Kit Harington Gets Candid Over Controversial Parenting Topic Rarely Spoken About

Kit Harington's performance in his new film Baby Ruby was partly inspired by his experiences as a new dad. During an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, Harington reflected on raising a child as a "modern father," admitting that he still felt some disconnect because he is "not actively involved" in his son's growth. The actor also spoke about the process of developing his love for his son. Harington and his Game of Thrones co-star Rose Leslie married in June 2018 and their son was born in early 2021.

"I think there was real catharsis in this," Harington, 35, told PEOPLE about his Baby Ruby work in an interview published on Sept. 10. His son was about four or five months old when he filmed the movie, which was written and directed by playwright Bess Wohl. Harington and Noémie Merlant star as a couple whose lives are changed when they welcome their first child. "I had just come out of the process that these two [characters] find themselves in of early parenthood, so I was literally exploring that in this movie," Harington said. "That was a big reason for wanting to do it."

Although fathers today might be more directly involved with raising their children, Harington noted that there was still a "real feeling of being a bystander at times." He continued, "You are not actively involved in the process of growing the child and there can be a real feeling of not knowing what is going on, what emotions are happening, what the mother or your partner is going through." Harington's own experience as a father "definitely" felt that way.

The actor, who played Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, added that he knew he was "going to care" for his son, but he didn't know if it was "instant love." He jokingly described his son as a "stranger that was planted into my house" and he had to look after the stranger, who was also keeping him up at night. "It takes time to grow love, to get to know someone," he said.

The process was "beautiful" for Harington, he told PEOPLE. "My boy's 19 months now so he's tottering around just naming things, he goes around saying 'curtain' or 'carpet,' he just likes impressing you with his knowledge... It's the most astonishing thing, it really is."

Harington and Leslie, 35, met while making Game of Thrones in 2011 and announced their engagement in September 2017. They married in June 2018. Leslie announced her pregnancy in a September 2020 photo shoot for Make Magazine. After the couple was spotted pushing a baby carriage in February 2021, their rep confirmed they welcomed their first baby. They have not revealed the child's name publicly yet.