Believed it or not, our September cover star Lena Headey, Game of Thrones’ wicked Queen Cersei, is a doting mom and animal rights supporter in real life.
Lena, 43, grew up in Yorkshire with her police officer father, John, mom Sue, and younger brother Tim. At the age of 17, she was discovered by a casting agent who saw her in one of her many school plays. He took her photo to a production company who then asked her to come and audition for the role as the young Mary in 1992 drama film Waterland, which she got.
After that, she did a series of Indie films and smaller productions before landing the role of Gorgo Queen of Sparta in the epic fantasy film 300 in 2007. But, she’s best known for her portrayal of the wicked Cersei Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones, a part she’s held since the first season aired in 2011. She lives in Los Angeles with her son Wylie, seven, and two-year-old daughter, Teddy.
“Game of Thrones has been the most incredible journey of my career,” Lena says.
“First of all, I’m very fortunate that I’ve been given such brilliant storylines for a great character like Cersei. Secondly, the writers haven’t killed my character off yet, which on a series like ours is a minor miracle. You could say I’m lucky on all counts.
“Becoming a mother was the most wonderful blessing. It’s quite freeing, because you have to focus on your responsibilities as a parent so you stop worrying about yourself and your own anxieties and issues, they just don’t seem that important anymore. I don’t remember what my life was like before I had my children, because so much changes when you do.”
“I feel that the best part of my life is happening now. I have a son to look after, and a beautiful baby girl, and I really love my job. Film is a process, not an end result, so if you’re not putting everything into it, then I don’t think it’s worth doing. You have to enjoy every moment, because that’s really where the joy is.”
5 things you didn’t know about Lena Headey from Game of Thrones:
- She was born in the British island territory of Bermuda, and jokes that it was actually the Bermuda triangle. She only moved to the UK when she was 5 years old.
- She’s got a bit of a twitter addiction, and believes it’s a great way to connect with fans.
- For her role in The Brothers Grimm, she had to lick a real-life toad! Afterwards, she didn’t complain about the taste, but said the texture was unpleasant.
- She’s totally veggie, and has been known to fight for animal rights. She’s even campaigned with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) once or twice.
- On a romantic note, she’s been rumoured to have been dating fellow Game of Thrones cast member Pedro Pascal (who played Oberyn Martell in the fourth season). They’ve allegedly been together since 2015.
Catch Lena Headey in Game of Thrones, on every Monday at 3 am (first screening) and 9 pm on M-Net, DStv channel 101