KNOXVILLE, Tenn — The second annual Bubbafest wrapped up in Downtown Knoxville on Sunday, and it came with a special awards presentation for two "Game of Thrones" stars.
The "Guinness Book of World Records" recognized the popular HBO series with nine different accolades, including Most Emmy Awards for a fictional series.
GOT actors Ian Beattie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau accepted the special honors and participated in a Q&A with the audience.
Here is what Coster-Waldau had to say about Knoxville, his time on GOT, world records and family.
Q: What do you think about Knoxville?
A: "We had a great meal, but I haven't had much time. Went for a long walk last night and this morning. Beautiful city. Never been here before. I've been to Nashville with my family, had an amazing time. Great people. I'm happy."
Q: You’ve spent many years working on GOT, a large portion of your career--what has the show meant to you?
A: "An amazing experience. Usually, as an actor, you go from job to job all the time, but here you get to come back eight seasons in a row. That’s unique, but, you know, all good things come to an end. It was also nice to end it and move on, such a privilege to then travel to Knoxville and other places and meet people who still enjoy the show and experience the community that it has created."
Q: If you could be anyone, except for Jamie, what character would you play?
A: "What’s fun about 'Game of Thrones,' the success of the show, is three-dimensional characters who you get to know as human beings. They aren’t black and white, it's gray as life is. I really like the Lannister gang so I think Tyrion has a pretty good part."
Q: When you see all the awards, is it a good representation of the work you put in?
A: "I see luck and a lot of hard work, the thing is..you shoot a pilot like a test episode and we did that with 'Game of Thrones,' and it didn’t turn out very well, so thank God HBO [Richard Plepler] decided to listen. There is something here we can fix and he went with it, but it was touch and go. Because he did it, there’s luck. We learn from our mistakes, rectify it and now you're here today with 'Guinness Book of World Records' it's pure insanity. Feels good."
Q: Is there a certain time you knew it would be special?
A: "After season one, I was in Denmark and it was being aired on a tiny channel, it didn’t have much of a following. Then we went to San Diego to ComicCon for a panel and to go into a hall that was packed with 6,000 people I thought, 'people do care it might be around for a while.' Now eight years later, it's won more Emmys than any other show. You don't expect that."
Q: What about today’s award [the Guinness World Record for most Emmys]?
A: "This is so cool, the book, the Guinness World Records book, had one of those as a kid, a lot of us had one of those. All those crazy things, all those records. This is fun, can’t wait to take this home and show my gang.”
Q: How do you balance family and career?
A: "You take one step at a time. I'm very lucky. I married a wonderful woman and have two wonderful kids."