Kristian Nairn is a big guy. The Northern Irish actor has played Hodor, the simple-minded servant who has schlepped around Bran Stark, for several seasons on Game of Thrones, and it seems he has a sizable gay following in the bear community. When a writer on a fansite posed this fact to 38-year-old Nairn, and was curious if he were aware of the gay community's interest, Nairn took the bait that he seems to have been waiting for forever and answered in a forthright and understated way:
"Well, in all honesty, when you talk about 'the gay community,' you are talking about MY community, haha. I AM aware of it yeah, and I think it's really lovely. There's not a day that I don't get a few messages, but 99% or more are super sweet and nothing smutty at all! Again, it's a privilege, and I really mean that. I've never hidden my sexuality from anyone, my whole life in fact, and I've been waiting for someone to ask about it in an interview, cos it's not something you just blurt out. I've tried to lead the questions a few times, to no avail!"
This seems to move the interview in a new direction and the writer asks: "I am curious, seeing as how some people might react negatively to it, did most of the cast and crew have an understanding of it? Or was it just never really brought up?" Nairn continues:
"I had an upbringing to respect other people's privacy, and their right to be and choose what they want, and I expect, no, demand no less for myself. It's a very small part of who I am on the whole, but nonetheless, in this day and age, it's important to stand up and be counted. I have and always will stand my ground. So, yeah, people have been great, on the show, but I don't see why it would be an issue."
Two other things we learned? All kinds of people want Nairn to give them piggyback rides. He once jokingly put up a sign saying he'd give "piggyback rides" for the outrageous sum of $5,000 to discourage anyone from taking him up on the offer. When he started getting takers, he amended it to $150,000. We also didn't realize that Nairn had face tattoos around his right eye. That's even more surprising than the gay news (or what he'd be willing to do for $150,000).