Long Day's Knight For Bill
5 December 2014
Costain’s Bill Robinson swapped hardhat for helmet, when he took on the role of a knight in the hit television series Game of Thrones.
“I’m a huge fan of the programme, which is filmed mainly in Northern Ireland,” said Belfast-born Bill, Regional Manager at Costain Industrial Cooling. “My brother is a good friend of one of the studio managers and my wife and I were invited to the Wrap Party at the end of 2013 filming, during which we met lots of the main characters. At the party I mentioned that I would love to be in the program. I didn’t think anything would come of it but a few months later I received an invitation to take part in a week’s filming of the 2014 series.”
Bill played a knight of Stannis Baratheon, one of the contenders to be King. The filming took place at Castle Black, stronghold of the Nights Watch who guard an immense ice fortification known as The Wall. “I didn’t have any lines but I did quite a bit of grunting – especially during the battle scenes,” said Bill. “There was a lot of killing with plenty of blood and gore!”
He found filming fascinating. “It’s amazing to see all the background stuff happening just feet away from the action – as a viewer you just have no idea. And there’s incredible attention to detail: every day before filming one of the directors would scrutinise our make-up and costumes to make sure everything was exactly right before we stepped on set.”
Bill’s costume was made of real chainmail that weighed 17kg. “Add all the other stuff I had to carry round, like my breastplate, cloak, helmet, sword and shield and it’s no wonder I was shattered by the end of the day!”
Filming took place over three long days and two even longer nights. “The days were long and the nights were long, wet and cold,” said Bill. “Once we were filming from four thirty in the morning until after eight at night repeatedly shooting one scene until the director was satisfied. Working on a film set isn’t all glamour - there’s a lot of preparation and standing around between shoots!”
Look out for Bill in Series 5 of Game of Thrones, which will be released in February 2015. With two more series planned – and potentially a film too – he could have work as an extra for some time.
Costain Communications Department