Peter Dinklage, widely known for his role as the witty youngest Lannister sibling in “Game of Thrones,” has faced both personal and professional challenges throughout his life. However, with determination and a strong support system, he has overcome these obstacles and is now focused on creating a meaningful legacy for his children.
Born in New Jersey with achondroplasia, a condition that affects bone growth and results in dwarfism, Dinklage always knew he was different. His older brother, Jonathan, continued to grow while he didn’t. At the age of five, he underwent leg surgery to help with his mobility. Throughout his life, he has faced stares and prejudice due to his height.
Growing up in a working-class family, Dinklage’s parents emphasized the importance of accepting oneself and embracing differences. Despite financial hardships, they worked hard to provide their sons with a quality education. Dinklage credits his Irish-Catholic upbringing for instilling strong values in him.
After graduating from Bennington College, Dinklage faced a tough start. He had no money, no credit card, no bank account, and no place to call his own. He was burdened with accumulating debts that seemed insurmountable. For years, he relied on friends, moving from one couch to another. As he pursued his passion for writing and acting, he avoided getting a day job, even when times were tough.
Eventually, Dinklage took on various odd jobs, from being a piano duster to working for a Shakespeare scholar. It took several years of persistence before he landed a job processing applications and data. Although he disliked the job, he stayed for six years, which gave him the stability to afford an apartment in Brooklyn. This first home was far from luxurious; it lacked heat and hot water, was infested with rats, and had a window that was too high for him to look out of. Yet, Dinklage cherishes the memories of his early years there, calling it a time of youth and friendship.
While Dinklage pursued his acting career in New York, he turned down roles in fantasy movies to avoid being typecast as a magical dwarf. He wanted to break free from stereotypes and prove his versatility as an actor. Despite facing financial difficulties, he stayed focused on his dreams.
Throughout his younger years, Dinklage struggled with love and relationships. He often found himself attracted to people who wouldn’t reciprocate his feelings, creating emotional turmoil. However, fate intervened when his longtime friend, Jonathan Marc Sherm, introduced him to director Erica Schmidt. With Sherm’s encouragement, they organized a game of Trivial Pursuit, which brought Dinklage and Schmidt together. The connection was instantaneous, and their love story began. Schmidt saw past his height and recognized Dinklage as an incredibly handsome, charming, and funny guy.
Together, Dinklage and Schmidt have pursued their passion for theater and collaborated on various projects. They have two children, born in 2011 and 2017, whose privacy Dinklage fiercely protects. He wants his children to be proud of him and to leave a lasting legacy. To set an example for them, he carefully chooses his roles, ensuring they align with his values.
While Dinklage is recognized wherever he goes, he manages to maintain a relatively private life for his family. Living in New York allows them to feel anonymous and escape the constant scrutiny of the paparazzi. Despite his fame, Dinklage yearns for a quiet life in the woods, where he can enjoy precious moments with his loved ones.
Peter Dinklage’s journey serves as a powerful reminder that with perseverance, self-acceptance, and the support of loved ones, one can overcome challenges and create a lasting impact. His determination to leave a meaningful legacy for his children showcases the depth of his love and dedication as both an actor and a father.