When you’re really into a show and its characters, you might start mixing them up with the actual actor or actress that’s playing them. There’s a possibility of thinking for a moment the character they’re playing is actually them which can be good because that just means their acting is that good. But it can also be bad news especially if the character is the villain. The audience forgets the actor is really not a villain. Take Lena Headey for example.
The Game of Thrones actress has been open about how people come up to her treating her as if she is Cersei Lannister, the controversial character she plays on the HBO series. People can be super fanatics of the show that they get into the character so much and go to such an extent saying “you’re such a f*cken b*tch.” Relax, Headey is just doing her job playing another character other than herself and based on how viewers are so into it, she’s pretty good at it.
In other words, you don’t know Lena Headey. The actress has been seen playing empowered and strong women across the small and big screens including in the film, “300” as “Gorgo.” Headey is busy working on the set of Game of Thrones but she’s also getting ready to give it another go in “300: Rise of an Empire.” Besides her kicking butt on the screens, we don’t know much about the 42-year-old. So we rounded up 15 things you didn’t know about the actress which might give you a glimpse of who she really is.
15. She Thinks Actors Are Cocky
After being told she can hang with the guys, Lena Headey agreed saying she is a guy herself but don’t necessarily compare her to male actors. “But don’t forget you’re talking about actors. Usually more vain than actresses,” she said in an interview with MovieFone. Headey then got asked about the packed set of guys she works with on shooting Game of Thrones. Not holding anything back, the brunette elaborated on why she thinks male actors are a little on the cocky side. “You have an ego, a male ego. It’s given to you from birth,” she said. “I have a boy, I can see it happening, and it’s just funny. It’s, ya know, it’s endearing. When they know they look great in their leather underpants and, you know, they’re proud of themselves. I kind of feel like a mom, ‘Yes, you do. You look great.’”
14. She Battled With Depression
The brunette opened up in the April 2015 issue of MORE about her divorce with Peter Loughran, who’s the father of her five-year-old son, and her past battle with depression and anxiety. The actress has always been outspoken about her true feelings and this was no different. She talks about how she did seriously struggle with her divorce from her husband of six years. “It’s tough. There’s a lot of hurt and sadness and disappointment,” she said. “Grief. Massive grief. It’s a mourning process, and yet nobody’s died.” Since then, Headey has remained hush hush about her relationships and personal life. She then talked about her past with depression. “I think some people’s brains are just wired that way if you’re a thinker,” she said. “People who never get anxious always amaze me. The world could be breaking up and they’re saying, ‘Everything’s fine!’ Getting older and having kids, you learn how to become less serious about it all.”
13. Friends With Her Co-stars
Lena Headey was already friends with Peter Dinklage before both co-starring on the HBO hit series, Game of Thrones. In fact, it was Dinklage who recommended the mother of two to play the part of Cersei Lannister. Dinklage plays the major character of Tyrion Lannister, the younger brother of Cersei. The on-screen brother and sister have appeared on a few interviews together including an unforgettable one on Conan, where they got to play video games, mocking the six seasons of the series. While Headey took on the enemies, Conan O’ Brien and Dinklage spent the time discussing the lively butts on sights. Not only is she friends with her Game of Thrones younger brother, the English actress has been close friends with her co-star, Piper Perabo, from both 2005 films The Cave and Imagine Me & You where they played lesbian lovers.
12. She Likes Twitter
Lena Headey doesn’t care what you think about her Twitter and she thinks you should do the same. The mother of two explains her addiction to the social media platform, especially when she’s under the influence. “I would say I’ve done a few drunk tweets, so don’t do that…they’re always regrettable,” Headey jokingly said. “No, I’m just kidding. Who f*cking cares? You know what I mean?”
We completely agree. With so many haters and different opinions online nowadays, ain’t nobody got time to care. The actress then continues to share her love for tweeting. “The feeling of Twitter, unless you’re being in some way political or making a statement, who really gives a sh*t cause they’re just these tiny words that go out. I find it, there’s something fun about it.”
Although she explains the downside to it and why you shouldn’t care about what you tweet, she goes on to point out the good side about Twitter, too. “It’s kind of stupid and silly and it’s a way of connecting with people. I think there’s that nice interaction with people who dig what you do and, also, you kind of get involved with a few good things on there.”
