Rory McCann, who plays Sandor Clegane, aka “The Hound,” on HBO’s Game of Thrones, will be back again to help battle the Army of the Dead when the eighth and final season premieres this Sunday, April 14. Fans are also waiting anxiously for “Cleganebowl” – the ultimate showdown between the Hound and his brother, Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane, which is hopefully happening soon.
With the season premiere right around the corner, fans of McCann may find themselves wondering about his personal life. The Scottish actor stands at 6’6″ tall, or 198 cm, and was born on April 24, 1969 in Glasgow, Scotland, making him 49-years-old, about to celebrate his 50th birthday. He is known for enjoying a solitary, transient lifestyle, and often lives on his boat for long periods of time, or in places without modern conveniences.
Here’s what you need to know about McCann:
He Was a Painter, Carpenter & Landscape Gardener Before He Started Acting
McCann didn’t initially start out as an actor, according to Heightline. He actually trained as a painter at the Scottish School of Forestry near Inverness, and worked as a landscape gardener, carpenter and a bridge painter on the Forth Road Bridge, a suspension bridge in east central Scotland.
He started acting in 1988 as an extra on the film “Willow,” and ten years later he decided to enroll in acting classes at the Actor’s Workshop in Glasgow, where he was trained by Robert Parsifal Finch.
McCann started out starring in commercials and taking small roles on television before he landed his first major role on the comedy The Book Group, where he played an injured personal trainer. The role earned him a Scottish BAFTA for Best TV Performance of the year in 2002, according to Heightline.
He’s also had roles in films such as “Hot Fuzz,” “Clash of the Titans,” “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” was a main character on the British drama The Jury, and had a recurring role in Rockface.
McCann is Very Close to His Mother & Sister & Calls His Mother His ‘One True Believer’ & ‘Biggest Fan’
McCann is very close to his mother and sister, and calls his mother his “biggest fan” and his “one true believer” when it comes to supporting him in his career. According to Heightline, McCann says his mother “keeps encouraging him through the ups and downs of being an actor, especially during long periods when he has been out of work.” He has brought his mother to several movie premieres, and introduced her to a few Hollywood stars throughout the years, including Angelina Jolie.
His sister, Sally-Gay, also works in the film industry as a costume designer, and he considers her one of his biggest “cheerleaders” next to their mother. The siblings worked together on the set of the 2004 epic historical drama film “Alexander,” which was McCann’s Hollywood debut, according to Heightline.
The Game of Thrones Showrunners Nearly Missed His Audition Tape But George R.R. Martin Recommended Him Personally For The Role
According to Game of Thrones Wiki, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss nearly missed McCann’s audition tape when he auditioned for the show since they were reviewing hundreds of tapes for dozens of different characters. However, author George R.R. Martin was already familiar with McCann’s previous acting, and actually emailed the showrunners, urging them to watch his tape.
He was confirmed for the role in September, 2009. He starred on the show for the first four seasons before taking a break during season five after his character (SPOILER ALERT!) allegedly died, and then reappeared during season six to reprise his role as the Hound.
Tune in Sunday, April 14 at 9/8c to catch the eighth and final season premiere of Game of Thrones, only on HBO.