You know who Peter Dinklage is, of course. He plays the most popular character on the most popular TV show: Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones. But what did Dinklage do before the hit HBO series? Let’s get into the Wayback Machine and travel to the past of Peter Dinklage’s career.
Dinklage appeared in the 2007 British comedy Death at a Funeral, directed by Frank Oz. He also appeared in the 2010 American remake directed by Neil LaBute and starring Chris Rock. Apparently, LaBute knew a good thing when he saw it.
Dinklage played Trumpkin in the 2008 Chronicles of Narnia film, Prince Caspian. The character is a dwarf from a popular series of fantasy novels. Partly because of this role, Dinklage later almost turned down the part of Tyrion Lannister, for fear of being typecast.
Dinklage had a memorable cameo in the 2003 Will Ferrell holiday comedy Elf. He played a famous children's author tormented by the titular character. Dinklage later would present Ferrell with the "comedy genius" award at the MTV Movie Awards.
Peter Dinklage first earned wide notice and acclaim playing the lead role of Finbar McBride in 2003’s The Station Agent. The then-unknown actor more than held his own next to the likes of co-stars Patricia Clarkson, Michelle Williams, Bobby Cannavale and John Slattery.
This can’t be right. A ‘90s New York "absurdist early Beastie Boys-esque" punk trio called Whizzy? Featuring a dwarf named Peter Dinklage? Peter Dinklage wearing “a shirt made of Wonder bread”? It’s not true.
Dinklage himself has spoken about Whizzy in the press before. He mentioned the band in a 2013 Playboy interview, commenting, “I was in a band called Whizzy for many years in New York. We were this punk-funk-rap band. We played a show at CBGB, and I was jumping around onstage and got accidentally kneed in the temple. I was like Sid Vicious, just bleeding all over the stage. Blood was going everywhere. I just grabbed a dirty bar napkin and dabbed my head and went on with the show.”
Dinklage continued describing Whizzy’s punk credentials: “We didn’t care much at the time about personal safety. We were smoking and drinking during our shows, and one time my bass player fell off the back of his amp because he passed out. It was one of those bands.”
So is Peter Dinklage a frustrated musician who settled for an acting career after a record contract never materialized? Nah. The acting bug bit him in high school, and he holds a drama degree from Bennington College in Vermont. So Whizzy probably was always a side hobby.
Not that being in a band pays the rent. Dinklage worked a soul-crushing office job in his 20s, just like most people. “I got a job in application processing,” Dinklage said in his 2012 commencement address at Bennington, “as a data enterer at a place called Professional Examination Services. And I stayed for six years. Six years!”
“I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn,” Dinklage described. “Yeah, you say that now. Oh, my kingdom for a time machine. Yeah, that’s right. I lived in an industrial loft. My rent was $400 a month.” Guys, the ‘90s were a very, very different time.
Sadly, there’s no further evidence of the band’s existence outside of descriptions and these photos. None of their music was recorded either on tape or film. At least, not as far as we know right now. Someone out there may have video footage of Whizzy. We’re praying for it.