On the hit series Game of Thrones, your fate is truly never safe. In fact, during an interview at the end of season 4, Natalie Dormer made a joke that the thing she looks forward to the most during filming the hit show is still being alive.
…Oops, Dormer’s journey in Westeros came to an end during the season 6 finale, leaving the world wondering what might be next for the talented and beautiful actress. Given that everyone’s talking about the character’s exit, who better to talk about it than Dormer herself? Dormer has opened up in recent interviews about her character’s swan song, what she has coming next (including co-writing a movie), and we even dug up an old quote about how she wishes her character would have died (spoiler: it involved a lot more dragons).
Below you’ll find 18 things you probably don’t know about Dormer that will also help give further insight into who just who she is; from her past bullying experiences, to the ridiculous incident that caused her to be out of work for 10 months right after starting her career, to highlighting some of her inspirations both as an actress and for the character.
We’ve got quotes from Dormer that also give further insight on her future projects, including a psychological thriller she co-wrote with her husband. You may only know her from Westeros, but there is plenty from Dormer’s past that is intriguing, including her time on The Hunger Games, that also gets detailed below.
It has not always been a smooth ride for Dormer, but there is no doubt her future is incredibly bright. Plus, let’s be honest, she’s probably just ecstatic she doesn’t need to get into those corsets anymore!
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18. She Knew The End Was Coming
There are many television shows, including earlier seasons of Game of Thrones, where the cast gets scripts on a weekly basis. What this means is that sometimes cast members are not as informed as they would like to be about the future fate of their characters. This was not the case for the last season of Game of Thrones. In an interview with BAZAAR, Dormer revealed that at the start of the season the entire cast got all 10 scripts. This was something that Dormer was a huge fan of, as she went on to say in an interview, “it was lovely because it informed the whole way I enjoyed the season. I enjoyed being with the crew and the other cast members because I was aware that it was going to be my last year with the family.”
17. She Was Happy With Her Swan Song
If you are going to have to step away from one of the most critically acclaimed shows of all time, you at least need to hope you were happy with how your character went out. Fans of the show will know, and I’ll be vague to avoid spoilers, but in an interview, Dormer opens up about the beautiful nature of her final days in Westeros.
“I was also with Finn Jones, who plays Loras, all that time. It was very moving and fitting that Finn and I should be together for those last three days and the brother and sister should go to their fate together because you see the brother and sister relationship so beautifully over the years. They go to their deaths physically holding each other.”
16. Why She Took The Role In The Hunger Games
When you look over the resume of Dormer, you’ll find that there are several roles in which she is primarily the main affection of another character. It’s easy to see why you’d cast Dormer in that light, she’s absolutely gorgeous, but it was the chance to step away from that, that led her to accept her role in The Hunger Games
When talking about her experiences, Dormer opened up about how “it’s so refreshing to play a woman who’s not defined by the love of a man. I was getting a little tired of sitting around in a silk skirt. It was a good antidote to put on a pair of army boots and run around in the mud for nine months.”
Dormer is clearly not afraid to show casting directors that she can handle it all. Keep reading below to learn more about her 2016 film The Forest, which was also definitely a far cry from her days in Westeros.
15. She Doesn’t Read The Full Script
There is a famous scene in the television series FRIENDS, in which Joey accidentally revealed to Susan Sarandon that her character was going to be written off the show. Oops! Definitely not an ideal moment, and for Ms. Natalie Dormer, she makes sure not to read the entire script to help avoid that very situation.
When talking about it in an interview, Dormer stated, “I’ve been doing it for about half the time I was shooting. Some other lead members do it now as well because it also makes it much easier in interviews. You can’t get caught because you don’t know.”
14. She Can Run A Marathon
It was back in 2015 when Natalie Dormer had the idea to do the London Marathon. It’s clear by looking at her that she’s in shape, but marathons are still hard work! She ran the race in 3 hours and 50 minutes in her first year, and this year had a time of 3 hours and 51 minutes.
When Dormer was asked why she was running the marathon, she responded, “I’m here today because 3,000 children get in contact with ChildLine every day. And we don’t have enough money to talk to every single one of them.”
There were reportedly over 900 runners that were running to help raise support for the NSPCC ChildLine. The service allows youth to reach out to counselors in a secure, private and confidential environment.
