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‘Game of Thrones’ Star Alexander Siddig Slams Show’s Low Pay and Scheduling Woes

We are the 99%...of Westeros.

(Reader beware: “Game of Thrones” season six spoilers ahead.) Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and the other top-billed actors on “Game of Thrones” are recognized as being among the highest-paid on TV, but it would appear that they’re the Westerosi 1%. Alexander Siddig, AKA Prince Doran Martell, exited the show in shocking fashion in this spring’s season premiere, one of many departures from the George R.R. Martin novels on which “Thrones” is based. According to Siddig, leaving that world might not have been such a bad thing.

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“I was like, ‘Okay, life goes on,'” he said after learning he was being killed off, according to an interview with StarTrek.com. “But there was something wrong about that because I had been contracted for four episodes in the following season, so if they were going to kill me off at the end of the last season why would they contract me for those four episodes? Because it costs them money whether I do them or not, so it’s not great business sense to do it just in case.” Siddig had originally been told his character would die at the end of season five rather than the beginning of season six.

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“I know that, from an actor’s point of view, professionally you don’t want to be on a show like that for too long, unless you are one of the top leads who originated the show, because your schedule gets kind of messed up,” he continues. “You don’t earn as much as you would if you were doing another show, because they’re ‘Game of Thrones,’ and they don’t have to pay anyone. So it’s kind of a blessing in disguise.” Read the rest of Siddig’s interview, much of which casts a brighter light on his “Thrones” experience, here.

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