Lena Headey: People Think I’m ‘Some Wicked Witch’

lena headeyLena Headey, who plays the role of manipulative and evil queen Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones, was recently interviewed by Peter Sagal of National Public Radio. Here are some excerpts from the interview.

SAGAL: Now, I know the cliche that you are but an actor. You are not the parts that you play, yet at the prospect of speaking to you, I was actually terrified. Does this happen to you a lot?

HEADEY: Yeah, it does seem to. People do seem to think that I’m going to be some wicked witch, and then they’re always surprised to find out I’m just a little clumsy nerd.

SAGAL: Really? Do you enjoy playing somebody who is so pointedly not cheerful and happy?

HEADEY: Yeah, it’s cathartic because I guess, you know, it’s not socially acceptable to be a complete and utter manipulative cow. So I can get it all out…

SAGAL: Because the people on the show, the characters, are so incredibly unpleasant and are constantly doing very unpleasant things to each other, I imagine your cast parties are, like, blowout fun because you must have to, like, let off all the steam of being horrible to each other.

HEADEY: There’s a lot of Olympic drinking, yes.

SAGAL: I have to ask you, your character, Queen Cersei, was forced by circumstances that are way too interesting to get into, to walk naked in a walk of shame, as somebody’s…


SAGAL: …Yelling shame through the entire town. That was a very long sequence. Now, first of all, did you actually have to do that?

HEADEY: Yes, I was actually there, contrary to popular belief, in the place doing the whole thing. But I was not naked though.

SAGAL: You were not naked?

HEADEY: Not my body.

SAGAL: That was not – really? Did they do the computer thing where they gave you somebody else’s body?

HEADEY: They did, yes.

SAGAL: Did you get to pick whose body it was?


SAGAL: Because given the opportunity, I would really enjoy to have some – my head put on somebody else’s body.

HEADEY: You’d think, but I – you know what? I was just like if somebody is brave enough to do this with me, then I don’t care what they look like.

SAGAL: Right.

HEADEY: I really don’t.

SAGAL: There was one guy in that sequence who leaps out and exposes himself to your character. And all I could think of with that guy was like hey everybody, I got a part in “Game Of Thrones.”


SAGAL: It’s going to make me.

HEADEY: I know because, you know, we all sat around for, like, three days sort of tag-teaming on and off that set. And he was there; we were sort of having coffee. And I was like so, what are you – what are you doing? He was like oh, I’m flashing my willy at you.

You can listen to the full interview below.


One comment

  1. She is a damned fine actor. Yes, I use the term actor for anyone that acts, whether they are male or female. The funny thing about Cersei is that she shows that she is a human. She does care for some people, albeit not the ones we care for. Cersei Lannister is a complex character, and Headey does the job right. I admire her for going against the person she is. It has to be tough being a villain when you are a nice person. If I met her at a “con”, I would congratulate her for pulling it off so well. Then I would offer to buy her an ice cream. She must be putting up with a lot of hate just because she plays a villain.

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