Peter Dinklage isn’t your father’s dwarf actor. Actually, there’s a pretty good chance your father didn’t even know he had a dwarf actor. It’s easy to get confused when the majority of them are dressed like elves, leprechauns, Oompa-Loompas, or Ewoks. When dwarf actors do get to show their faces, they tend to be sight gags at best, forced to wear diapers, get thrown around by a sniggering Mike Myers, or, if they’re lucky, play magical creatures who befriend children.And then there’s Peter Dinklage. He made his screen debut in 1995’s Living In Oblivion, screaming at Steve Buscemi, “You can take this dwarf sequence and shove it up your ass!” He’s played at least one magical creature who befriends children—Trumpkin the dwarf in a Chronicles of Narnia sequel. But he’s also played Richard III in an off-Broadway production, and starred in the 2004 indie The Station Agent, the first movie to feature a dwarf in a lead role (and, no less substantially, the first movie to deal with the subject of dwarfism with anything approaching dignity). Even in roles where his stature was the punch line, like when he throttled Will Ferrell for calling him “an angry elf” in Elf or was mistaken for a child by Tina Fey in 30 Rock, his height has never been the most interesting thing about him. Watch any of Dinklage’s films (except Tiptoes, which you should never, ever watch under any circumstances) and you might find yourself forgetting that he’s a dwarf altogether. And yes, I’m well aware that last sentence makes me sound as old-man foolish as Chris Matthews trying to compliment Obama. If Obama is post-racial, than Dinklage is post-dwarfism. It may not be entirely true for either of them, but in both cases, it’s at least a step in the right direction.