Peter Dinklage thanked the usual folks — his wife, mom, newborn daughter — during his acceptance speech for a best supporting actor Golden Globes award, but he ended it with “a gentleman in England I’m thinking about, Martin Henderson.”
Rather than elaborate, he implored the viewing audience to “Google him.” Within minutes, Martin Henderson was a trending topic on Twitter, as people learned about the British dwarf and the vicious attack on him.
An aspiring actor who appeared as a goblin in two of the “Harry Potter” films, Henderson was left badly injured after a drunken stranger picked him up and threw him to the ground outside a pub in England last October. After suffering tissue damage to his back, he has been unable to walk properly since.
Henderson, 37, told British newspaper The Telegraph that his assailant may have gotten the idea from Mike Tindall, a member of England’s Rugby World Cup team. Weeks before the attack, Tindall had been disciplined, along with some teammates, for attending a “dwarf tossing contest” at a bar in New Zealand.
“I think until someone steps out and says ‘this is not acceptable,’ all dwarfs are under threat,” he told the newspaper, adding that he fears his condition could ruin his career.
For Dinklage, the connection to Henderson is clear. Like Henderson, Dinklage was born with achondroplasia, which causes dwarfism.
But despite, or perhaps because of, his small stature, Dinklage has made a name for himself, from his breakthrough role in “The Station Agent” to his current award-winning role of Tyrion Lannister in the HBO fantasy series “Game of Thrones.” In addition to nabbing the Globe for best supporting actor in a TV series, miniseries or film, he won an Emmy for the role.