Game of Thrones' Jack Gleeson Slams "Superficial" Celebrity Culture—Watch!

Find out what the actor is saying

By Brett Malec Jan 16, 2014 9:13 PMTags

Game of Thrones star Jack Gleeson is putting society's obsession with celebrity culture on blast.

The 21-year-old Irish actor, best known for his role as King Joffrey on the hit HBO show, recently gave a speech at Oxford University in which he talked about his fame and star culture in general.

"Since the show has aired, I've been given an insider look into and ever-pervasive and yet often mysterious aspect of society, namely, our culture of celebrity," he said. "Strangers on the street now call me Jack and my public image is democratized by fans and institutions alike by the Internet."

Gleeson continued, "Upon hearing the news that I received the role of Joffrey, I really did not expect all of the subsidiary things that come with being an actor on a successful television program."

"It was an environment from which I instantly wanted to retreat," he admitted. "I detested the superficial elevation and commodification of it all, juxtaposed with the grotesque self-involvement it would sometimes draw out in me."

Gleeson went on to comment on celebrity endorsement deals and advertising.

"What's ironic is that you see celebrity endorsing things like, you know, musical tampons and appearing in advertisements for lavender scented teeth whitener or something," he said. "Wielding goods whose sell-by dates [will] ironically, probably, outlast theirs. Having one's image, and effectively life, democratized, dehumanizes and sometimes objectifies it into an entertainment product. What sort of valuation of the ego would one have once you've let it been preyed upon by the public for years and years? Perhaps, it becomes truly just skin and bones."

But that's not all. Gleeson's intellectual analysis of celebrity culture went on for almost 30 minutes! Watch for yourself.