Iceland's Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, officially the world's second-strongest man, is 6-feet-9-inches and 419 pounds of pure giant — but he'd like you to know he's also a sweet guy.
"I try to be courteous to people, and I believe what goes around, comes around," the 25-year-old, who recently played "The Mountain" on HBO's "Game of Thrones" told the NY Post. "But I have noticed, when I scream and go a little crazy during a competition, some people are hesitant. But when the competition is over and I cool down, as I like to talk to my fans, people see I am no monster, just a nice guy."
Not to give anything away about last week's stunning "Thrones" episode, but Bjornsson may have a bit harder time going forward convincing people it's all an act. His first acting performance was so intense that he'll likely receive plenty of gigs in this genre going forward. And hey, he also now knows how to wield a giant sword.
"I had intense training with the [show’s] sword master, C.C. Smiff, who is also a fantastic dancer, by the way. That was very difficult," he says. "We were working from early morning until evening for several weeks, but as you can see, like in the fight scene, all that hard work really paid off."
Bjornsson recently revealed that (depending on his level of training) he consumes between 8,000-10,000 calories per day. As we've seen from other actors who bulk up for role (or as in Bjornsson's case, strongman competitions), eating a lot and keeping it healthy are key.
"I eat a lot and often, mostly very healthy food," he told the Post. "My diet is rather high in carbohydrates, but I try staying away from junk-carbs and try eating more of sweet potatoes, brown rice and lots of healthier protein sources. If I get a craving for hamburgers or something like that, I will have it. The diet is not as much a hassle for strongmen as in some other sports, but I like to stay in good overall shape, and as far as acting goes, I believe that has to be a good thing."
As for Bjornsson relationship with "Thrones" rival dueling partner Pedro Pascal, as you can see below the pair have patched things up.
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