'Game of Thrones' star Lena Headey hates fan backlash to nude scene: 'I've done nudity. I'm not averse to it'
She's been the epitome of cunning and wit in the Lannister family of Westeros in HBO's 'Game of Thrones' on our screens but behind the lens, Heady had been going through the toughest of times
To some, she's a villain without redemption and to some, she's the boss lady winning in a man's world — you can pick whichever you want, but one thing is for certain, Lena Heady's Cersei Lannister is powerful enough to turn the game upside down. She's been the epitome of cunning and wit in the Lannister family of Westeros in HBO's 'Game of Thrones' on our screens but behind the lens, Heady had been going through the toughest of times.
In a recent interview with The Sun, the actor opened up about battling anxiety and depression while filming the very first season eight years ago. "It was horrendous — I had post-natal depression but I didn’t know it. I saw a doctor for the medical check and I just burst into tears. I did the first year (of 'GoT') in that space, figuring out motherhood and going through a weird time personally. It was tricky."
Who would have guessed that the real woman behind Cersei, a character so without a moral compass, was actually at such a vulnerable spot in her life? That's the greatness that Heady brings to her performance and it's is no surprise that she is able to invoke extremely emotional responses in her audience.
Recalling her first day on set, she said, "I thought I wasn't going to let myself get to that point because I had the last day to get through — and then, when I left and I got in the car, I broke down in tears and I was devastated. It's been nine years and it's been amazing, and I’m happy to go and find new things."
She's actually the opposite of Cersei, she revealed. "I’m a nerd, quite shy and suffer massive anxiety. So for me, it's a real challenge to play Cersei. I always shatter at the end of a season because I give it everything. Cersei’s got this storm inside — human pain that we all identify with. I don’t want to say I'm, like, hilarious, but obviously Cersei's sort of permeated everything. So there's a preconception of who I am. That follows you weirdly in this industry, even with professionals who are like, 'Oh God, you’re funny and nice'. Where I sit naturally as a person is more relaxed and nerdy than playing wicked queens," she said.
In the interview, she also talked about her infamous nude scene and the cropped pixie, which she called "the itchy turnip". "I hated that thing. I would have liked to burn it," she said. Her famous "Shame" scene that has inspired many memes to date was actually done by a body double. "Some people thought I was less of an actress. It was a bit shocking. She found it very difficult, obviously. It’s not a natural thing to do," she said. She also clarified that it wasn't that she didn't want to do a nude scene. "I've done nudity. I’m not averse to it. I’m a very emotional actor and get really driven by that. To do my job, I allow myself to be really vulnerable. I don’t know any other way," she said.