Jaime Lannister went through quite the emotional rollercoaster during “Eastwatch,” first surviving the great battle against Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons, then getting a surprise secret meeting with his estranged brother Tyrion, and finally having his sister/lover Cersei reveal she not only is pregnant, but threatening him to not betray her again.

To talk through the big revelations, we got on the phone with actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to discuss Jaime’s mindset and weigh in on whether he thinks Cersei is actually telling the truth about that bun in the oven. Additionally, we spoke with Coster-Waldau about his upcoming film Shot Caller, which hits select theaters on August 18th and is currently available on DirecTV. Directed by Ric Roman Waugh, Shot Caller follows a successful businessman (played by Coster-Waldau), who slowly is transformed into “Money,” a ruthless prison gangster,” after a DUI gets him imprisoned.

IGN: A big topic of conversation among viewers is whether or not people think Cersei’s baby is real. When you read the script for the first time, did you immediately believe that she was telling the truth, or are you a little skeptical?

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: I mean, me, or Jaime, or both? It’s a bit of a surprise, that’s for sure. I had questions to the writers about that very thing. I was like, is this just her way of manipulating or is it real, or what’s going on? I think Jaime believes her. He’s shocked, of course, but he believes her because I think, when you look at Cersei, she actually seems surprisingly happy. She hasn’t been like this for as long as he can remember. There’s actually a real glow in her eyes. She seems very believable. Now, what is he going to do with this?

Also, she gives him something that he’s been wanting his whole life: there’s been this enormous secret that he’s carried with these children, and he’s had to keep it locked up because it was too dangerous. And now she’s saying this one is going to be different. You’re going to be able to actually be a father, and not just for a second while you hold your dying girl in your arms, but this is going to be real. The idea is beautiful, and of course, for a second at least, he can’t help himself but be happy about this. Obviously she destroys that moment by going back to her pretty dark ways. She has to ruin it by saying, “Oh, don’t ever betray me again.” Like, come on! Just give him a second.

I think he believes her, that was the question. I do believe he believes her. Do I believe? Well, I think that she believes it. I actually do believe that. She’s clearly a great manipulator. You’ll have to watch the rest of the season to find out. But she seemed very happy, for sure.

IGN: I feel like every episode there’s a moment where people watching wonder if this will be the moment that causes Jaime to break with Cersei. At this point, do you think there’s anything that could happen that will cause him to do that?

Coster-Waldau: [laughs] If she serves him fried liver. I mean, he hates fried liver. That will just be a deal-breaker. She knows if she goes there, it will just destroy him.

You know, watch the show and you’ll find out if there’s anything. Who knows? It’s always difficult. You’ve been with someone, in this case, for most of your life. For better or for worse, it’s a very dysfunctional relationship, for sure. He’s a man of his word and he’s a man of loyalty where loyalty’s so important, and being responsible. They’re not just a couple. It’s not just, hey, it’s you and me, and I don’t like the way you act, so I’m going to take off now. They have this huge responsibility. The whole idea that you just transfer power, there’s always people being hurt. We just saw it in the last episode.

If anyone thinks that Daenerys Targaryen takes over and the Dothraki come in, it’s not necessarily going to be a peaceful surrender of power. When is it ever peaceful when new regimes take over? There’s also that responsibility to the people under him, and then the big command. It goes against the very core of him to abandon your post, if you will. Also, it’s not like he had two great relationships, they didn’t work out, and then he met Cersei. I’m sure if I was in his shoes, yeah, I’d be out the door no problem a long time ago, maybe when she was like, hey, you can keep having sex with me, but I’m going to marry the king, because I think that’s pretty cool. I think I would have gone, “Nah, I like you, we have a great physical connection and I appreciate that, but it’s not for me.” But Jaime’s a little different.

IGN: You and Lena Headey have consistently been having these amazing scenes for years, but you and Peter Dinklage hadn’t had a scene together in like two and a half seasons. What was it like shooting that reunion scene between Tyrion and Jaime?

Coster-Waldau: It was so much about what was not said. It was driving me crazy, in a good way. Tyrion always comes across as this very honorable guy, he’s like the hero in many ways of our show. We love him because he’s honest and he says things as they are. Here, I was like, could Jaime please just say something? Why is he getting away with this? Everyone who’s watching this is just going to believe that this is the truth! But that was the way it was written, and I understand it, we can’t complicate it.

