Rory McCann’s performance as Sandor Clegane, aka The Hound, in Game Of Thrones is rightfully regarded as one of the best in the show’s eight season run.
Which makes it all the more remarkable that McCann was homeless and “stealing food” while living in Iceland just before he was cast in the role.
McCann, who before the fantasy drama had appeared in the movies Alexander and Hot Fuzz as well as the TV shows The Book Group, Rockface and The Jury, made this admission for a Game Of Thrones Reunion Special.
Speaking to its host Conan O’Brien, via The Independent, McCann recalled, “I was in a tent – literally in a tent – stealing food occasionally. Eventually I got a job and sorted myself out, but then suddenly I’m getting driven around in a nice car in the biggest and best show in the world – just shows how your fortunes can change. Amazing.”
After his success on Game Of Thrones, McCann admitted that he had to return to the country to confront the life of crime he had previously lead, adding, “I managed to go back [to Iceland] and pay my library fines.”
McCann decided to live in Iceland for 11 months after shooting the Viking film Beowulf & Grendel alongside Gerald Butler, Stellan Skarsgard and Sarah Polley.
Speaking to the Daily Record back in March, 2014, McCann stayed in the country because, “There wasn’t any acting work at the time. I had said to my agent to phone if anything was happening but it wasn’t, so I just stayed.”
“It was coming into winter and some locals told me I was the only man on the whole island living in a tent, so they helped me get into a house and I found work as a carpenter.”