13. Her 2016 Post-Game of Thones Goals
Fans of the show may start to wonder how Natalie Dormer is planning to outline the rest of 2016. Especially when you consider she knew quite some time ago that she was going to be stepping away from the show at the end. When asked in an interview what her goals were for this year, Dormer admitted,
“2016, for me, is much more about independent projects and smaller budgeted roles. You always want to do something new; you always want to do what you just didn’t do, so the beauty for me is always shaking it up and doing something different. I’m very excited about it all, no long skirts for a while, and no running around in mud for a while, either.”
12. Her Thoughts On The Forest
While it may be a far cry from Westeros, Dormer was a fantastic selection to play the lead in the psychological thriller, The Forest, which came out earlier this year. The story follows Sara (Dormer) and her search for her twin sister who has gone missing (who was also played by Dormer). One of the coolest things about the movie is that it was filmed chronologically which allowed the makeup team to have Dormer’s appearance look progressively more disheveled as the film went on. In an interview, Dormer stated “my make-up artist just stopped covering up the bags under my eyes…it really helped with the continuity of the breakdown and mess I become.”
Given that Dormer has some of the most alluring eyes in the business, it was definitely a smart move to have them be utilized in such a way. Though if you’re going to watch the film, Dormer reminds you to “just stick your fingers in your ears if it all gets a bit too much!”
11. She Has Written A Script
While Dormer may always be known for her acting talent, watch out Hollywood, because this stunner is also now an accomplished screenwriter. Dormer co-wrote the movie, In Darkness, with her fiancé (and director) Anthony Byrne. While not much is known about the movie yet, it is supposedly a psychological thriller and also will star Emily Ratajkowski, Ed Skrein and Stacy Martin.
When she was talking about the writing process, Dormer highlighted how “as an actor, it’s really healthy to take a step back and not just be looking at it – you know, an actor has to be quite egocentric about their character, but to have this experience as a writer, to be looking at the overall art of a screenplay, was a really interesting experience for me.”
10. She Forced A Script Change in GoT
Natalie Dormer made headlines around a year ago after reports came out that she demanded a scene be altered. To be fair, the scene was Dormer seducing and sleeping with Tommen, who was the new king and just happened to be 12 years old in the series (but the actor, Dean Chapman, is 17). Dormer was not comfortable doing this, so she called up Dan Weiss and David Benioff and expressed her opinion.
Dormer went on to say, “on the specifics of Margaery and Tommen getting married, there’s nothing I can do. On the show, we had to find a way to navigate that in a sensitive way. There’s more of it next season too, and we’re trying to handle it with intelligence, and integrity.”
9. She Wants To Do This Forever
Natalie Dormer is definitely going to be looking for her next big role after taking a step away from Game of Thrones at the end of the 6th season. While nobody would blame her for wanting to perhaps take a break, Dormer has said in interviews that while people may try and stereotype her, “that box people put me in is going to dampen down over the next few years, I’m aiming to die doing this job.”
It’s clear Dormer is passionate about acting and is looking forward to being able to expand her repertoire in the near future. It definitely helps that everyone in America knows her name and is anxiously waiting to see what she does next.
8. She Was Grateful For The Wigs
When you watch Game of Thrones it can be very easy to find yourself getting lost in the amazing costumes and hairstyles that help make up the show. Though as you may know, most of the women on the show are wearing wigs. When interviewed about her hair, Dormer highlighted some interesting points.
“I was very grateful that we had the foresight before I started Thrones to go, ‘You know what? There might be roles you want to take that would require different hair.’ [Kit] was an idiot. Lena, Emilia, and I are laughing because we sorted the wig thing out nice and early.”
What this also means was that it allowed Dormer to shave off half of her head to play the role of Cressida in Mockingjay. The only real question is, how unbelievably hot and heavy must all of those costumes and wigs have gotten during filming? Harrington may not have had a wig, but I’m sure he was far more comfortable during his scenes.
7. Who She Based The Character After
When you consider how amazing a job Dormer did on Game of Thrones, it can only be natural to wonder if she got inspiration from other people or figures in history when trying to put together her character. When asked about it in an interview, Dormer admitted that her interpretation was based on the media circus that surrounds Kate Middleton.
“It’s the Princess Diana effect. Whether you’re talking about the royal family in our country, or the first lady obsession in this country—Michelle Obama, or Hillary Clinton before her. Because Margaery is very politically savvy and our royal family tries to keep out of politics, it’s a hybrid of that statesmanship between the royal family and the first lady.”
6. She Had A 3-Picture Deal Fall Through
Natalie Dormer first made her mark on the big screen in the 2005 film, Casanova, alongside Heath Ledger. It was supposed to be a promising start to her career and she was supposed to line up a 3-picture deal with Touchstone Pictures.