The fact is Jaime says, “Hey, I told Bronn if I ever saw you again I would kill you,” and then Tyrion gets into this impassioned plea in explaining why he killed their father, because their father was such a bad man, and he wanted Tyrion dead. And I was like, “Yeah, but Jaime knows that! That’s why I helped you escape, a**hole! You were out, why did you go back? You didn’t have to go back and kill him. Why did you do that? And hey, you know you talk about Tywin being bad — what the hell did Shae do to you? Why did you kill her?”

IGN: I kept wanting Tyrion to say that though, like, “Hey, dad was sleeping with her!”

Coster-Waldau: I know! And yeah, OK, so he slept with her, so you killed her, because it’s always the woman. There’s so many things that are really interesting that of course we can’t get into in the show at this time. The thing is moving, but that’s my point, is there are so many things going on between them that are not being said.

IGN: Do you think that meeting might have gone differently if Olenna hadn’t told Jaime that she was the one who killed Joffrey?

Coster-Waldau: No, I don’t think that Jaime ever believed that. I think we already saw in the reason he helped Tyrion escape. If Jaime had really believed Tyrion had killed Joffrey, I don’t think he would have helped him escape, but he never believed that. This was just confirmation. The way she said it, it was very mean-spirited, like, “I’m dying. You may have given me a nice death, but f**k you.” And of course he gets to tell Cersei the truth, and maybe there was part of him that hoped it would soften her take on Tyrion, but of course it didn’t. She just regretted that she didn’t get to torture Olenna, because of course she’s filled with rage and she’s filled with thirst for revenge because she’s lost all her children. For Cersei for sure, I guess her therapist would say, there’s too much negativity going on. You’ve got to work on that.

IGN: Are you familiar at all with the prophecy of the valonqar from the books?

Coster-Waldau: Is that the one that everyone thinks Jon is the guy who’s going to come back, right?

IGN: No, it’s one —

Coster-Waldau: Oh, the one with the brother!

IGN: Yeah, in the books, Maggy the Frog told Cersei she would die when “the valonqar” wraps their hands around her throat and chokes the life out of her. People think the little brother could mean Jaime or Tyrion. Do you think there’s a world where one of her two brothers could be the one to kill her? Do you like that theory at all?

Coster-Waldau: [laughs] I think anything is possible on this show. I think it’s a good theory. Obviously it makes sense story-wise that they were born together and then he’ll kill her. You’d think then he would die and they would die together. But I can see many things happening. I mean, these prophecies of course are very significant. We see that with the one with Maggy the Frog.

IGN: Yeah, it’s exciting stuff. Meanwhile, this is another big week for you, because your new movie Shot Caller is hitting theaters on Friday. When you’re looking at film projects, what are the sorts of stories that engage you that you want to take part in?

Coster-Waldau: It was a great script, and it was a world I wasn’t too familiar with. But first and foremost, I could identify with the character. Even though it was in this extreme setting, the way Ric Waugh told the story, it was so moving. In a way, that whole idea that we as human beings are pack animals. It goes through a national level and a personal level and a family level, the whole thing about “them and us.” … Of course, when you have people in prison, that’s one of the most extreme things, because obviously people commit a crime, they’re going to have to pay the time, and then we lock them up. Then we as a society completely forget about these people because they did something bad and then we don’t care what happens, they’ll just be in there.

There’s been a lot of prison movies made, but I think what he did here is pretty interesting. Obviously you spend a lot of time doing research, but just explaining how messed up the prison system is, and how it just works against what we want. We create a lot more criminals — a lot more hardened criminals — than not by the way our prison system works. It’s just insane. The best projects, the best movies or television shows, are the ones where you’re really entertained and it’s a thrilling story, and as a bonus it tells something about the world we live in and it makes you think. I think Ric achieved that with Shot Caller.

IGN: The tagline for the movie is “some criminals are made in prison.” That’s a pretty pointed statement, so what conversation do you hope this movie sparks?

Coster-Waldau: I think it’s pointed but it’s also based in reality. The fact is we lock up non-violent offenders, and we lock them up for a long time sometimes. We lock them up with people who are really, truly violent. Prison is not a nice place, and it shouldn’t be, but it shouldn’t be as dangerous and as crazy as it is today. The fact you have to make yourself violent to survive is not very helpful because we do want these people out again. We make it very difficult for them to reenter our society. The fact is that almost 70 percent reoffend, and almost all of them reoffend to something worse. It’s just really stupid because we’re wasting not only just the financial resources on an enormous scale, but what’s worse is the human resources that we waste. And then of course on top of that there’s the whole debate on the demographics in prison, which are pretty shocking.

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