Alfie Allen may be a seasoned actor, but he still gets nervous!
Despite a recent Tony Award nomination to join his Emmy nod for Game of Thrones, the fact that he's starring on Broadway in Martin McDonagh's Hangmen and the critical acclaim he's garnered for his performance is still "sinking in."
"I'm slightly in shock a bit," Allen, 35, tells PEOPLE of getting nominated last week, adding that performing on Broadway was "something I was trying to block out at first because the pressure just felt so immense to me, which is silly."
The actor, who made his West End debut in the Jesse Eisenberg play The Spoils, is no stranger to the stage, but says that he was anxious in the days leading up to his big Broadway bow last month.
"I was nervous during the rehearsals, but then as soon as we got into the theater — even before rehearsing in the theater, just being in the theater and in that space — I just relaxed into it a bit," he explains. "In the rehearsal rooms I was all over the place, but the cast was so supportive, and they really helped me."
He adds, "I was onstage from when I was a child doing community theater, doing pantomime, when I was very, very young, so the idea of being onstage, that doesn't really get on my nerves, do you know what I mean? But all the stuff before does.
"As soon as I get on [stage], I enjoy it."
Earlier this year, it was announced that Hangmen — an award-winning play about Britain's second-best executioner in the 1960s — would return to Broadway after the production closed amid the pandemic and never made it to its official opening night. Allen took over the role that was previously played by Dan Stevens.
The English actor says that he can sense "the relief and the joy and euphoria" of finally opening Hangmen even though he wasn't part of the initial 2020 run. He adds, "You can feel [the relief] throughout Broadway."
Though the Broadway stage-door experience may not be what it was prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Allen says that he's still meeting some Game of Thrones fans after the show.
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"A lot of people brought their Funko Pop dolls for me to sign," he says, referring to collectible figurines of his Thrones character Theon Greyjoy. "They've come afterwards, and we've just been chatting about [Hangmen]."
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He says that he's soaking in the 10-week Broadway engagement of Hangmen, which plays through June 18 at the John Golden Theatre — less than one week after the Tony Awards are presented on June 12.
"For me, it's just been about enjoying the work," he says, "and thank God that's happening."