Peter Dinklage’s scene-stealing performance in Game of Thrones had viewers buzzing from the first episode and, last week, scored an Emmy nomination. Dinklage stopped by EW’s Comic-Con suite at the Hard Rock Hotel and took a few questions about the role and Thrones season two (spoiler free):

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you first hear about the part of Tyrion?

PETER DINKLAGE: From David Benioff and Dan Weiss. I knew David a bit socially. I read the script and read the material and it was a no brainer.

Did you read the book as well or just go off the scripts?

Nah, I just went off the scripts, because that’s what I have as an actor. Dan and David are brilliant writers and that character just popped off the page. It was very alive and a character that could have a lot of fun and circumvent the more honorable characters. I’m always attracted to anti-hero roles.

So many fans of the books immediately thought of you for this part. Does Tyrion’s pragmatic and sarcastic attitude toward life, does his attitude reflect your at all.

Yeah, I try to have a sense of humor to survive and that’s what that character does. Sure. I was a bit nervous everybody thought of me before I said one line. I felt like I had to live up to some sort of expectation and hopefully exceed it.

I read somewhere that you vetoed Tyrion having a beard.

He doesn’t have one in the books, I don’t think. But I had just come off Chronicles of Narnia and its a cliché in these fantasy stories that the dwarfs have really long beards. I’m not complaining. But shooting long days in itchy beards is uncomfortable and I wanted to avoid the cliché.

Do you have a sense that this role is groundbreaking at all?

I don’t know. Anything that opens up people’s perceptions a bit is good. It’s never my intention to break any ground, but if it’s a residual of a well-rounded part, then definitely.

What can fans expect from your character in season 2?

As you know at end of the first season he becomes appointed Hand of the King. It’s really fun to see what Tyrion’s version of Hand of the King looks like. It’s vastly different than Ned Stark. It’s fun to turn that on its head. He rattles the cage a bit. But in my opinion he’s great at it.

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Game of Thrones

HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.

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