Interview for The Sunday Times Magazine (May 29, 2016)

In this new interview for The Sunday Times Magazine Kit talks about fame, sexism towards men and his cousin Laurent, who also appears with Kit in a new photoshoot session by Matt Holyoak. You can check those pictures in our gallery and also read the full interview.

We are meeting for an interview not to promote a blockbuster, but because he wants to talk about his cousin and friend Laurent, who has severe learning disabilities, lives in special housing and is assisted by the charity Mencap.

On screen, Harington almost always plays romantic warriors. The key to his appeal is that he plays these action roles with a bit of soul. His doleful brown eyes and husky delivery suggest a hero with a hinterland, a swordsman with a sensitive side. This is true off screen as well. He has a calm, measured aura that puts those around him at ease, not least Laurent, whose severe double diagnosis of autism and Down’s syndrome can make life difficult for his family.

Born two years apart, he and Laurent grew up together, part of a crew of five male cousins that included Harington’s brother Jack. But Laurent was always a bit different. “I can’t really pinpoint when I became aware that Laurent had Down’s syndrome,” says Harington. “But when I was young it was a matter of pride: my cousin has Down’s syndrome.”

He still feels that pride today. Because of Laurent, Harington has become an ambassador for Mencap, and shares the charity’s concerns over the effects that benefits cuts are having on people such as his cousin, whose social life is built around funded activities and clubs.

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