Peter Dinklage is used to receiving attention.
“Being my size, I get second glances quite often,” the 52-year-old actor, who is 4 feet 5 inches tall, told British newspaper The Times in a new interview. “All my life I’ve had looks.”
Dinklage was born with achondroplasia, a form of short-limbed dwarfism, and is the only member of his family with the disease. At age 5, he had to undergo a corrective operation on his leg. When he was a kid, it was hard to experience being different from everyone around him. While some people still react to his size, Dinklage says it doesn’t influence him the way he used to.
“Now there is a property in someone who looks at me or approaches me. It’s for something positive, “he shared.” It’s not just my size. It’s the work I’ve done that has given them a second look. “
While Dinklage was successful in movies like The station agent, it was his role as Tyrion Lannister on HBO game of Thrones that catapulted him to stardom. These days, he’s garnering top award consideration for his role as Cyrano de Bergerac in Cyrano, an adaptation written by his wife, Erica Schmidt, with whom he shares two children.
“Nine times out of 10,” Dinklage said, “Cyrano is played by a handsome actor with a fake nose and you know he takes it off when they get wrapped up.”
But the transition from the typical role of Cyrano is a sign of the changing face of the entertainment industry, Dinklage said.
“The idea of a lead actor is changing now,” he said. “Whether racially or whatever. It’s time. We’ve gotten stuck with this lead stereotype and it’s healthy to open that up. Love life is not the domain of pretty people, everyone has a love life. “