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What Liam Cunningham Loved Most About Game Of Thrones And The Vault - Exclusive

At first glance, The Vault doesn't look much like actor Liam Cunningham's last high-profile project, Game of Thrones. One is a sprawling fantasy epic set in a harsh and unforgiving universe populated by knights, dragons, and all other kinds of creepy, mysterious creatures. The other is a breezy thriller that takes place in the real world, featuring real locations like the Bank of Spain and historical events like the 2010 World Cup tournament.

But look a little closer, and you'll see a few common threads. In Game of Thrones, Cunningham played Ser Davos Seaworth, a former smuggler who was knighted for aiding Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) during Robert's Rebellion, and ultimately became caught up in the power struggle at Castle Black and Winterfell, as well as a participant in the show's most horrific scene. In The Vault, Cunningham's Walter Moreland is a treasure hunter who's accused of piracy, who has his loot unjustly stripped away, and who assembles a team of talented amateurs to steal the valuables back.

As Cunningham admits to Looper, there are some similarities between the two men, and it goes beyond their shared affinity for boars. "The character that doesn't fit in and doesn't play the game by the rules I always find interesting," Cunningham says. "He's not a guy that's craving attention, either of those characters, Davos or Walter Moreland. They know their minds [and] are essentially decent people, but they operate on the fringes of society, and even the world."

They're not professionals, either. Davos became a king's advisor by chance, while Walter only became a criminal when legal avenues for justice were exhausted. "I kind of liked that they stumbled brilliantly through it," Cunningham says. "They're not fools, [but] they're certainly not experts."

Of course, neither Davos nor Walter succeeds on his own. They're both surrounded by a number of colorful characters. To Cunningham, that's the secret of both Game of Thrones and The Vault's success.

How the ensemble casts make The Vault and Game of Thrones so great

Game of Thrones is famous for its gigantic cast of characters, and while The Vault is much smaller in scope, it's similarly filled with larger-than-life personalities. It's a heist film, after all, and that means Walter needs a crew. In this case, that includes Freddie Highmore's young engineer, Thom, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey as the charmingly deceptive Lorraine, Sam Riley as James, a former special forces operative, and plenty more.

"I've worked with an incredibly talented bunch of people and it shows on the screen," Cunningham says. "It's a proper ensemble piece. Everybody's got their story."

That group appeal is a large part of what drew Cunningham to both The Vault and HBO's fantasy hit. "The ensemble thing really works. That's why I like Game of Thrones as well, proper ensemble," Cunningham says. "Very difficult to write for, very difficult to get right. But when you do, it's incredibly rewarding."

In fact, Cunningham enjoyed his time with the rest of The Vault's cast so much that, if they all returned, he'd love to rejoin them for a sequel. After all, The Vault ends on a minor cliffhanger (although it also functions as a well-executed punchline, if a follow-up never materializes), which could pave the way for further adventures. "I'd be more than happy to get on board, especially with the same team," Cunningham says. "They were wonderful to work with."

The Vault is currently available in theaters and on all major video-on-demand services.