Peter Dinklage’s Wife Fell for Him When He Lived in Rat-Infested Place — They Made It to 17 Years with 2 Kids

Peter Dinklage had life struggles years before he became well-known worldwide for his role as the humorous youngest Lannister sibling in “Game of Thrones.” He was broke and without hope for love. But after getting married, the star wants to leave his children with a legacy.

“Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage was always aware of his uniqueness. The actor, who was born with achondroplasia in New Jersey, observed that his growth was different from that of his older brother, violinist Jonathan, who continued to grow.


Dinklage had collective leg surgery at age five since he never developed above a particular height. The actor said that people had always stared at him because of his height.

Peter Dinklage on May 9, 2014 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

It was hard to believe that he was the only dwarf in the family. So, he was frequently angry when he was younger. Fortunately, his parents taught him how to deal with his concerns and embrace that difference via his upbringing. He was raised in an Irish-Catholic household.


Dinklage was raised in a working-class household; his father was an insurance salesman and his mother taught elementary school. Despite their modest means, the average-height couple battled to get their sons into the top schools and were stringent with their upbringing.

Peter Dinklage on October 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

In 2012, the actor disclosed during his speech at Bennington College’s graduation that his parents had abandoned him to pursue their own interests after graduation. He said:


“Perhaps you’d prefer not to hear this. is that I was left on my own after graduating. It was my financial adventure.


Peter Dinklage Battled Destitution

Dinklage may have had a better start in life as an independent man, even though he received a top-notch education, learned to embrace his height, and was reared with the correct ideals.

Peter Dinklage on March 22, 2014 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

He had no money, bank account, credit card, or apartment after graduating. The only possessions he could claim as his own were debts that had accrued over time and continued to rise. To quote him:

“A massive, ravenous, ever-expanding debt.”

Peter Dinklage on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

He moved from sofa to couch, squatting with various pals for many years. Peter didn’t want to pursue a day job till things got worse because he had always loved writing and acting.

The actor is aware of the legacy he would leave for his children in addition to screening the material he exposes her eyes to.

He eventually found employment in a piano shop as a duster for pianos before relocating to take care of a Shakespearean scholar’s estate. Later on, he started hanging paintings at a gallery.

Actor Peter Dinklage on June 11, 2022 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

He found work processing applications and data after working in erratic employment for two years. The Benington alum remained six years there, even though he detested his job.

This made renting an apartment in Brooklyn, New York, with a $400 monthly rent, more affordable. Dinklage lived in a “industrial loft” with a friend who aspired to be a theater owner in his first residence. He clarified:

It lacked hot water and heat. Although we smelled bad, we were still young.

Peter Dinklage on May 13, 2022 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

He had a cat named Bryan, but his house was overrun with rats. The house rocked every time a train passed, the oven was useless, and Peter was unable to look out of his one and only window because it was too tall. He’d spent ten years living there, single and jobless.

In spite of his unemployment, Dinklage frequently declined roles in fantasy films. He stayed in his New York house out of dread of being forever associated with the magical dwarf archetype.

Peter Dinklage and Erica Schmidt on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

There, he made ends meet while holding down a menial job. Even enough money for proper meals was beyond his means. The actor said he occasionally could only afford to eat a bag of chips for supper.

Peter Dinklage Getting to Know His Sweetheart

As a budding actor, the “Cyrano” hero battled not being able to appreciate love in all of its glory. His idea of romance was distorted in his early years since his love was never returned.As stated by the actor:

It’s much more painful when you fall in love with someone you know won’t reciprocate, and you lose interest in the individuals who are drawn to you. My brain operated in this way because I was a self-sabotage when I was younger.

Actor Peter Dinklage and Erica Schmidt on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Fortunately for Dinklage, his lifelong friend Jonathan Marc Sherm introduced him to his love. Sherm and director Erica Schmidt were talking about a playwriting idea when the “Game of Thrones” actor came up.

The dramatist cautioned Schmidt against harming his friend, pointing out that Dinklage had experienced loss in the past. They decided to play a game of Trivial Pursuit to match-make the two, and the rest is history!

Actor Peter Dinklage and Erica Schmidt on September 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Schmidt liked him even though he was tall. Since their initial encounter, the director hasn’t stopped being infatuated. He is quite attractive, she says without holding back.As said by her:

Girls have been licking his face a lot lately. Pete is a very attractive, pleasant, and amusing man, but when he appears in a magazine or whatever, people say things like, “Isn’t it amazing he’s four foot five inches tall and he’s sexy?” Which is upsetting.

Dinklage is equally amazed by his wife at the same time. The “Cyrano” actor praised her passion for theater and asserted that she is interested in art rather than just amusement. She is the “artist of the family,” according to him, while he is “just the TV actor who pays the bills.”

Peter Dinklage and Erica Schmidt in New York City in 2014 | Source: Getty Images

The pair has collaborated on several films, such as “A Month in the Country” and “Cyrano.” Because of her husband’s status as a movie actor, Schmidt admitted during the casting process for “Cyrano” that she was hesitant to give her husband the screenplays.

But Dinklage embraced the part and gave an outstanding performance after reading it. The director added, “I think that was part of what he was drawn to,” noting that the role had not been especially crafted to accommodate his size.

The pair has two children together: a daughter they welcomed in 2011 and a son born in 2017; the gender of the second child is still unknown because the parents would rather keep personal information hidden.

Peter Dinklage and Zelig Dinklage on January 15, 2014 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Dinklage has repeatedly expressed his wish to keep his family secret and to shield his children. The actor stated a few years ago that his kid was too young to witness his “Game of Thrones” debut. The actor is aware of the legacy he would leave for his children in addition to screening the material he exposes her eyes to. To quote him:

“I want my children to feel proud of who they are. I have two.” I’ve become much pickier about parts than I was in my youth. In order for them to be proud of their father’s career, they need to set an example.

A Private Life Is What Peter Dinklage Prefers

Despite being quite reclusive, Dinklage stands out due to his celebrity reputation and unusual height. Despite his dislike of being contacted by fans, he has been able to provide his family with a pretty private life.

Actor Peter Dinklage on November 19, 2015 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

They can feel anonymous because they reside in New York. He clarified that he wants to live in the woods and spend his alone time with his loved ones because he is not used to the paparazzi.

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