Plenty of actors have missed out on Game of Thrones over the years, but rarely does the billion-dollar dragon saga lack the funding to cast its notable names. Such was apparently the case for revered actor Brian Cox, who turned down a role early in the series, a decision he now regrets (but still wants to be paid handsomely for).

A surprisingly candid VODZilla interview with the Deadwood and X-Men star saw Cox admitting to have turned down Game of Thrones for a role, citing a meager salary. Cox didn’t specify exactly what role he’d been approached for, but explained he’d since become a fan of the series, as well those he knows among the cast:

Well, stupidly, I turned it down in the early days because they didn’t pay enough money [laughs]. Now they have more money. And I was silly. I was silly, it was silly, because I’m a complete addict now. But I don’t know what I could play. Maybe I could do – I mean, I just watched my friend Ian McShane, and I thought, ‘Ooh, Ian’s in it’, so I settled down to watch him. And I thought, ‘Ian did that?’ and immediately I thought, ‘God, they must have paid him well’, because I know Ian! [laughs]

Amusingly, Cox continually harped on the HBO drama now having the money to pay him, as well referencing his hilariously non-descript role as “father of the Wolf Man” on Penny Dreadful:

And there was Max von Sydow doing that character that he did, so in a way, it’s attracting certain people who do film, and, of course, I’ve got friends like Clive Russell and Liam Cunningham and Charlie Dance is an old pal, being in it and they had a great time in it. But now I know what they spend on it, in terms of the visual aspect of it, like in last week’s episode – I haven’t seen this week’s yet, in fact I was about to watch it, I’m going to get it on the HBO download. But last week’s episode was phenomenal, and it was just phenomenal in terms of – it beat out – you know, if you think of The Hobbit or you think of The Lord of the Rings, the battle sequence in Game of Thrones was a lot more modest, but much more brilliant than any of the battle sequences in any of those movies and all those kind of CGI characters doing their bit, whereas this was real people, I mean, the CGI was just brilliantly done and clearly there was a bit of green screen, but it’s astonishing. For television, it is truly astonishing.

I mean, I know they spent six weeks filming that sequence, which is good now, it’s great that they’ll do that, and they’ll do that with a show that successful – of course if a show’s going down the tubes, it’s cancelled, like, sadly they’ve cancelled Penny Dreadful, which I’m in, I was in the last series just briefly, I played the father of the Wolf Man, it was good stuff and I enjoyed it. But I’m still waiting for the call for Game of Thrones and if they’ve got more decent money, I’ll be there!

Of course there’s any number of roles Cox might have seamlessly filled, whether Jeor Mormont, Walder Frey, Barristan Selmy or hey, maybe an off-kilter Melisandre, but there’s always the chance HBO ponies up to include him in the final two seasons. We still need to meet Rhaegar Targaryen, so why not “father of the Snow guy”?