Unfortunately for Dormer, the deal fell through and she ended up finding herself out of work. As a result, Dormer spent months doing waitressing and data entry to try and keep herself afloat. When asked about what happened, Dormer said “it was due to bad representation. I was attached to an independent film that didn’t have its money, and instead of keeping me on the audition circuit, they just took me off.”
In 2007, Dormer was able to then land a role in the series The Tudors, and her acting career has been able to sustain itself since then.
5. Her First ‘Big Acting Moment’
There must be a story behind every person in entertainment when they knew without a doubt, that this is what they wanted to do with their life. For Dormer, that moment came during the filming of her first movie, Casanova.
“I remember being in one of the taxi speedboats from Venice Airport flying over across the lagoon to be taken to the hotel to start production. And I was looking at Venice while riding out over the water and pinching myself, thinking, ‘Oh my god, I am actually being paid to be in this incredible city to act.’”
Dormer opened up how during training at British drama schools, they were always being mentally prepared “to sit in sawdust for years and years and years and see so much unemployment and we should prepare ourselves for the worst.”
While there were some serious challenges that Dormer faced very shortly after this film wrapped that were detailed above, it’s easy to see why getting to start your career in Venice would be pretty phenomenal.
4. Which Actresses She Admires
Earlier you read about how she took inspiration for Game of Thrones from Kate Middleton, and you already know about her most influential acting moment, but do you know which actresses inspired her? Dormer admitted in an interview with Vanity Fair that she loves watching old cinematic classics.
“I love Katharine Hepburn. I just adore her and everything that she stood for. I find it interesting watching the likes of Gene Tierney and those classic movies of the 40s. They were really magnetic, compelling women and there was just something almost esoteric about them.”
While there are definitely current actresses that Dormer looks up to, including Hunger Games co-star Jennifer Lawrence, there is definitely value in looking at the “th[e] grand, textured history [from the past] 100 years of incredible writers, directors, and performers.”
3. She Was Bullied As A Kid
Natalie Dormer is an incredibly beautiful woman, but Dormer has admitted that growing up she used to get bullied by other children. Dormer opened up saying “It was never mental—it was physical, and psychological. And that’s the worst kind of bullying because it’s hard to grasp on to and explain it to other people. It’s a cliché, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Dormer also said that kids were teasing her for her nose, calling her ‘piggy nose’. This led to a moment in the series, in which Dormer was talking to Sophie Turner (Sansa) and the character makes a comment about how she used to get bullied for her “ski-jump nose,” but Dormer had the script changed to say piggy-nosed.
“I said, for my own demons, it would be like sticking two fingers up at the bullies of my childhood if Margaery just is joking about it…they were really good guys. They put it in for me.”
Kudos to Dormer for having the confidence to conquer those demons, but the comparison like that may not have been the smoothest of moves. When Kermit the Frog got himself a new lady friend, people were quick to draw comparison between Dormer and the newest Muppet.
2. She Was Already A Fan Of The Show
As you can imagine was the case for a lot of the cast that joined the series once it had already taken off, Dormer was a huge fan of GoT. I guess if they asked you in the interview if you loved the show and said no, that’s probably a pretty quick way to make sure you don’t get a callback! She stated in an interview, “I watched the first season as a fan and enjoyed it very much…when Sean Bean had his head chopped off, I was as surprised as anyone. So I really had to keep my nerves under control when I went into the audition room.”
Now that the character has taken her final bow out of Westeros (at least seemingly), Dormer has stated that she still plans to be a huge fan of the series and will follow along. Though something tells me she’s definitely going to feeling at least a little sad that she isn’t able to stay into the series until the end.
1. How She Wanted To Die
As you now know, Natalie Dormer ended up being pretty satisfied about the end of her character arc on Game of Thrones. But it was roughly a year ago after season 5 wrapped, that Dormer was making her rounds on the talk shows and was asked by Conan O’Brien what her ideal way to be written out of the show would be.
“Oh how I would go! Oh, uh, well I’ve been beheaded before, old story. So poison, that’s how Jack went as Joffrey–that looks really painful even to act. I dunno, maybe by a dragon would be good? A white walker or a dragon would be good.”
While you may be in the same boat as Dormer and are pretty satisfied with her character’s departure, there’s no doubt that seeing a scene where a dragon came and got all up in her business would have been damn entertaining as well.