Game of Thrones” star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau considered Michele Clapton’s costumes to be instrumental in portraying Jaime Lannister. “When Jaime was a prisoner and wearing only rags, the costume tells a story of being broken,” says the Denmark native and prior Emmy nominee. Likewise, “You put on the Lannister armor and it simply exudes power and strength.” The outfits that inspire confidence in his own life come by way of stylist Ilaria Urbinati. “I’ll put on a beautiful suit and will think it looks fine. And then she’ll go in and do the tailoring and I can see it actually looks so much better.”

After scoring four consecutive drama series nods, “Game of Thrones” finally won the Emmy for Season 5. “It was overwhelming because we didn’t expect it,” says Coster-Waldau. “Although they’d won technical awards, the idea that it could win a main award was far-fetched. When we did, it was this explosion of joy.” He attributes the show’s impact to the identifiable characters. “Even though they live in this make-believe parallel universe, they’re still three-dimensional people. And even though they wear armor and crazy dresses, they’re still just human beings.” Coster-Waldau liked the cut of this Ferragamo tux, which Urbinati made sure fit him perfectly. “Whatever taste I have [in] gala-wear is really to her credit.”

“I loved the color on the Isaia tuxedo,” says Coster-Waldau of his next Emmy ensemble. “I’m not sure what that particular blue is called, but let’s call it ‘cool blue.’ I still think it’s a beautiful color, so that was simple.” The HBO juggernaut continued its winning streak. “What’s been fun about this [is that] when you have so many hours of storytelling, you can dig a little deeper into these people,” he says, noting how the characters can’t be put into boxes. With his character Jaime Lannister, “in the beginning, he’s this amazing swordsman and known as a ‘kingslayer,’ a guy who’s so dishonorable, and then you find out that the reason he earned that name was because he saved a million people from death.”

Coster-Waldau wore this tan velvet Eidos look the year of his first Emmy nod. “Ilaria’s idea was to spice it up a bit [to] celebrate,” he says. The husband and father relates most to Jaime’s loyalty: “He says it himself: ‘the things I do for love.’ He’d do anything for the people he loves, even if it means pushing an innocent kid out of the window.” Last year, Coster-Waldau was nominated against co-star Peter Dinklage for dramatic supporting actor at the Emmys, but when Dinklage took the trophy over him, he says, “it didn’t feel like a loss; it stayed in the family.”