Britain's tallest man who became Game of Thrones star to be honoured in documentary

Three years after the death of Britain’s Tallest man, a documentary is being made to honour the life story of the former Game of Thrones actor.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 1:33 pm
Updated Monday, 24th February 2020, 8:36 pm
GAME OF THRONES episode 39 (season 4, episode 9): Neil Fingleton. photo: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Neil Fingleton, from Durham City, was just 36 when he died from suspected heart failure in February 2017.

Now filmmaker Paul Stainthorpe will go behind the camera, with the support of Neil’s family, to produce a documentary about his story called Big Smooth.

Neil, who was from Gilesgate, stood just under 7ft 8in tall and had a colourful career, which earned him a legion of fans.

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Neil Fingleton, photographed by Mark Garfinkel

At the age of 16, Neil moved to America to be educated and pursue a career in basketball. He spent the next decade playing high school, college, ABA and professional basketball. After a serious back injury whilst being signed to North Carolina he returned to play in England. He also played in Spain and Greece, but injuries mounted resulting in the end of Neil’s playing career.

Undeterred, Neil found an agent who introduced him to the world of acting. He had ‘one to one’ training from the actor, Warwick Davis and this launched his second career choice.

After appearing in a number of documentaries, TV programmes and International TV commercials he began to audition for film roles. In his short career he acted with Keanu Reeves in the samurai action film, 47 Ronin, Mila Kunis in Jupiter Ascending and numerous Hollywood stars in X-Men: First Class, Avengers: Age of Ultron.

He also played a significant role as The Fisher King in Doctor Who. However, the role that most people remember Neil for is the character, Mag The Mighty in the TV hit, Game of Thrones.

Filmmaker Paul said: “Neil’s ‘never give up’ attitude is an inspiration to us all and his life story encourages us all to strive to reach our potential.”

He added: “It’s been really great to meet Neil’s family and a truly humbling experience. I can’t thank them enough for putting their trust in me.”

If anyone knew Neil and would like to contribute to this project, you can contact the team on: [email protected]