'Game of Thrones' Director Defends Ed Sheeran Cameo After Backlash

Ed Sheeran on Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Ed Sheeran on Game of Thrones.

"If people didn't know who Ed was, they wouldn't have thought about it twice."

Love it or hate it, Ed Sheeran's cameo on Sunday's Game of Thrones season 7 premiere has become one of TV's most talked about moments this week and now the episode's director is coming to its defense. 

"I think Ed did a lovely job -- he's a lovely actor and a lovely person," director Jeremy Podeswa told Newsweek

While fans were surely excited to see Sheeran show up in Westerns as a singing member of the Lannister army, plenty others have raised criticisms that his appearance was jarred viewers out of the show's fictional world (with some saying much worse). All the negativity may have caused Sheeran to delete his Twitter account on Monday (it has since been reactivated) and Podeswa argues it's unwarranted. 

"He was appropriate for the part because he needed to sing. If people didn't know who Ed was, they wouldn't have thought about it twice. The hoo-ha seems to be from things that are outside of the world of the show. In the world of the show he did a lovely job, and he looks like he belongs in that world," the director said.

So, in a way, it's the viewers fault?

"I think people interrogated it too much, they're bringing so much of his [superstar] presence into the thing which is far beyond what anybody was thinking going into it," Podeswa continued. "He is known to the producers of the show and some of the cast, and he's a gigantic fan of the show. As everybody knows, the show really eschews stunt casting -- it's never, ever done that.

"I was quite surprised about the reaction actually because I know he's very well known and a successful singer but you're in the bubble of the show -- the cast are well known too, everybody is really well known...none of them can walk down the street without being followed. You don't think about that very much in this context."

As for Sheeran's on-set demeanor, Podeswa described him as being wonderful to work with. 

"He comes with no entourage. There's nothing connected with him that's in the least bit self-aware or self-conscious," he said. "The only thing I don't feel great about is that Ed is such a lovely guy and really genuine and down to earth. He came into this with only lovely intentions to come and do a good job and sing well. So I think that's the only drag."