Peter Dinklage’s new game: Channeling Herve Villechaize

Peter Dinklage

Shortly after his latest Emmy win, Peter Dinklage is stepping into the life of another well-known personality.

The “Game of Thrones” staple stars as Herve Villechaize (“Fantasy Island,” “The Man With the Golden Gun”) in the HBO movie “My Dinner With Herve,” premiering Saturday, Oct. 20. The project traces the diminutive Villechaize’s life and times, as related by him during one pivotal night to a reporter (the “Fifty Shades” franchise’s Jamie Dornan as a surrogate for Sacha Gervasi, the film’s director and screenwriter, and an executive producer of it along with Dinklage).

To prepare for the performance – which involves re-creations of familiar scenes – Dinklage watched much of Villechaize’s work, supplied to him by Gervasi. “To give you an idea of how long we worked on this,” Dinklage says, “the material was on a whole bunch of VHS tapes. We had everything, including ‘The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight’ and the Henry Winkler movie ‘The One and Only.’ ”

Now the recipient of three Emmys as Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones,” Dinklage embraced what he deems the “terribly gratifying” chance to delve into the man behind the image in Villechaize’s case. “We were in show business at very different times,” he reflects, “and we had different kinds of dwarfism. I think I’m lucky in a way to have my career be a couple decades later, in terms of the world and how it’s changed. It’s become more morally sound, I suppose, and less exploitive – and I’m trying my best to keep that momentum going with my own career.

“He and I had similar ideas about what we wanted to do,” Dinklage adds of Villechaize. “I think Herve enjoyed the fame of it all a bit more than I do. That was sort of his compass, and sometimes, that can be a bit dangerous.”

Peter Dinklage

Birthdate: June 11, 1969

Birthplace: Morristown, N.J.

Current residence: New Paltz, N.Y.

Marital status: Married; has two children

Other television work includes: “Game of Thrones,” “Sesame Street,” “Saturday Night Live,” “30 Rock,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Threshold,” “Entourage,” “Life as We Know It,” “I’m With Her,” “Third Watch,” “Oz”

Movie work includes: “Avengers: Infinity War,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Rememory,” “The Angry Birds Movie” (voice only), “The Boss,” “Taxi,” “Pixels,” “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Low Down,” “A Case of You,” “Ice Age: Continental Drift” (voice only), “A Little Bit of Heaven,” “Pete Smalls Is Dead,” “Death at a Funeral” (both versions), “Underdog,” “Penelope,” “Find Me Guilty,” “Lassie,” “The Baxter,” “Elf,” “The Station Agent,” “Just a Kiss,” “Human Nature,” “Never Again,” “Safe Men”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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