Hannah Waddingham and Lena Headey look back on their traumatic Game of Thrones 'wineboarding' scene
Ever wanted to be a fly on the wall for a conversation between actresses Hannah Waddingham and Lena Headey? Well, now you can! The two friends recently got together for a freewheeling, unmoderated video chat in which they reminisced about their time on Game of Thrones, where the women shared many memorable scenes as Cersei Lannister (Headey) and "Shame Nun" Septa Unella (Waddingham).
Waddingham recalls meeting Headey on her first day on the Game of Thrones set, where they shot the sequence in which her character parades a naked Cersei through the crowded streets of King's Landing chanting "Shame!"
"My first day ever on Thrones was standing at the top of those stairs," says Waddingham. "My daughter had popped out maybe nine weeks previously, so I didn't even know what my name was that day. And I said to you, 'Oh, my God, this is so epic.'... 'Oh, my God, do you ever get used to this?' And you were so cool about it all. And I thought, I want to be like her when I grow up."
Adds Headey, "I think I was probably terrified about being semi-naked for two days in front of 6,000 people."
"A lot of people probably had the horn, as well, looking at you!" cracks Waddingham.
The women also reflect on the disturbing scene in which the villainous queen Cersei tortures Septa in season 6.
"I wanted to ask you, which we never really talk about because I think both of us found it quite traumatic at the time: Our waterboarding, or rather wineboarding, scenes," Waddingham says. "People are always quite shocked that that actually did happen in reality and there was nothing CGI'd. One thing I've said a lot is that both of us were quite uncomfortable about it, but as with all these things, you know that they're not actually going to kill you so you just get on with it and do it. It made wicked telly and I just wondered what your take on all that was, because I think you found it quite difficult too."
"Yes, that was, for you, horrendous," says Headey. "Someone else asked me about that the other day and I was like, you know, as an actor we all have boundaries or no boundaries. And no boundaries are obviously very thrilling when you can go to a place… but something like that when you're tied down [during filming for 10 hours], it made me feel horrendous doing that scene with you."
But there was a silver lining.
"I have to say one thing that that traumatic experience — and you walking through the streets practically with your nunny out — gave us was that you and I absolutely [became incredibly close]," says Waddingham. "And I was really nervous joining you [on Game of Thrones] because you were like queen lady of the ladies and I was some nobhead who had popped a baby out nine weeks previously."
"Well, and then you met me and you realized [that I was an] equal nobhead!" laughs Headey.
Clearly, that's not the case since both women are quite talented.
Headey, a five-time Emmy nominee, was also excited to celebrate Waddingham's Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Emmy nomination for her performance in Ted Lasso as Rebecca Welton, the owner of AFC Richmond, and expressed that she was not only proud of her but excited to see what she was going to wear to the ceremony in September.
"It has to be comfy because I'm in my mid-40s and it's all about the comfort!" laughs Waddingham.
Advises Headey: "Listen, elastic waist and some pockets. You've also got to put a flask in there because they don't really serve you anything."
"They don't serve you? I need a definite pouch for snacks!" says Waddingham.
Watch their fun conversation in the video above.
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