Everyone knows Peter Dinklage because of his superb acting skills, but did you know that he was once a frontman for a pretty hardcore punk band? Yup, our favorite dwarf (he really self-identifies as one) used to moonlight as a rockstar on his days off!
Peter Dinklage was born with achondroplasia, a common form of dwarfism, in New Jersey. The only dwarf in his family, he graduated with a drama degree and moved to New York to build a theater company. As he and his friend Ian Bell failed to pay rent, they moved out of their apartment as Dinklage took up a data processing job.
He addressed his alma mater’s 2012 graduating class and spoke about his struggle as an actor. After six years of working in the company, he decided to pursue acting full-time. Dinklage imparts the wisdom of giving yourself permission to fail—something he wasn’t able to do until a later age. Watch his inspirational Commencement address:
Even with the massive success of Game of Thrones plus his Emmy and Golden Globe Awards, he remembers much of his past. During the early 90s, Dinklage co-fronted a “punk-funk-rap” band called Whizzy. They were part of the notorious New York punk scene (a decade or so before the rise of the New York rock scene) that enjoyed their fair share of debauchery.
Whizzy played the legendary venue CBGB, the same place where legends like the Ramones, Blondie, Misfits, Beastie Boys, and others got their start. The visible scar running through Dinklage’s neck to his eyebrow was a product of a rowdy night at CBGB. He narrates that as he was jumping around onstage, he accidentally got kneed in the temple. In true punk rock fashion, he simply dabbed the mass amounts of blood with a dirty bar napkin and carried on.
British media company NME was able to dig up some photos, radiating the energy Dinklage gave off as a frontman and his strong sense of style.
Gig videos haven’t been found, but I bet in a month’s time it’ll pop up in one corner of the interwebs and spread like wildfire. For now, we’re content with the old photos. Rock on, Peter Dinklage!