who could pull it off. Yeah, I get my cash. I spread it all over my bed and I roll around in it.
I knew it. But seriously, how do you think about your recent stardom?
I didn’t get Game of Thrones until I was in my late thirties. And therefore, the amount of times I was helped, and the amount of people that I could rely on through some really tough times—I’m never going to let some of them ever buy dinner again. I want to take care of people as much as they take care of me.