About the Time Peter Dinklage Watched a Man Die, and How He Didn't Realize He May Have Been Responsible for the Man's Death

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About the Time Peter Dinklage Watched a Man Die, and How He Didn't Realize He May Have Been Indirectly Responsible

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrities Are Better than You | February 20, 2014 | Comments ()


Peter Dinklage, who made the cover of Esquire’s Style Issue this month (pushing Cobie Smulders no-pants photoshoot to the inner pages), discussed in his interview an experience he had in 2003, after The Station Agent, in which he saw a man die literally right in front of him.

“One morning, I was walking down Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. There was this guy on a motorcycle right in front of me—about as far away as that plant, maybe six feet? And he looked at me. He didn’t wave, but he looked at me, and then he pulled out into traffic and this car, like, boom—killed him instantly.”

And you were the last person he saw?

“Yes. I was the last person he saw on earth.”

Surely, at this point, I’m not the only one thinking what the author is thinking. But Dinklage is clearly not thinking what the rest of us are.

“I connected with him. And then he pulled out into traffic and boom. There was an old guy driving the car. I ran into this coffee shop that I’d been on my way to. They had somebody call an ambulance. And then I ran back outside to be with the guy, but he was already dead. I didn’t want to get too near him. The old guy had stopped and he was slowly getting out of his car. It was in the morning, so there was no one around, you know? This was in L.‚ÄČA., where nobody walks. It was empty. So there was this quiet moment where it was like I was the only person in the world who knew this guy was dead. And I was there looking at him, you know, in those moments of calm after something horrible happens, the calm before the melee starts, before the ambulances and the cops arrive and it becomes a scene. There was that moment when I was with him.”

He “connected with him” then boom! The guy drives out into the middle of an intersection and is killed by another car. No sudden realizations here, Peter?

“There’s such a difference with dying,” Dinklage says. “You can have somebody who is really sick for a long time. Like, my father had cancer for many years and he passed away. He was too young. He was in his seventies, which is too young. But there’s something different between an older person dying and this guy. He was probably about twenty-five. He’d probably just had breakfast at the same place I was headed. And then he died. It’s like, he was robbed.”

No, still nothing, huh? A man on a motorcycle looks over at Dinklage, connects with him, doesn’t look where he’s going, and gets plowed by another car. That doesn’t sound any bells?

Oh, wait: HERE IS IT.

We sit for a few moments, sipping our coffees. He eats some cheese and apple off the plate but skips the bread. The passing show continues past.

Then it pops into my head, so I ask: Do you think you might have distracted him?

Dinklage’s eyes saucer. His face contorts into a hideous mask.

“No, no, no, no!” he cries, raising his hands defensively, as if to fend off the notion. “No! I never felt like that! NOT AT ALL.”

Just wondered, you know, given the—

“Oh, my God! F-k you. How dare—Oh, Mike. I never thought of that before. This was supposed to be a story about how I actually connected with a stranger. Oh, f-k. Oh, man. Dude!”

I’m so sorry. It just seemed—

“It’s over. This is over! I’m gonna have nightmares tonight. I’m Catholic, remember?”

How, in over a decade, could have never thought that? Even if the connection hadn’t resulted in the man’s death (it totally did), how had the thought never occurred to him? Dinklage, an easily recognizable celebrity in Los Angeles after The Station Agent is spotted a morning in which no one else is around, and made a connection. That guy wasn’t “connecting.” He was star-spotting. His final thoughts were probably, “Holy Sh*t! Peter Dinklage! I should get his autogr … ”

As dying thoughts go, it’s not a bad one to go out on.

Source: Esquire

Romantic Comedies Destroy the Best Parts of Being Alive | Cable TV: Winter Is Coming

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Holy shit, did you people turn into some Buzz Killingtons. Are you aware of what website you're on right now? It's not the damn New York Times, lighten up.
    The headline (unless it's been edited) says "...and How He Didn't Realize That He MAY HAVE Been INDIRECTLY Responsible."
    There's two purposefully ambiguous terms before the "responsible" you all seem to be shitting your pants over. Did you think that you were about to read about the time Dinklage tied a guy's shoelaces together before he walked out on a tight-rope?
    Also, that entire clause is referring to the inferrence of the Esquire reporter, not Dustin's own opinion. I really don't see the problem.
    The last line's a little insensitive, but I don't come to this website for my moral bit of journalistic excellence in the morning. I come her for well-written, interesting opinion-based articles on my favorite subject: Film.
    In that respect, I put this up website against any other.

  • pissants_doppelganger

    I used to come here for articles on film, too.

  • And now you come here for.......? If you don't like it, go elsewhere. I got tired of Filmonic.com because their writing style lacks any semblance of creativity; they just "report" the latest information with zero humor. So one day, I just stopped visiting their website. I didn't stick around to piss and moan because I didn't like what they were writing. I don't actively waste my time in such manners.

  • Am I evil because I thought that the insinuation was that a "small person" distracted the guy?

  • Melissa

    Peter's Responsible!?!?! I have always known you are a douche of the highest order but this takes the flippin' cake. How do you even live with yourself? Even if this is your sad idea of being "hilariously ironic", you suck Douchelord. Uhhggg!

  • pissants_doppelganger

    Jesus, Rowles, you need to think about how you'll feel a few years from now when you post link-bait shit like this to support your family. Why not just sell meth to kids?

    I've been on the wagon for a few years now, but this website has gone to shit, and you are primarily responsible.

  • You need to calm down a tetch. He wrote a clumsy headline, he didn't sodomize a puppy while sacrificing babies to the Dark Lord.

  • pissants_doppelganger

    Shouldn't you be somewhere else talking about a bacon cheeseburger or something?