11. She’s Starred Alongside Matt Damon & Heath Ledger
Lena Headey has starred in a few films that no one probably noticed including The Brothers Grimm which was released in August of 2005. Headey got to act alongside Matt Damon and Heath Ledger. The brunette spoke about what attracted her to play the role of a tomboyish girl and not your typical girl in movie roles. “I loved the fact that she was a tomboy,” the English actress said. “That is what attracted me to her, that she wasn’t this predictable female character in this big film.”
Although the film received mixed reviews, that didn’t stop Headey from being so into her character. “She lives and grows up and survives in the forest. Terry and I talked about how her instincts are almost animalistic and she can see 360 degrees around her. She is aware of what is going on. That is how she is grounded. She is of the earth.”
10. She’s Played Lesbian Roles
The 42-year-old actress has played a few roles including a lesbian role in the Filipino romantic comedy movie, Imagine Me & You. The film was set on a limited release but still received positive reviews. Not only did the film receive good feedback, but so did Headey’s role of Luce. Headey plays Luce who Rachel (played by Piper Perabo) notices and falls for, while married to her husband, Heck (played by Matthew William Goode). “[Lena] has a forthright, irresistible appeal and a face and especially a smile that suggest intelligence, integrity and lots of fun,” the San Francisco Chronicle said about her performance. Before Luce though, Headey had already acted the role of a lesbian kind of character in Mrs. Dalloway, where she kissed Natasha McElhone. Since then, she’s gotten the reputation of a hot lesbian actress. With all those tattoos and her bad-ass attitude, it all makes sense why.
9. Animal Activist
During the filming of The Brothers Grimm, Headey had to skin a rabbit which she wasn’t all for due to the fact that she’s a big animal activist so they had to give her a latex rabbit to go forward with production. The Game of Thrones actress was already a vegetarian and had collaborated with PETA for a few animal rights campaigns. The Sarah Connor star appeared in a 30-second ad speaking out against animals who are treated poorly during circus performance acts. “Circus trainers often force elephants, bears, tigers and other animals to perform tricks by beating and whipping them, shocking them with electric prods and jabbing holes in their skin with sharp metal hooks,” she said in the online ad. So what prompt the actress to become such an animal activist? Headey said it was due to a documentary on freeing a group of lions from a French circus because of the poor treatment they were given since birth.
8. She Was Bullied
Headey opened up about the time she was bullied because of her accent. Her mother had sent her to school to learn how to speak “like a lady” which the locals around where she lived weren’t really fans of. “I was having a drink with my mates, and one girl-who we always had trouble with said, ‘Oh, you think you’re so f***ing good coming back here, don’t ya?’” she explained to Men’s Health. “Then she punched me in the eye, and I showed up on my first day of a Disney film with a real shiner.” The English actress also recalled before that incident about being hit by a bat by a boy who was having trouble with understanding her accent when she asked him where the local playing fields were. Ever since, she said she was bullied for her accent for a while.
7. Boyfriend Tattoo
Headey had dated her co-star, Jason Flemyng, from The Jungle Book who also starred in Snatched. The couple were together for nine years which means lots of things possibly happened throughout their relationship, including a tattoo. The English actress showed her rebellious side by tattooing his name in Thai on her arm. The Game of Thrones actress has talked about her love for tattoos and how she just can’t stop herself from getting more. “I always want more. It’s a terrible thing,” she said in the April issue of MORE. “I’ll be outside a tattoo shop and hear the needle and think, ‘I could just get a little one that nobody would see …'” The fact that she doesn’t find it torturing while sitting through getting ink on her body explains why she’s willing to get more. “It’s something you can’t run from. You have to sit and find a way through,” she said. “I find a real calm, a real peace to it.”
6. She Finds Horror Films Relaxing
Just like with tattoos, the Terminator actress finds watching horror films rather peaceful. A lot of people do enjoy horror films but for the rush they get while watching the attention grabbing scenes. Unlike the majority, Headey watches them because they’re relaxing to her just like tattoos. While many people find the process of getting tattoos daunting as much as they love getting inked, the Cersei actress likes the process because it brings her peace and it’s pretty calming to her. She explains that just watching people getting tortured by chainsaws and others things offer her some type of “real escape.” Usually people like to go to the beach or read a book to take some time off and relax but Headey is just different. She prefers blood and horror like films for her down time and escape from all the things going on in her life.
