The Game of Thrones actor on men’s mental health, starring in a new BBC drama about Viagra trials in Wales, and Anthony Hopkins
Iwan Rheon is a 38-year-old Welsh actor and singer-songwriter. He has appeared in the E4 comedy-drama Misfits, as the despicable Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones and as Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars in the 2019 film The Dirt. Next up, Rheon stars in the BBC feature-length drama Men Up, about the unlikely origins of Viagra in south Wales. He also has a lead role, alongside Anthony Hopkins, in Roland Emmerich’s 2024 sword-and-sandals TV series, Those About to Die. Rheon lives in north London and has a five-year-old son.
Men Up tells the improbable – but mostly true – story of how one of the first clinical trials for the drug that became Viagra took place in Swansea in 1994. What drew you to the project?
When I first read it, I was about 20 pages in and I was like: “I’ve got to do this film.” Obviously, you’re tackling a subject that is the butt of many jokes and it’s a bit of lads-in-the-pub kind of humour. But it’s been approached in such a sensitive way: it’s funny, but not silly.