Peter Hayden Dinklage (born June 11, 1969) is an American Golden Globe-winning actor and film producer who has worked in television, film, and on stage. He has starred in Game of Thrones as Tyrion Lannister since Season 1.
Dinklage stands 4-feet-5-inches tall as an adult, and was born with achondroplastic dwarfism. Dinklage grew up in the suburbs around Morristown, New Jersey. Despite being born with a physical difference, Dinklage has described his childhood as uneventful. His father was an insurance salesman who enjoyed fly fishing, and his mother was an elementary school music teacher. He had a painful surgery when he was five years old to straighten his leg bones, but otherwise, he feels he didn't receive any kind of special treatment due to his physical condition, and felt he was treated like an ordinary person.
Dinklage attended an all-boys Catholic high school. He still described himself as Catholic while filming Game of Thrones. One of the priests at the school had an extensive VHS collection of classic movies and television, which he let Peter watch. As a result he was exposed at a young age to the cinematic works of Federico Fellini, John Cassavetes, and Michelangelo Antonioni.
Dinklage attended Bennington College in Vermont, and in his freshman year appeared in a student production of The Cherry Orchard as Firs the butler. His college friends call him "Dink". After graduating from Bennington in 1991, Dinklage spent the next seven years working full time at a company called Professional Examination Service while trying to get acting gigs (he said he couldn't recall much of what he did there and he just punched numbers into a computer). In the meantime, he performed in a punk-funk-rap band called "Whizzy", and had some early plans to form a Steppenwolf-inspired theater company in Williamsburg called "Giant" (though these latter plans came to naught).
Dinklage continued to seek a career in writing and acting. He adamantly refused to attend seasonal commercial calls for roles as elves or leprechauns, despite needing the money, and struggled to distinguish himself as an actor who also happened to have dwarfism. Over time he fell in with and befriended a crowd of indie project filmmakers including Steve Buscemi, director Alexandre Rockwell, and Tom McCarthy.
Dinklage's acting debut was the film Living in Oblivion (1995), in which he plays a dwarf actor who is frustrated about the clichéd roles for dwarfs in the movie industry and makes an angry rant criticizing it to his director (played by Buscemi). When McCarthy later made the script for The Station Agent (2003) he wrote it with Dinklage in mind as the lead, and the part became his breakout role.
After The Station Agent, in the next seven years Dinklage appeared in several major films and TV series, including Elf (2003), the Chronicles of Narnia film series, a series regular on Threshold (2005), and a recurring guest star on Nip/Tuck. He also starred in the British (2007) and American (2010) versions of the movie Death at a Funeral.
In Game of Thrones
He stars in HBO's Game of Thrones as Tyrion Lannister. He was announced in the role on 5 May 2009 and was the first actor confirmed for the series. He was George R.R. Martin, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss's first and only choice for the role of Tyrion. He was part of the initial starring cast and was the last credited cast member, receiving the "and" modifier throughout the first season. He remained a member of the starring cast through Season 7.
Dinklage reprised his role as Tyrion in Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series.
In July 2011, Dinklage was nominated for an Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actor in a drama series for his work on Thrones. He went on to win the award at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony in September.
Dinklage received his third consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nomination for the role of Tyrion Lannister in 2013, again for Outstanding Supporting Actor For A Drama Series. Ultimately he did not win, losing to Bobby Cannavale for his role as Gyp Rosetti on Boardwalk Empire.
He received his sixth consecutive Emmy Award nomination for his role as Tyrion in 2016, but lost to Ben Mendelsohn who plays Danny Rayburn on Bloodline.
He was recently nominated for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” at the 2018 Emmys for his acting in Game of Thrones.
Peter married Erica Schmidt in 2005, who is herself a theater director. They have a daughter together born in 2011. Peter's brother Jonathan is a professional violinist. When not filming Game of Thrones on location (for months at a time in Europe), Dinklage has been living in New York City for about two decades, since he graduated from Bennington.
Dinklage has been a vegetarian since he was 16 years old.
|Game of Thrones Season 1 credits|
|Winter Is Coming||The Kingsroad||Lord Snow||Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things||The Wolf and the Lion|
|A Golden Crown||You Win or You Die||The Pointy End||Baelor||Fire and Blood|
|Game of Thrones Season 2 credits|
|The North Remembers||The Night Lands||What Is Dead May Never Die||Garden of Bones||The Ghost of Harrenhal|
|The Old Gods and the New||A Man Without Honor||The Prince of Winterfell||Blackwater||Valar Morghulis|
|Game of Thrones Season 3 credits|
|Valar Dohaeris||Dark Wings, Dark Words||Walk of Punishment||And Now His Watch Is Ended||Kissed by Fire|
|The Climb||The Bear and the Maiden Fair||Second Sons||The Rains of Castamere||Mhysa|
|Game of Thrones Season 4 credits|
|Two Swords||The Lion and the Rose||Breaker of Chains||Oathkeeper||First of His Name|
|The Laws of Gods and Men||Mockingbird||The Mountain and the Viper||The Watchers on the Wall||The Children|
|Game of Thrones Season 5 credits|
|The Wars to Come||The House of Black and White||High Sparrow||Sons of the Harpy||Kill the Boy|
|Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken||The Gift||Hardhome||The Dance of Dragons||Mother's Mercy|
|Game of Thrones Season 6 credits|
|The Red Woman||Home||Oathbreaker||Book of the Stranger||The Door|
|Blood of My Blood||The Broken Man||No One||Battle of the Bastards||The Winds of Winter|
|Game of Thrones Season 7 credits|
|Dragonstone||Stormborn||The Queen's Justice||The Spoils of War|
|Eastwatch||Beyond the Wall||The Dragon and the Wolf|
|Game of Thrones Season 8 credits|
|Winterfell||A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms||The Long Night|
|The Last of the Starks||The Bells||The Iron Throne|
|Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series credits|
|Iron From Ice||The Lost Lords||The Sword in the Darkness|
|Sons of Winter||A Nest of Vipers||The Ice Dragon|
- Esquire magazine, March 2014, Peter Dinklage interview.