‘Game of Thrones:’ You Won’t Believe How Lena Heady Gets Into Character

Whether or not you’ve seen the show and whether or not you’re a fan, you have to admit Game of Thrones is a game-changing TV show. Like her co-stars, Lena Headey is one of the highest-paid streaming actors since HBO airs the show on its HBO GO service. Like the other main players, Headey’s Cersei Lannister is a cutthroat and scheming character. Now that we know the premiere date for Season 8, which is Game of Thrones’ final run, let’s talk about the one trick Lena Headey used to get into character to play Cersei Lannister.

What are Lena Headey’s other movies and TV shows?

Lena Headey smiles for the camera.
Lena Headey. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

There’s no doubt Game of Thrones brought her a new level of fame, but Lena Headey’s earlier roles were hardly B-list affairs.

Her first major role is for the 1992 movie Waterland. She starred alongside Jeremy Irons, Ethan Hawks, and Maggie Gyllenhaal when she was 19. From there, she kept landing high-profile work in movies such as Remains of the Day and Ripley’s Game. However, she has even more notable roles than those, in addition to Cersei Lannister.

She played Kitty in the live-action Jungle Book from 1994, Angelika in The Brothers Grimm in 2005, Queen Gorgo in 2006’s 300 as well as the sequel in 2014, and Mary Sandin in The Purge in 2013.

The surprising way she gets into character

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in all black, wearing a crown, and sitting atop the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones.
Lena Headey really hates that Cersei Lannister wig. | HBO

Lena Headey might come off as angry and ruthless when she’s playing Cersei Lannister, but she might not be acting.

Her co-star, Kit Harington, won’t miss Game of Thrones, and the grueling shooting schedule for Season 8 is part of the reason. Headey can sympathize.

The early start time, coupled with a long day, tripled with her costume, wore on Headey’s nerves.

“That [wig] makes me very angry, so that helps when they put it on at 6 a.m. and I’m like, f—k,” she tells The Daily Beast.

Her methods clearly work. Lena Headey is one of the actors who constantly get mistaken for their characters in real life.

Game of Thrones helps Lena Headey achieve an impressive net worth

Lena Headey at the premiere of Game of Thrones Season 6.
Lena Headey at the premiere of Game of Thrones Season 6. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

When you’re discussing Lena Headey’s bank account, you have to mention her bitter divorce from Irish musician Peter Loughran.

The couple married in 2007, their marriage disintegrated in 2011 when Game of Thrones went on the air, and she filed for divorce in 2012. During the divorce process, she claimed she had less than $5 in the bank.

Whether or not that $5 figure is accurate, she’s on stable financial footing in 2019. Lena Headey’s net worth is an estimated $9 million, and we won’t be surprised to see it climb higher as she lands bigger roles thanks to Game of Thrones’ success. As it is, she’s one of the highest-paid stars on the show making more than $1 million for the final season.

Hollywood hasn’t always been kind to her

Actress Lena Headey at a premiere.
Lena Headey attends a 2014 premiere. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

We mentioned Lena Headey’s turn as Queen Gorgo in the movie 300 being one of her more notable parts, and it’s one of the best roles from the Game of Thrones cast before the show started. However, Hollywood hasn’t always been kind to her.

Headey said director Terry Gilliam bullied her on the set of The Brothers Grimm. She also was one of the many women who accused Hervey Weinstein of inappropriate behavior. Headey said the producer was furious when she denied his advances on two occasions.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!