5. She Got Criticized For Her Body Double
In case you didn’t know already, Headey used a body double for the season five finale of Game of Thrones during the scene of her and her on-screen brother. However, people weren’t too happy about it and she started getting slammed for it. The mother of two stated how she was shocked about all the negativity and decided to react to it. “It was really a bit shocking. I’ve done nudity. I’m not averse to it. But I know I’m a very emotional actor and I get really driven by that. In order to do my job, I allow myself to be really vulnerable. I don’t know any other way to do my job,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “Things really affect me. And the thought of being naked for three days and trying to contain her in the way she would be I think I would feel very angry. And wonderful Rebecca was able to contain herself and be naked. She found it very difficult, obviously. It’s not a natural thing to do. I film every year and I have kids and they know me now and [being naked in the scene] was just too much on top of that. So yeah, people that get it thought it was great. I didn’t phone it in; I was actually there for three days with Rebecca.”
4. She’s Shy
This probably comes to no surprise but Lena Headey is actually a shy person even if she does star in one of the most popular series. She stated that as she gets older, her shyness is growing. The 42-year-old actress also explains her dislike of the fame and paparazzi. She doesn’t like how she can’t go out without being photographed and bombarded by the paparazzi. Well luckily she’s not a Kardashian; we can’t see her handling that much attention. Although, she’s not a fan of what the Hollywood industry brings with her job, she still loves and enjoys pursuing acting. She describes her love of acting as “a strange, addictive, weird thing.” We can’t imagine how hard it is for her to handle all the hate she also gets from Game of Thrones fans because of her character Cersei. The actress said she gets called a “b*tch” and other nasty comments. This sure doesn’t help her shyness.
3. She’s Appeared On The Hot List A Few Times
Aside from being sarcastic and classy, Lena Headey has also caught the eye of some interesting lists. She first appeared on the covers of TV Guide, Sunday Mirror, G3, and Germany’s Filmstar. She was also listed as No. 64 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 in 2007. In 2007, the 42-year-old actress also made it to the list of AfterEllen’s Hot 100 as No. 4, then in 2008 as No. 10, and in 2009 as No. 3. The Game of Thrones star has always carried a unique appearance with all those tattoos and her mysteriousness. It’s no wonder she got to play key role characters in the past. She almost reminds us of a Megan Fox but more on the tomboy side. It’s her underground persona and effortless appearance that makes her appealing to the audience. As a mother of two, she’s still looking pretty fresh if you ask us.
2. She Would’ve Liked To Play Walter White
In an interview, the 42-year-old actress was asked what roles she would have liked to play looking back at the past TV shows and films. “Umm, I’d like to play Walter White, but I guess that’s been done,” she said. “We don’t need to do that for a good few decades.” She then points out how she could play the female version of Breaking Bad’s Walter White considering the changes in the industry when it comes to gender roles. “I think the best female roles are being created now. There seems to be great roles for women and it’s not necessarily… you don’t have to be young women. Suddenly, we’re realizing that generally women are interesting, and they can also be weird and crazy and mean.” Headey explains how she does embrace her role as Cersei and the rest of the characters on the show. “Cersei’s is such a gift. There is everything in there to be had. I think times are changing. In something like this, I know we try to intellectualize movies a lot of the time, but this is a big piece of fun with great big characters that people will hopefully enjoy and respond to in that “WOAAHHHH!” type of way.”
1. She Embraces Being Bad
Lena Headey has always embraced her unique girl characters and believes they empower her. Despite Cersei having a villainous reputation, Headey thinks otherwise. “She’s not sinister,” Headey said, defending Cersei. “She’s a survivor. She lives in a world of mammoths, giants, and brothers f*cking sisters. Anyway, Cersei is on the brink of some really severe lessons this season.” Rather than going along with all the fans of calling Cersei a “b*tch” or evil, the brunette thinks she’s just being tough in a crazy world which if you think about it, it makes sense. She even mentions in an interview that she genuinely enjoys playing with a sword. “It’s fun being all kinds of everything. It’s fun to act with a sword in your hand. Isn’t that what children dream of? I’m a very physical person in my real life, so it’s always nice to swing a sword on the job.” Headey admits that she is a physical person considering she loves boxing and fight training. “I’m so very physical, though I’m a lazy bugger too, mind you. But to have the chance to work out and learn how to fight with people who know what they’re doing, that’s a very nice thing. Fight training is a physical expression.”