Family & Companions
Though affected by dwarfism, Emmy-winning actor Peter Dinklage refused to embrace roles that mocked or stereotyped his height, choosing instead to play dynamic characters that loomed large on both stage and screen. Following his feature debut in "Living in Oblivion" (1995), in which he played an actor who castigates Steve Buscemi's character for making him play a dwarf, Dinklage amassed an impressive résumé devoid of clichéd roles. He emerged as a serious actor with award-worthy potential thanks to his leading performance in Tom McCarthy's engaging character drama, "The Station Agent" (2004). Thanks to that eye-opening performance, Dinklage was able to propel his career with roles more suitable to his talents. He delivered a fine comic turn in the Will Ferrell comedy "Elf" (2003) before landing meatier roles in the British-made "Death at a Funeral" (2007) - which he reprised in the 2010 American remake - and the large scale sequels, "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" (2008) and "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014). Dinklage also earned considerable acclaim and a new fanbase as the crafty Tyrion Lannister on the epic series "Game of Thrones" (HBO, 2011- ), which underscored his ability to transform himself and deliver high-quality performances, no matter the role or genre.
Born June 11, 1969 in Mendham, NJ, Dinklage knew at an early age that he wanted to be an actor. Perhaps it was performing for friends and family or the fourth grade production of "Pinocchio," that attracted him to the craft. Dinklage was lucky enough to have an artistic and supportive family: though his dad worked insurance, mom was a music teacher and brother Jonathan grew up to be a violinist in Broadway productions. However, Dinklage was the only member of his family affected by dwarfism. Though not easy to cope with early in life, he managed to handle the situation with a sense of humor, even joking that his mom probably drove by the power plant while pregnant with him. Dinklage attended Bennington College in Vermont, where he received a Bachelor's in Drama and was awarded the Libby Zion Award for Dramatic Excellence. He moved on to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, as well as the Welsh School of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales. Later, Dinklage appeared in many New York theatrical productions, including "Marking" by Patrick Breen, "Evolution" by Jonathan Marc Sherman, "Imperfect Love" by Brandon Cole and a production of Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House."
Dinklage began to appear in films, starting with his brief but memorable role in "Living In Oblivion" (1995), directed by Tom DiCillo. The actor made appearances in other films: "Safe Men" (1998), directed by John Hamburg, "Never Again" (2002), by Eric Shaffer, and opposite Tim Robbins and Patricia Arquette in "Human Nature" (2002). Though always grateful to be making his living as an actor, Dinklage never got the chance - on screen, at least - to sink his teeth into a meaty role until he met actor-turned-writer and director Tom McCarthy. The actor met McCarthy when he was cast as Tom Thumb in the off-Broadway production, "The Killing Act." McCarthy had conceived of the idea for what would become "The Station Agent" (2003) before meeting Dinklage. While out having drinks together, McCarthy was struck by the amount of attention Dinklage received for being a dwarf. This fit perfectly with McCarthy's idea of exploring the theme of isolation. He set out to write the script with Dinklage in mind as the lead character, Finbar McBride, a man with dwarfism who inherits an abandoned rail depot and decides to live a life of isolation, only to find friendship in two unlikely people.
Co-starring Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cannavale, "The Station Agent" won the coveted Audience Award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, and for the first time in his career, Dinklage found himself facing a new kind of attention - the recognition of stellar performance and the murmurings of Oscar buzz. Dinklage's careful pursuit of difficult and challenging roles paid off, as he was able to achieve the respect most others with dwarfism had not in the entire history of the business. Coincidentally, right after "The Station Agent" had so effectively showed that his talent and charisma existed separately from his stature, he also appeared in a more comedic vein in a higher profile film, "Elf" (2003), starring as an aggressive children's book author who misunderstands Buddy the Elf's (Will Ferrell) affinity for him. After brief appearances on episodes of "Life As We Know It" (ABC, 2004-05) and "Entourage" (HBO, 2004-11), he was in "Nobody Wants Your Film" (2005), an experimental feature about the making of an independent movie that apparently no one wants. A supporting role in the romantic comedy "The Baxter" (2005) was followed by a regular gig on "Threshold" (CBS, 2005-06), a sci-fi drama about a female government agent (Carla Gugino) who leads scientific and military forces in response to an alien invasion. Dinklage played a linguist and mathematician who likes to partake in the finer things in life, including strippers and gambling. Despite critical support of the show, "Threshold" failed to survive past its first season.
