The actor who plays the evil King Joffrey Baratheon on hit TV show Game of Thrones says he's quitting acting once the series ends.

Jack Gleeson, 21, also said his character on the explicit HBO show was so evil he struggled to watch the show himself.

"You tend to abstract yourself from the creepiness of it when you're playing it, but when you see it on television it sends shivers down my spine.

"It's bizarre when you see clips," he told the Irish Independent.


The Cork actor said he would leave the profession behind once his role on the show finished because he didn't enjoy the "lifestyle" of being famous.

He said he had "re-evaluated" what he wanted to do after studying philosophy and theology at Dublin's Trinity College.

"It was always a recreation beforehand, but when I started doing Game of Thrones, perhaps the reality was made too real for me.

"The lifestyle that comes with being an actor in a successful TV show isn't something I gravitate towards."

Gleeson, who first auditioned for the role at age 17, could find no redeeming qualities in King Joffrey, an evil ruler of House Baratheon who ordered the beheading of King Eddard Stark.

"I would like to try and defend him, but I would have a pretty hard job doing it. I suppose he's the product of his context and his family.

"In terms of redeemable qualities, there wouldn't be many."

The fourth season of Game of Thrones is due to air in April, 2014.