Nov. 30 (UPI) -- "Game of Thrones" actor Jack Gleeson said he plans to quit acting and focus on charity work after his role as King Joffrey Baratheon on the HBO series ends.
The 21-year-old Irish actor, who studies philosophy and theology at Dublin's Trinity College, told Ireland's The Independent he doesn't want to act professionally after he done with the fantasy.
Gleeson plays King Joffrey on the show, inspired by a series of books written by George R.R. Martin."It was always a recreation beforehand, but when I started doing Game of Thrones perhaps the reality was made too real for me," he said. "The lifestyle that comes with being an actor in a successful TV show isn't something I gravitate towards."
Instead of acting Gleeson wants to focus on charity work. He recently returned from a trip to Haiti with aid agency Goal."You tend to abstract yourself from the creepiness of [the character] when you're playing it, but when you see it on television it sends shivers down my spine," Gleeson said. "I would like to try and defend [the character], but I would have a pretty hard job doing it. I suppose he's the product of his context and his family. In terms of redeemable qualities, there wouldn't be many."
"Since going to Trinity and garnering an interest in philosophy and with Goal and my theatre company I've kind of just re-evaluated what I want to do," he said. "I'm 21, so it's hard to decide what kind of course life will take."
"I'd been looking to use the celebrity I've got from the show to bring awareness for causes Goal supports," Gleeson added. "I had the connection with the organization through my uncle, Tim Gleeson, and he worked with Goal in the 1980s.