June 23, 2014 3:20pm PT by Marcella Karamat
'Game of Thrones' Star Talks Suicide-Themed Music Video (Q&A)
Thomas Brodie-Sangster, known for his role as Jojen Reed in HBO series Game of Thrones, continues his collaboration with British indie group The Luka State, appearing in a cameo role in their follow-up to the domestic-violence themed "30 Minute Break," the mini film/music video "Rain" — this time focusing on another compelling area.
The melancholy track is produced by Sam Williams, who has also worked with Supergrass, The Go! Team and The Noisettes.
The Luka State's bassist, Sam Bell, played alongside Brodie-Sangster as George Harrison to Brodie-Sangter's Paul McCartney in the 2009 John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, leading the two to acknowledge their shared love of music. The video collaborations followed.
The band's frontman, Conrad Ellis, wrote the track in one evening after being told of a family tragedy. The video for "Rain" highlights the issue of suicide. The Luka State's aim is to highlight social issues where they can.
“Everyone can connect with music, even if there is no subject matter. But when there is a subject matter, I think it completely changes how you listen to music," Ellis tells The Hollywood Reporter. "If you can relate and connect to something, then that song takes on a totally different meaning. As a writer and as a band, we like to talk about things and have a voice. There's no point in singing about what I had for my tea last night, is there?"
Here, Brodie-Sangster talks about the unsettling Luka State videos, as well as the season four finale of Game of Thrones. (Warning, the final question contains a show spoiler.)
This is your second collaboration with The Luka State. What is it about the band that draws you in?
I really like the way The Luka State’s videos are thought-provoking and at times a little difficult to watch. It’s exciting to be a part of a music project that tries to do things a little differently.
In the video for "30 Minute Break" you were the main protagonist — its narrative was about male domestic violence, and with this video the theme is suicide. What were your thoughts about your roles?
I think the issues being dealt with are more complex than just “domestic violence” and “suicide”. After reading the script for "Rain" I felt like it’s more about abandonment and isolation and how different people react. Suicide is just being used as a plot device. I think my role in "Rain," although brief, serves to remind people that difficult issues can’t just be swept under the carpet.
You've taken on many challenging roles in your career so far, from Paul McCartney in the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, Death of a Superhero, My Left Hand Man, Game of Thrones and the videos with the Luka State. How important is it for you to select these types of roles?
I think it’s important to choose roles that challenge you. It’s also important to make sure you aren’t typecast as only being able to play certain characters. Playing Paul McCartney was lots of fun but also a little scary. The man is a living legend. I hope he felt I did him justice.
[WARNING: Spoilers ahead for the Game of Thrones season four finale.]
And what was the process like shooting your death scene in Game of Thrones?
It was quite exciting, and preparing for it was a very strange process. Turning up on set knowing you have to die on command 10, 20, 30 times is one of the more unusual things an actor has to do. The scene also used a lot of CG, so you really have to pay attention to the director. It looked great on TV!