Kit Harington has reflected on his upbringing in a new interview, saying he was raised in a ‘gender-fluid’ environment by his parents.
The Game of Thrones actor, 33, was brought up by his mother Deborah, a playwright and creative writing teacher, and his businessman father David, and Harington noted that his mum refused to impose any strict gender binaries in their household.
Gender-fluid, or gender-neutral, parenting refers to the act of raising a child without subjecting them to specific cues or items typically associated with girls or boys, such as the toys they play with and clothes they wear.
In a new interview with The Telegraph, Harington described how his mother – who he grew up idolising – raised him and his older brother Jack in such an environment. ‘I asked for a Mighty Max and she bought me a Polly Pocket,’ he explained. ‘I asked for an Action Man and I got a doll – it was very gender-fluid from the word go. And I went with it.’
The actor went on to say he believes some men struggle with expressing their feelings because of certain attitudes passed down from history, which prevent them from having open and honest conversations about their emotions.
‘I feel that emotionally men have a problem, a blockage, and that blockage has come from the Second World War, passed down from grandfather to father to son,’ he continued. ‘We do not speak about how we feel because it shows weakness, because it is not masculine.’
Harington, who played the brave and charismatic Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, added that he doesn’t think the world needs to see more of what he described as a ‘masculine role’.
Having portrayed a man who was silent, who was heroic, I feel going forward that is a role I don’t want to play anymore. It is not a masculine role that the world needs to see much more of.
Instead, the actor hopes to explore the wider themes of masculinity and ‘inherited male trauma’ in his future work, although he did say he looks back on his Jon Snow days with fondness, and admitted he experienced a period of grief after the series ended.
Thankfully, he’s moved on now, describing the situation as like experiencing a break-up. ‘You know that elated feeling you get when you are walking down the street and you realise that you haven’t thought about your ex-girlfriend in a while, and you go, I think I am getting over them,’ he explained. ‘I am at that place now and I am really happy.’
Well, I don’t know about you lot, but I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what he has up his sleeve for his next project.
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