There are not many actors who become world famous in their late forties. For British actor Iain Glen, his role as Ser Jorah Mormont, the faithful companion and advisor of Daenerys "Khaleesi" Targaryen in the hit series "Game of Thrones", was a career booster that he himself would never have expected. He was previously seen in popular film series such as the "Resident Evil" trilogy or the series "Downton Abbey". In his new thriller "Glacier Grave" (in cinemas since Thursday), Iain Glen can now be seen as a fanatical ex-military man who is ready to walk over corpses for a missing World War II plane and his mysterious cargo.

Iain, you haven't played a lot of villains over the course of your career, have you?

Not really. There were also a few villains, but they didn't dominate my career. Let's put it this way, it wasn't enough to put me in the drawer for the "Rogue on duty" role. I guess it's been a rogue share of about thirty percent so far.

Some of your colleagues claim that it's easier to play villains than heroes. What do you think?

A well-written villain is actually easier to play. I agree. It depends very much on the script. The bad guys are usually very straightforward on a mission. Their character's evil unmistakably develops from the story, and they have a clearly defined task: to kill the hero. The protagonist is often more indifferent. And it's comparatively difficult to portray why someone is good and fill that character completely with life.

What can you tell us about the cooperation with our compatriot Wotan Wilke Möhring?

You can really have fun with it. He is very playful. And there's something British about his way of playing.

"British" would not necessarily have occurred to me now.

He doesn't take himself too seriously and is approachable between scenes. You know what I mean? He is not a method actor who pretends to merge with the role or lives as the person to be portrayed during filming. The British way of acting is essential: you master your craft, and the rest is in the play or script. So is Wotan. But he is also eccentric and has something crazy about him. I mean the way he speaks, his facial expressions and his leaps of thought. He has an interesting life and told me a lot about it, which I liked. We laughed a lot. And he's a good actor.

You grew up in the sixties and seventies. How did you experience this time of cultural paradigm shifts?

I have the feeling that this time was somehow more innocent. That's the first thing that comes to mind. I feel a bit sorry for my children right now, because the world has become so complex. It's certainly not easy to grow up now. You can rely on few things, and nothing seems certain. We had a little more security back then. And I also experienced this time as an artistic and cultural renaissance. It was an exciting time to be young.

Were you a rebel?

To say that would be a real exaggeration. I come from a very solid middle-class family in Edinburgh and went to a very old-fashioned school where we had to pay tuition. Art, in whatever form, was not an issue in this institution. I first came into contact with the world of acting at university. And that, too, was more of a coincidence. I had an uncomplicated youth with very loving parents. They later supported me in taking up a profession that must have had something dangerous for them with a high potential for failure.