‘The Tudors’: Natalie Dormer Reveals What Filming Anne Boleyn’s Execution Was Really Like

In the hit series The Tudors, Natalie Dormer plays the ambitious and beautiful Anne Boleyn. Thrust into the spotlight by the scheming men in her family, Anne catches the eye of Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). They fall in love and Anne somehow manages to get Henry to forget all about his wife and marry her instead. However, things don’t last and Anne eventually loses her head, literally.

Anne Boleyn falls hard for Henry VIII, and she ends up losing her head for it

Natalie Dormer
Natalie Dormer | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Fans of The Tudors get to watch how Henry moves from woman to woman like it’s nothing. However, Anne manages to bring out something special in Henry and he considers her over all the rest. In a time when every woman is hoping the king will notice them, Anne gets him to absolutely adore her, for a time.

Anne marries Henry and he even breaks from the Catholic church to be with her. She gives him a daughter, Elizabeth, who would be the future monarch, Elizabeth I. Anne suffers miscarriages and eventually Henry sets his eyes on another woman, Jane Seymour. The flames start to die out between Anne and Henry. He actually arrests her for treason and wants her to be executed, and fans know Henry always gets what he wants.

Natalie Dormer reveals what filming Anne Boleyn’s execution was really like

RELATED: ‘Penny Dreadful: City of Angels’ Allows ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Natalie Dormer to Play More Than One Monster

The Daily Mail spoke with Natalie Dormer in 2008 and she revealed that her first scene for the series was actually Anne’s execution, which is kind of crazy. The show was filmed out of order and Dormer had to play out Anne’s execution right then and there.

“It was incredibly haunting and harrowing – you feel the weight of history on your shoulders,” Dormer revealed. “Our green room [the actors’ lounge] was one of the cells, so it was a real case of NAR – no acting required.”

Dormer says she actually cried over the whole thing and she spoke with her co-star, Jonathan Rhys Meyers about it over numerous meals and coffees. “Jonathan [Rhys Meyers] is a wonderful human being. I had several dinners and coffees with him beforehand to talk about it – and even a good cry with him as we stood in Kilmainham at dawn before the scene,” Dormer continued.

Dormer pulls off Anne’s execution with compassion and ‘dignity’

Dormer said that Anne walking toward her death with such “dignity” was a milestone in her career, and fans can definitely agree with that. Anne faces her death head-on and even asks the people to pray for the king before she dies. She holds her head high and faces her death when she knows she has no way out. It must have been a terrifying experience for her, not to mention all the people watching it play out.

“By the time I walked on to the scaffold, I hope I did have that phenomenal air of dignity that Anne had – because she went out in the most incredible manner,” Dormer said. “It was one of the best experiences of my career so far.”

Fans will always remember the death of Anne Boleyn. She was so full of life, and to see it snuffed out in such a way is heartbreaking. Luckily fans can always go back and watch the earlier seasons of The Tudors to experience Natalie Dormer as Anne all over again.