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'Game of Thrones' star John Bradley says show helped him cope with weight issues

Speaking on "Conan," the actor, who plays Samwell Tarly, got candid about being overweight and how the HBO series helped him get past his insecurities.
/ Source: TODAY

"Game of Thrones" star John Bradley got emotional while talking about his weight on Monday’s episode of "Conan."

Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly on the Emmy-winning HBO series, recalled giving a speech at one of the show’s wrap parties in which he opened up about being heavy.

"The gist of it was that as somebody who grew up overweight and kind of unhappy because of it, and thinking that life was going to pass you by because of it," Bradley, 30, said. "And all the time you go to bed and you think, 'I'd give anything to wake up and not have this weight.'"

Bradley said the opportunity to be on the show came at the perfect period in his life.

John Bradley
John Bradley as Samwell Tarly on "Game of Thrones."HBO

"Then suddenly all the time you're thinking that, especially when I was 19, 20, to think while I was feeling that about myself, David (Benioff) and Dan (Weiss), our producers, and everybody else connected with the show, they were looking for me — they were looking for exactly me," he said.

Bradley realized he was an asset to the series, regardless of what he weighed.

"And it's not just a case of they're going to accept what I consider to be faults about myself, but they're going to see them as virtues, and they're going to be my key into this amazing experience and meeting all these amazing people," he said.

"If I'd have known they were looking for me and what kind of effect that was going to have on the rest of my life, then I'd just wouldn’t been able to believe it," he added.

Bradley is not the first "Game of Thrones" star to publicly talk about a health issue.

Last month, Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen, penned an emotional essay for The New Yorker recounting how she had two brain aneurysms.

"I knew I was faltering," she wrote. "In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die."

Clarke has since rebounded and now says he is fine.

"Game of Thrones" returns for its eighth and final season on Sunday night.