Alfie Allen revealed that his role on "Game of Thrones" took a toll on his mental health.
Theon Greyjoy went through a downward spiral during the show's eight seasons as he journeyed from being the Starks' ward to tortured Reek and back to Theon again.
The evolution of Allen's character ended with redemption and an Emmy nod (after he submitted himself for consideration), but the onscreen story resulted in real-life damage.
"Even up to the point of getting an Emmy nomination, this character did make me get inside my own head a lot, and there were dark, dark moments," Allen, 32, told Deadline Monday. "It’s great to have it end of a positive note, because it was hard, during the process, to open up and talk about how difficult it was."
'Game of Thrones': Alfie Allen submitted himself for an Emmy nod when HBO didn't
Allen said he struggled personally with the darkness his character faced, adding, "there’s a lot to be said about men’s mental health within Theon’s journey."
"It felt like the walls were closing in at some points," he continued. "Gwendoline (Christie) and Kit (Harington) were the two people – everybody a little bit, but them most so – who were always willing to talk to me about that stuff."
The British actor, who shares a 9-month old daughter with DJ Allie Teilz, said his first child inspired him to be vulnerable with his personal challenges and emotions.
"I’m going to do try my best to show her that I talk about my problems, rather than projecting them on her," he said. "It was something I learned with Theon, where I shied away from talking about how hard it was, and how much I struggled with it. I think if we can just open up and talk about that … that’s the way forward."
"I’m happy, too, that the fans got to say goodbye to the character with an ending that had a bit of honor and redemption. I think his arc deserved that," Allen said. "And I thank (showrunners) David (Benioff) and Dan (Weiss) for giving me the tools to be able to do that … even though they (expletive) with my head a bit along the way."
The final season of HBO's "Game of Thrones" earned 32 Emmy nominations, a record for any show in a single season, including one for outstanding drama series.
Emmys 2019: The nominations list
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Game of Thrones' Alfie Allen faced 'dark, dark moments' playing Theon