Back in the feature world, Dinklage played a tabloid photographer who runs a misleading picture of a kind-hearted girl (Christina Ricci) in "Penelope" (2006), then had a supporting role as a mob family's defense attorney who is surprised to learn that one of his brash, but charming clients (Vin Diesel) intends to represent himself in "Find Me Guilty" (2006), Sidney Lumet's true-to-life telling of the famed Luccchese crime family trial in the late-1980s. After revealing the kinky secrets of a family's dead patriarch during his funeral in the British-made dark comedy "Death at a Funeral" (2007), Dinklage stumbled in the ineptly made live-action take on "Underdog" (2007), playing a maniacal scientist who suddenly gives a down-and-out beagle superhuman powers. In perhaps his most high-profile feature to date, Dinklage joined the ensemble cast for "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" (2008), playing the loyal, but skeptical Trumpkin, a dwarf who aids the four ancient kings and queens in finding the ruins of Aslan's How. After reprising his role for the American remake of "Death at a Funeral" (2010), Dinklage joined the ensemble cast of the epic medieval fantasy series, "Game of Thrones" (HBO, 2011- ). Dinklage played the crafty Tyrion Lannister, an outcast in his family who thrives by using his wits in a world where others use the sword. The character quickly became a favorite that audiences loved to hate, thanks in large part to Dinklage's dynamic performance, and helped earn him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2011 and 2015 and a Golden Globe in 2012. As he continued on "Game of Thrones," the complicated film of the expansive series took much much of his time, but he still managed roles in several small indies, including the Justin Long romantic comedy "A Case of You" (2013) and the quirky nerd-culture fantasy comedy "Knights of Badassdom" (2014) He returned to the world of blockbusters with his role as Dr. Bolivar Trask in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014). Dinklage next appeared opposite Robin Williams (in one of the late actor's final filmed performances) in the indie comedy-drama "The Angriest Man in Brooklyn" (2014) and in Chris Columbus' high-profile science fiction comedy flop "Pixels" (2015).
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Made film debut in Tom DiCillo's independent comedy "Living in Oblivion"
Cast in the comedy feature "Safe Men"
Cast in Michel Gondry's "Human Nature"
Cast as Binky in "13 Moons"
Cast in breakthrough role as Finbar McBride in the drama "The Station Agent," opposite Michelle Williams and Patricia Clarkson
Appeared in Jon Favreau's "Elf"
Returned to the New York stage in the title role of Shakespeare's "Richard III"
Cast in the short-lived CBS series "Threshold"
Once again acted alongside Michelle Williams in "The Baxter"
Cast as karate-loving Sterno in the mockumentary "Surviving Eden"
Played lead defense opposite Vin Diesel in Sidney Lumet's "Find Me Guilty"
Played a villian in the live-action version of the classic cartoon "Underdog"
Co-starred in the Frank Oz-directed "Death at a Funeral"
Cast as Trumpkin in "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian"
Co-starred in "Penelope;" produced by star Reese Witherspoon
Reprised role for the American remake of "Death at a Funeral"
Portrayed Tyrion Lannister on HBO's "Game of Thrones," based on author George R. R. Martin's best-selling <i>A Song of Ice and Fire</i> series
Co-starred in the romantic drama "A Little Bit of Heaven"
Voiced the character Captain Gutt, a prehistoric ape in "Ice Age: Continental Drift"
Co-starred in comedy-drama "The Angriest Man in Brooklyn"
Co-starred as Bolivar Trask in "X-Men: Days of Future Past"
Co-starred in comic fantasy "Pixels" opposite Adam Sandler
Voiced Mighty Eagle in "The Angry Birds Movie"
Starred in the drama "Three Christs"
Co-starred in the drama "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Co-starred with Elle Fanning in "I Think We're Alone Now"
Made a surprise cameo in "Avengers:Infinity War"