Ed Sheeran’s appearance as a singing Lannister soldier on this Sunday’s Game Of Thrones premiere was the cameo heard round the world. Unlike previous musician cameos like Sigur Rós and Mastodon, Sheeran’s was relatively prominent and intrusive, and the reception on social media was, shall we say, not so hot. Some are speculating that that’s why the singer briefly deactivated his Twitter account last night, and now Jeremy Podeswa, the director who helmed the episode, has joined Lady Gaga in leaping to Sheeran’s defense.
“I think Ed did a lovely job — he’s a lovely actor and a lovely person,” Podeswa tells Newsweek in a new interview. “He was appropriate for the part because he needed to sing. If people didn’t know who Ed was, they wouldn’t have thought about it twice. The hoo-ha seems to be from things that are outside of the world of the show. In the world of the show he did a lovely job, and he looks like he belongs in that world.”
“I think people interrogated it too much, they’re bringing so much of his [superstar] presence into the thing which is far beyond what anybody was thinking going into it,” he adds. “He is known to the producers of the show and some of the cast, and he’s a gigantic fan of the show. As everybody knows, the show really eschews stunt casting –
it’s never, ever done that.”
Podeswa described Sheeran as a pleasure to work with on set, and he feels bad about the negative critical response. “The only thing I don’t feel great about is that Ed is such a lovely guy and really genuine and down to earth,” he says. “He came into this with only lovely intentions to come and do a good job and sing well. So I think that’s the only drag.”
UPDATE: Sheeran has chimed in too, and he says he doesn’t care about the critics.