Becoming Tyrion Lannister: How Peter Dinklage Got Success In Hollywood

Peter Hayden Dinklage is an actor and producer born in New Jersey on June 11, 1969. Dinklage was born with a condition called achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism. His father was a salesman, and his mother was an elementary school teacher who raised him indifferently from other kids. Despite his stunted growth, Dinklage never believed that his career would get stunted too, and he worked hard to become successful in Hollywood. He has starred in various blockbuster TV shows and movies like Game Of Thrones, X-Men: Days of The Future Past, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, etc.

Peter Dinklage is mainly known for playing Tyrion Lannister in the epic series, Game Of Thrones. He has received multiple Emmy Awards and other accolades. But his journey to success has been challenging and filled with many obstacles.

Peter’s Struggles In Life


Peter Dinklage was born and raised in a very healthy environment by his parents. Dinklage attended the Delbarton School, where he developed and realized his potential in acting after starring in a play called The Velveteen Rabbit in fifth grade. Further, Dinklage started studying drama at Bennington College and graduated in 1991, as reported by Britannica.

After graduating, Peter Dinklage moved to New York with his batchmate from Bennington College and started a theater group inspired by Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Unfortunately, their idea failed, and the duo started working in Off-Broadway productions and started doing various odd jobs like cleaning pianos and answering phones to sustain themselves. It was difficult for Dinklage to find proper roles as an actor due to his short stature, which did not fit many roles.

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Dinklage was strictly against getting typecast as a dwarf in loud and caricaturish roles, so he said no to various projects which required him to play such roles ignoring his financial condition. Dinklage’s success was delayed, yet he never fudged his principles. He has acknowledged living on potato chips for dinner for years rather than taking on any demeaning project, as reported by Looper.

His Big-Screen Debut 

After years of struggle, Peter Dinklage made his big-screen debut in the 1995 parody movie Living in Oblivion alongside Steve Buscemi. His performance as a frustrated dwarf actor was well-received by critics and audiences alike, but he still struggled to find work after this movie. He then starred in the 2002 comedy 13 Moons on the recommendation of his Living in Oblivion co-star Steve Buscemi.

After a series of minor and supporting roles, Peter Dinklage finally got his big break in 2003 with Tom Mcarthy’s The Station Agent, where he played the titular role of Finbar McBride as per Bright Side. Mccarthy intentionally wrote the script of the movie keeping Dinklage in mind, and believed him to give justice to the role. The film opened up to positive reviews from the critics, with particular praise for Dinklage for his intense and layered take on the character of Finbar McBride. He received nominations for Best Actor at the Screen Actor Guild Awards and the Independent Spirit Award.

Even after all the success Dinklage obtained from The Station Agent did not open floodgates of offers for him. He gradually took up roles in several prominent movies and TV shows and rose through the ranks. He starred in the sci-fi series Threshold, followed by a role in the FX series Nip/Tuck. He also played a Narnian dwarf in the second installment of the Narnia movie franchise, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, in 2008. Finally, in 2011, Dinklage landed the role of Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s magnum opus Game Of Thrones, and the rest is history.

Landing The Role Of Tyrion Lannister In GoT


In 2011, Peter Dinklage landed a role that would change the whole projectile of his career, making him one of the most recognizable faces in the world. Dinklage played the role of an estranged yet witty dwarf, Tyrion Lannister, across all eight seasons of Game Of Thrones from 2011 to 2019. The character was an instant hit among the fans, with everyone raving about the antics and nuance of Dinklage’s character. Dinklage was initially reluctant to play the character of a dwarf, thinking that it would just be another stereotype. Still, the show’s writers convinced him otherwise by explaining the intensity of the character.

After Game Of Thrones, Peter Dinklage became an international superstar. He swept through multiple award functions over the decade, winning 4 Emmy awards for Best Actor in A Supporting Role and one Golden Globe Award, as reported by IMDB. His career reached its absolute peak, and he established himself as an A-lister in the industry. His success was not just limited to GOT, and he played various iconic roles in blockbuster movies. He played Bolivar Trask in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past and lent his voice to 2015’s Pixels, starred in the Oscar-nominated film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and played a cameo as Eitri in the MCU’s Avengers: Infinity War.

Peter Dinklage has risen through all kinds of odds and has become a big name in Hollywood. He never let his dwarfism come in the way of his career, and despite facing various shortcomings due to his stature never lost his persistence. Even at the lowest points of his career, he stood by his principles and never took up stereotypical projects for the money. And even though the majority of his success is due to his role in Game Of Thrones, he has never allowed himself to be defined by just one role and made a unique name for himself. His persistence took him up to the most incredible heights of success.

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Source – IMDB, Bright Side, Looper, Britannica

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