Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey Reacts to Shooting That Controversial Torture Scene

Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey Reacts to Shooting That Controversial Torture Scene

Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) looks down on her torture victim with disdain.

Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) does something shitty.
Screenshot: HBO

As we’ve learned, the torture on Game of Thrones wasn’t all fake. Actress Hannah Waddingham, who played Septa Unella, recently shared a horrible experience on the HBO show while shooting her final scene with Cersei Lannister. She said, “I’ve basically just been waterboarded for 10 hours.” Now, Lena Headey is speaking out about how much it sucked and how she even tried to lessen the blow.

“She had a really shit time doing that scene,” Headey said in part of an interview with Insider for Gunpowder Milkshake. She was asked about shooting the scene where Cersei tortured Septa Unella by pouring wine on her face which Waddingham described as brutal, calling it the worst experience she’d had apart from childbirth. Headey, who was reportedly unaware during the interview that Waddingham had shared her version of events in May, called it a “really, really tough day” but noted how they wanted Unella’s torture to feel “authentic.” She also praised Waddingham for her professionalism.

“People have different limits,” Headey said. “People will go to different places. And some people will be like, ‘I don’t want to fucking put myself in that position.’ I totally respect whatever your boundaries are, but Hannah was a trooper. That was a long day of prune juice in your face.”

I’m not going to go into detail about what Waddingham experienced shooting the season six finale, “The Winds of Winter,” because we already did that. You can read it here if you want to know how fucked up it all was (and how even more fucked-up it could have been). In short, the situation sucked and it’s horrible that Waddingham had to go through that. Even though they wanted it to feel authentic—at the cost of Waddingham’s health and well-being, I might add—Headey noted how at one point even she felt things had gone too far and decided to take matters into her own hands. She stopped aiming the wine at Waddington’s mouth. “I was like, ‘I’m just going to do a light salad dressing drizzle around her nun’s [cloth headdress],’” she said.

Gunpowder Milkshake—which hopefully doesn’t feature 10 hours of a woman having prune juice poured on her face—starts streaming on Netflix on July 14.

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