The Emmy-nominated actor (and Lilys little brother) talks new films, family and fatherhood
When Alfie Allen was nominated for an Emmy earlier this year, for his performance in Game Of Thrones, many were quick to point out that the boy from the 2007 Lily Allen single Alfie had finally proved his big sister wrong. In the song, Lily pleads with her weed-smoking little brother to get off his lazy arse and stop wasting his life away. After eight seasons of HBOs epic fantasy drama, Allen, 33, appeared to have done just that. But the truth is more complicated.
When Lily wrote the song, I was in Canada teaching kids how to snowboard, he recalls, lighting a cigarette and taking a drag. Hed already moved on, and got his life together. I was getting a snowboarding qualification. I went on Myspace [the social network where Lily first uploaded her music in 2005] and listened to it, and I was entertained. Its a song about love, isnt it? She was missing her little bro!
It didnt bother him that people might have him pegged as a waster? She was on the rise. She was killing it. I was like: as long as it helps your creative juices flow, then go for it. I just remember asking for it not to be a single but then obviously record labels dont give a shit what family members think, do they? So that was that. Alfie, released as a double A-side with Shame For You, peaked at No 15 in the UK charts.
If the gamechanging Emmy nomination for his role as Theon Greyjoy hasnt drawn a line under the song, then this next chapter certainly will. Prior to Game Of Thrones, Allens most high-profile work was fleeting roles in films such as Atonement (2007) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008). Next month, hell star alongside Scarlett Johansson in the black comedy Jojo Rabbit, which won the top prize at the Toronto film festival. In spring, hell play the love interest in the highly anticipated big-screen adaptation of Caitlin Morans semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel How To Build A Girl; hell also appear in the forthcoming true crime mini-series White House Farm, with Stephen Graham.
Its a sunny autumnal day when I meet Allen, who is casually dressed in a Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt, black cap and shorts, by the pool at his secluded hotelstyle apartment building in a bohemian part of Los Angeles. Its a temporary living arrangement that could turn into something more permanent: he has a one-year-old daughter, Arrow, with his former partner, Allie Teilz, a DJ who is based here.
I imagine he is enjoying a more settled lifestyle after being contracted to a juggernaut such as Game Of Thrones for almost a decade. Is it like being released back into civilisation: no more schedules, night shoots or relentless promo tours?