  • I do love a good bacon cheeseburger, especially if you use pepper jack cheese and thick cut bacon. But advising you on the lack of a need for comical over-reactions does not take so much of my brain power that I cannot do both at once.

  • 'aser395r42'm5r3''asd;234r5fnsd...He's right. It is hard to do both at once.

  • mzblackwidow

    I am only a recent reader here but from what little I have seen, I have to agree with you. It's like Dustin was one person, then Joanna left and he got slammed for the Woody Allen piece. Ever since, everything I have read from him is either way too much with the personal tales showing how sincerely he can "empathise" with whoever, or they are badly researched, contradictory, dismissive or just plain mean.

    I thought I had found a great place to hang out. I rarely visit anymore.

  • Good riddance. Adios. Farewell. Bon Voyage. And GOOD DAY!

  • L.O.V.E.

    Doesn't this just confirm what we already thought? Peter Dinklage can kill you just by looking at you.

    Oh sure, 10 years ago he didn't have control over his powers. He didn't "mean" to kill that guy. He can't be responsible when he had no training, no schooling for his special powers. This was pre-Elf. He hadn't yet been exposed to the whimsy of Zooey. This was pre-Baxter, before learning the tao of Paul Rudd. Pre-Death at a Funeral, where he learned about .. stuff.

    But still, do not fuck with the Dinklage.

  • Very Kerry

    Neither this article, nor the one quoted, can be serious. Dinklage is not responsible for the man's death. And this piece coming on the heels of so much "ink" being spilt on Pajiba over the last couple of weeks about being mindful of how what you write online may be interpreted by readers is at least a little absurd. You really couldn't, in good faith, anticipate that claiming a semi-famous (at the time) actor was responsible for a man's death simply by holding the man's gaze just before he had a motorcycle accident?

  • Ben

    See Also: The "It's appalling how women are treated in media these days" Articles followed by "CHECK OUT THESE PHOTOS OF SEXY BABES!" articles.

  • me thinks the article is a bit insensitive, sorry...

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Eh, I think you're overplaying the fame level of The Station Agent. If anything, the dying man MIGHT have been thinking, "Have I seen that dwarf before? He's not Willow..."

    But that sucks. It sucks. I would fall to pieces just to see someone struck down like that, I think. It would be completely self-centered/self-indulgent, I absolutely realize that, but it would probably still happen.

  • FrayedMachine

    Honestly, this makes me admire him a ton. It's rare to see people have such a .uh . sincere? perspective on things? I feel like most people in this kind of situation would immediately go to a more self-centered mindset and immediately made it more about them but there's something kind of neat for him to see the situation as a mutually experienced moment as opposed to something immediately happening to him/because of him.

  • Exactly. Dinklage didn't think of that because he's a humble guy. (He's Catholic, remember?)

  • sian8470

    I took the Catholic reference to mean that his nightmares would be caused by guilt. Not that I feel he has anything to feel guilty about. I agree with FrayedMachine that it's a lovely thought that for 10 years it really hadn't crossed his mind that the incident was about him.

  • FrayedMachine

    I admittedly did not get what the Catholic comment had to do with it, so thanks for the clarification.

  • Well, he may have been thinking about Catholic humility, or it may be the Catholic guilt thing as usual. Depends on how devout you are.

  • FrayedMachine

    Totally assumed it was more about the Catholic guilt but the humble aspect sounds a bit more appealing in this case ha

  • J.P.

    You should be careful using the word "responsible". He might have been the indirect cause but in no way does that make him responsible for that man's death.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    I'd argue he isn't the cause at all. The cause is a motorcycle operator not paying attention where he was heading. That his inattention might've been related to his desire to rubberneck at a celebrity doesn't really put either cause (indirect or otherwise) or responsibility on Dinklage.

  • J.P.

    That's actually more or less what I meant when I said "indirect cause". The direct cause is obviously the cyclist's inattentiveness, but that in turn was (possibly) caused by seeing Dinklage. So he is in that chain of causality somewhere, but given the carelessness of the cyclist he could probably just as well have been a flashy ad.

  • I wonder if the reporter's inference is that the guy on the motorcycle was distracted by Dinklage because he is a celebrity or because he is a little person.

    I mean, people who pay attention to film are familiar with The Station Agent, but it's not like it was a blockbuster smash. It was a quiet, little indie movie with great performances that made, like, $5 million at the box office. People didn't really start picking up on it until after it went to video.

  • I was thinking that too. Regardless of whether or not the guy recognized him, at that point in his career, Dinklage probably wouldn't have assumed that. And it's much darker to let yourself think "a guy died because he was gawking at the little person."

  • Nadiney

    I agree entirely. Unless the LA scene is very different and a smaller(indie?) film like Station Agent does get shown everywhere then I can't imagine the guy recognised the at the time relatively unknown( outside LA at least??) Dinklage.

  • JustOP

    Yeah, and it would also be nice to have a little more details on the situation. Like if any red lights were being run or if any of the drivers were somehow incapacitated.

    I don't see many 'small people', but I don't think the sight of one alone would cause me to lose all other spatial awareness of my surroundings.

  • I dunno. Some people get really hung up on that stuff. Any way you slice it, it's a clumsy question on the reporter's part.

  • zoompow

    Can existing in the world make you responsible for someone's death? The motorcyclist was responsible for his own death because he wasn't paying attention to what he was doing. If the guy had looked a a cute puppy and then crashed would the puppy be RESPONSIBLE for his death? what a thing to say.

  • nailpolishcolor

    THIS. Seriously, Dinklage was WALKING, not brandishing sparklers and a Dick Van Dyke style drum and horn backpack set.

  • Pinky McLadybits

    But goddamn, I wish he would do that.

  • emmalita

    Oh that is so sad. So, I'm going back to bed now.

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