The Game of Thrones star’s long path to stardom—and the choices he made to reject stereotypical roles for dwarves:

I read about him online the day before the Globes. It really made me sad. I don’t know why.’ He corrected himself: ‘I mean, I know why: it’s terrible.’ In October, Henderson, who is 37 and is 4-foot-2, was picked up and thrown by an unknown assailant in Somerset, England. He suffered partial paralysis and now requires a walker. The night of the Globes, after Dinklage’s mention, Henderson’s name was a trending topic on Twitter. Dinklage later turned down offers to discuss the case with Anderson Cooper and other news hosts.

‘People are all, like, I dedicated it to him,’ he said. ‘They’ve made it more romantic than it actually was. I just wanted to go, “This is screwed up.” Dwarves are still the butt of jokes. It’s one of the last bastions of acceptable prejudice. Not just by people who’ve had too much to drink in England and want to throw a person. But by media, everything.’ He sipped his coffee and pointed out that media portrayal is, in part, the fault of actors who are dwarves. ‘You can say no. You can not be the object of ridicule.’

“Peter Dinklage Was Smart to Say No.” — Dan Kois, The New York Times Magazine

See also: “The Secret Drew Barrymore.” — Todd Gold, People Magazine, Jan. 16, 1989