‘Game of Thrones’ actor tells Government to beg for Summit’s return

Liam Cunningham says event is ‘beautiful diamond’ and those responsible for losing it were naive

Actor Liam Cunningham: “What needs to change ìs the entire Government to get down on its knees to Paddy [Cosgrave] and beg him to bring it back.”

Actor Liam Cunningham: “What needs to change ìs the entire Government to get down on its knees to Paddy [Cosgrave] and beg him to bring it back.”

 

“Am I involved in a startup? No I’m an actor. We’re not capable of doing start-ups.” But Game of Thrones actor Liam Cunningham acknowledged that he is, in a way, involved in a venture that could be classed as a startup, namely HBO Now, the standalone streaming service from US TV provider HBO.

In a wide ranging interview at the Web Summit, Cunningham also had strong opinions on what it would take to bring the Summit back to Dublin, namely a change in Government. Describing the event as a “beautiful diamond”, he said those responsible for losing the event has missed a trick and were naive.

“What needs to change is the entire Government to get down on its knees to Paddy [Cosgrave] and beg him to bring it back,” he said. “The positivity in this place is remarkable, The feeling that everybody is on this wonderful rollercoaster, things are being done and thing are being invented that make people’s lives easier is a glorious thing. Long may it continue. I do find it incredibly embarrassing that it’s been lost.”

Returning to the new age of television, Cunningham said streaming services are leaving the more traditional TV operators behind.

“Take Netflix. I think personally Netflix has gone from looking like a corporate entity to now being creative. Same with Amazon, same with the History channel with Vikings,” he said. “I think we all benefit from that; obviously I get to put more expensive shoes on my children, and as punters we all benefit from the hopefully quality television and long may this “golden age” go on. The more they make, the more good stuff they make. Some of it will probably be made good by accident, you’ll get a lot of crap, but we’ll all benefit fromt he stuff that comes up, like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Wire, Sopranos. We all love that stuff, I love that stuff. Long may it continue.”

One of the benefits of the new age of television is the delivery system, something that is being “wonderfully fractured”, Cunningham said. “We’re not reliant on output from one source or two sources; it’s coming from everywhere. It’s going to be a bit anarchic for a time before it settles. But hopefully the cream rises to the top.”

Content, he said, is where he would concentrate his efforts if he was given an unlimited budget and leave the technology to the people who are good with “zeroes and ones”.

However, he acknowledged that technology had its “dark sides”, in a nod to the activities of the NSA and GCHQ in recent years, and said he no longer trusted national media for news, preferring instead to use Twitter.