Peter Dinklage Describes Himself as a ‘Self-Saboteur’ in Relationships Prior to Meeting Erica Schmidt

Meeting Erica Schmidt, Peter Dinklage’s wife, impacted his perspective on relationships.

Before he met and married Schmidt in 2005, Dinklage, 52, acknowledged to The New York Times that he would often self-sabotage his relationships. Schmidt wrote the screenplay for his new movie musical Cyrano.

“I was guilty of always falling for someone where it wasn’t reciprocated because keeping it at a distance is more romantic than bringing it up close,” Dinklage said. “You fall for people you know aren’t going to return that, so it’s even more tormented, and you’re not interested in the people interested in you. That’s how my brain worked because I was a self-saboteur when I was young.”

He continued, “You get a bit older and you realize that has nothing to do with anything. But it’s okay because in your 20s everybody should be a mess.”

Dinklage added he used to feel “unworthy” in relationships, saying, “I was raised Irish Catholic, so I totally feel unworthy of everything.”

“That’s what hopefully this movie is speaking to, that unworthiness we all go through. When you meet somebody you love, they’re suddenly so important and so powerful that of course your go-to is, ‘I’m not worthy of this, because why would I be? This is so much bigger than me.'”

Dinklage portrays the title character in Cyrano, a man who believes he is unworthy of love because of the way he looks. Roxanne’s (Haley Bennett) unspoken love for Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) makes him feel hopeless, so he assists Christian in wooing Roxanne with his own words.

How did Dinklage let go of the self-sabotage? He said that finding a good relationship would be the answer: “I think other people do that to you. If anybody’s been lucky enough to experience love, it just grabs hold of you. You don’t control how you feel, but you can choose what to do with it.”

The Game of Thrones star also recalled meeting Schmidt for the first time, describing it to the Times as something out of a “crazy, romantic movie.”

“It was about 18 years ago now. We were all at a friend’s house and someone said, ‘They’re walking the elephants through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel.’ The circus was in town and it was snowing, and they were walking the elephants through Manhattan, a long line of them. It was like something out of a beautiful, fantastical, end-of-the-world, crazy, romantic movie,” he recalled. “See? I always think about movies. So that’s the night we met, the night the elephants walked through Manhattan.”

Cyrano is in select theaters on Jan. 21, everywhere on Feb. 4.

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