Hannah Waddingham From ‘Ted Lasso’ Played a Shockingly Different Role in ‘Game of Thrones’

When Apple TV+’s hit show Ted Lasso first came out on Aug. 14, 2020, fans were quick to gravitate to the character of the show Rebecca Welton. English actor Hannah Waddingham plays the character — and fans of the actor have noticed this role is shockingly different from the one she played in Game of Thrones.

Who is Hannah Waddingham’s character, Rebecca Welton, in ‘Ted Lasso’?

Rebecca took up ownership of the English football club AFC Richmond after divorcing the previous owner, her ex-husband Rupert (Anthony Head). We follow Rebecca as she goes on a rampage to sabotage the club because it was the only thing her ex truly cared for. In her efforts, she hires a small-time American football coach, Ted Lasso, played by Jason Sudeikis, despite him being vastly unfamiliar with the sport.

We get to see the protagonist, Ted, relentlessly trying to help the struggling football team find its way back to the top. Ted is defined by his optimistic, ever-cheery personality that rubs off on people. And despite her ulterior motives, Rebecca slowly starts to develop a soft spot for the coach. She eventually opens up to him about her deep emotional turmoil.

By the end of season 1, her character evolves from the villain character we saw in the first episodes to a more vulnerable Rebecca.

Which ‘Game of Thrones’ character did Hannah Waddingham play?

Waddingham played a smaller and much different role in another very popular TV show.

Yes, she played the cruel Septa Unella in the iconic Game of Thrones. If you have no idea who Unella was, you’ll surely remember the nun from the memorable scene yelling “shame” to Cersei Lannister as she was paraded naked through the streets in her walk of atonement. Another memorable scene was when she was smacking the then-Queen Margaery Tyrell with a ladle, forcing her to confess her “sins.”

Small as it was, the role would soon become immensely popular — even reaching the pinnacle of modern-day fame by becoming memes and GIFs online.

Waddingham’s character in ‘Game of Thrones’ is wildly different from Rebecca

Unfortunately, Waddingham’s character Unella’s ending was a tragic one that saw her locked up in a cell with the infamous “The Mountain.” And if you know the giant of a man, then you know what kind of hell awaited her at his hands. 

The actor also had to do a real waterboarding scene, in which she was strapped to a wooden table for hours on end and had liquid poured on her face. Needless to say, Waddingham played the role beautifully. She even managed to bring some of that same “fury of a woman scorned” persona to her character in Ted Lasso.

Only in the case of Ted Lasso — in contrast to the more despicable, almost vile conformist, extremely devoted to The Faith of the Seven — she occasionally reveals a more exposed side to her otherwise tough-on-the-outside character. We also get to see an involuntary smile every so often.

What else has Hannah Waddingham acted in?

Hannah Waddingham
Hannah Waddingham attends Apple’s ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 2 premiere. | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Waddingham’s career is quite an impressive one. She was born in the town of Wandsworth in London into a family of performers. Her mother, Melodie Kelly, and her maternal grandparents were opera singers. As you may expect, that is where she drew her inspiration. She eventually graduated from the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts and began a successful career performing at the London Theatre.

A few of her renowned works include Starbird in The Space Family Robinson and The Lady of The Lake in Spamalot in the London production and on Broadway, among others. Through the years, she’s received two Olivier Award nominations; one for Spamalot and another for another performance, Night Music, in 2010.

Other than live performances and musicals, Waddingham also appeared in a series of TV shows and movies. She made her first debut on the screen back in 1978 in The South Bank Show. After that, she’s appeared in various other TV shows, including: Coupling (2002), My Hero (2003), William and Mary, Footballers’ Wives and Hollyoaks: Let Loose (2005), The Only Boy for Me (2006), Doctors (2008), M.I.High (2009), Marple (2010), My Family (2010), Bad Education (2012), Josh (2016), 12 Monkeys (2017), Krypton (2018), Sex Education (2019), and Midsomer Murders (2021).

But it isn’t just TV shows that the actor has also appeared in a couple of popular films. They include: How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (2008), Les Misérables (2012), Winter Ridge (2018), and The Hustle (2019).

You can expect to see more of her on Ted Lasso Seasons 2 and 3.

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