Decked in a light purple button-up and a pair of denim jeans, Tom Wlaschiha strides into the interview room, the picture of cool charisma and poise. He stops to greet everyone, whips out an easy grin, and proceeds to take his designated seat in front.
With a neatly-trimmed appearance and a confident swagger, the German actor looks nothing like his on-screen character Jaqen H’ghar, from the popular hit series, HBO’s Game Of Thrones. In town to celebrate HBO Asia’s 25th Anniversary, he took some time to meet the media and take in some sights of the fair city.
Game Of Thrones fans – here are three things you might want to know about Tom. Firstly, he thinks that nobody will eventually end up sitting on the Iron Throne. Secondly, the bad guys are always his favourites. And last but not least, he’s an absurdly funny guy, with a clever tongue to boot.
The differences between his real-life person and on-screen persona are stark (pun intended), and very evident from the get-go. Within the span of five minutes, this man had the whole room laughing with a witty quip in response to an organiser’s request.
It goes like this:
Organiser (to the audience): “Sorry for this, could you come back here in five minutes?”
Tom, as everyone starts to disperse: “Can I come back here in five minutes as well?”
Cue roaring laughter from those present.
The very same sense of humour carried through the entire interview, and Tom’s snark showed in many instances. When questioned on the process of adapting from an easygoing personality to the mysterious, cut-throat nature of Jaqen’s, he turned to look at HBO’s poster of the character, only to remark with a straight face, “Well, maybe that’s my real face and this is not.”
Peals of laughter broke out as he belted out a hearty guffaw, seemingly proud of his little joke.
Here’s another one: In reference to Tom’s role as the Faceless Man, he was asked about the face that he’d very much like to put on. His tongue-in-cheek reply? Check this out –
“Actually, I’m quite happy with my face. I mean, this is the face I’m wearing most of the days.”
What a snappy wisecrack.
It’s precisely this cheekiness that makes it hard to believe his remarkable performance as Jaqen. Where the former is witty and humourous, the latter is everything opposite, and even he has affirmed that there are few similarities between the two.
But being cast as Jaqen has certainly brought out the other side of Tom’s character – his penchant for the big, bad guys. Of the series, Ramsay Bolton and Joffrey Baratheon serve as his favourite characters, and he has always leaned towards the antagonists because “the bad guys are more fun”.
No surprise, then, that his most-liked part about playing the part of the Faceless Man is the philosophy in which he abides by.
“The Faceless Men have this philosophical aspect that all men are equal regardless of their social status, and what they’ve done in life. They regard all of them as equal, and they will kill anyone for just the right price. I like this aspect,” he explains.
It’s brutal, it’s cruel, but it’s sure as hell sounds like the modus operandi of any typical antagonist.
The actor’s love for evil doesn’t just stop there. At one part of the interview, he casually mentions, “I have a list in private of people I’d like to kill. I haven’t started working (on) it yet, but I might at some point.”
Morbid stuff, yes, but there was nary a hint of gloom or sombreness in the room; in fact, the mood remained light and comfortable, a testament to the charm of Tom’s affable nature.
As the interview draws to an end, one thing is for certain – the title of the “Faceless Man” will never translate from the German’s reel life to his real life.
He goes on to elaborate, “People come up to me on the streets and speak to me in third-person all the time, and I get a lot of random greetings, to which I’ll reply to make people happy.”
For now, though, Tom’s but a first-time visitor to Singapore, an interesting individual who loves all things spicy, and currently out roaming around the island in search of local delicacies and tourist attractions.
Like all tourists, all men must dine.
Si Jia is a casual geek at heart – or as casual as someone with Sephiroth’s theme on her Spotify playlist can get. A fan of movies, games, and Japanese culture, Si Jia’s greatest weakness is the Steam Summer Sale. Or any Steam sale, really.