HBO threatened to sue 'Game of Thrones' star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau after he claimed to have shaved off his hair.
The 48-year-old actor - who portrays one-handed warrior Ser Jaime Lannister in the fantasy drama series - told producers he wanted respect for his artistic "integrity" and sent them an old photo taken when he had a "buzz cut", making out it was a current image.
He confessed: "There'd been a lot of talk about Jaime's hair in the early seasons - his long golden locks.
"Once he lost his hand, I thought he should maybe have a haircut. And then I thought, 'Why don't I just pretend?'
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"This is five, six seasons ago - I sent them an old picture where I had a buzz cut. I sent a long letter where I explained I'd taken control of my character and I want to be respected. I said that my integrity as an artist was at stake!"
Nikolaj initially "didn't hear anything" in response, but when he flew into Belfast to resume filming, he received a panicked call from the show's first assistant director and realised his prank had got "out of control".
He recalled: "I was in the car from the airport. The first AD said, 'Do you have any hair?' Then he explained how poor Kevin - who is the head of hair - had been frantically trying to build a wig with what he had, which wasn't a lot.
"I said, 'It's just a joke! Did you really believe?' They all believed it. They'd also called my manager. HBO had started to talk about sueing me and it had gotten out of control."