It’s certainly been a less than warm reception to Ed Sheeran’s awkward cameo in the opening episode of Game of Thrones, “Dragonstone.”
But the singer-songwriter can count on one person to defend his appearance: The episode’s director, Jeremy Podeswa. Yes, the person who directed Sheeran.
“I think Ed did a lovely job—he’s a lovely actor and a lovely person,” Podeswa told Newsweek.
Much of the criticism online was levelled at Sheeran because his appearance took fans out of the show, especially since the super popular fantasy series has avoided stunt casting across its six other seasons. Plonking a super-famous pop star next to Arya Stark in the middle of the woods in Westeros got superfans’ blood boiling.
But Podeswa has a counterpoint to all the shade:
“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,” he told the publication.
“I think people interrogated it too much.”
“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 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 said he was “surprised” at the reaction and noted that everyone else on the show is well-known too — just like Sheeran.
With Sheeran revealing plans to quit Twitter, changing his mind, then subsequently deleting, and then shortly reactivating his Twitter account, the director hopes the singer-songwriter hasn’t been too affected by the negative reaction.
“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,” Podeswa said.