Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey describes filming a waterboarding scene
Lena Headey describes a very difficult experience while filming Hannah Waddingham’s Unella waterboarding scene in HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Game of thrones‘Lena Headey recently opened up about what filming Unella’s waterboarding scene looked like. The HBO show which debuted in 2011 and ran for eight seasons quickly grew into one of the greatest shows to ever air on television. After the grand finale that angered many fans, it didn’t take long for the channel to announce that it already had several spin-offs in the works. Some of those pitches didn’t go anywhere, although a spin-off and prequel to Dragon house is already quite advanced in the process.
Headey delivers a powerful performance as Cersei Lannister, who remains one of the most despised characters in television history. In Season 5, a Faith of Seven Septa was introduced as Unella, played by Hannah Waddingham (Ted lasso). She subjected Cersei to various punishments, including the iconic scene where she forced the Lannisters to do an “atonement walk” while ringing a bell and shouting “Shame!in the name of the Great Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce). However, viewers saw the roles turn in Season 6. A very angry Cersei eventually punishes Unella by torturing her.
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Initiated reported Headey’s account of the 10 a.m. set, where Unella was tied to a table and subjected to waterboarding by Cersei. She recalled that the shoot was a really tough shoot, but credited Waddingham with being so tough. Headey admitted that she felt bad about having to do the scene, so she tried aiming away from her mouth as she poured the wine over her covered face. Read Headey’s statements about the experience below:
She really had a hard time doing this scene. I love Hannah, she’s one of my favorite humans.
Really, really difficult day. People have different boundaries. People will go to different places. And some people will say, “I don’t want to put myself in this position.” I totally respect your limits, but Hannah was a soldier. It was a long day with prune juice in your face.
Waddingham had previously described filming this scene as one of the worst days of his life. The scene was originally supposed to include Unella receiving even worse punishment, but the Game of thrones the producers changed it to waterboarding. The actor said he has felt claustrophobic around the water since filming the scene. It was a lot to submit to him for less than a few minutes of material to use in the finished episode.
Audiences rarely understand how difficult it can be to film scenes that seem so simple. When the Game of thrones episode aired for the world, many fans rejoiced to see Unella being tortured. While some actors refuse to do their own stunts, others wouldn’t want it any other way. Filming a 10-hour waterboarding streak feels like real torture, so it’s no surprise that Waddingham developed a certain level of fear around the water in the years that followed.
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