Lena Headey's nude body double has described the shocking 'Walk of Shame' in the Game of Thrones season five finale as "the hardest but best experience of her life".
Rebecca Van Cleave stepped in to play Cersei Lannister as she walks through Kings Landing in her birthday suit, being pelted with everything from rotting fruits to bodily fluids. Her head was then replaced with Headey's by the special effects team and she now has "naked Cersei" listed on her IMDB page.
Sounds horrific right? Fortunately, the 27-year-old actress and model found the gruelling three days of filming "wonderful".
"It was one of the scariest, most wonderful, most gratifying experiences I could have imagined," Van Cleave told Entertainment Weekly. "I never in a million years would have thought I would be in Dubrovnik surrounded by hundreds of extras and crew members throwing food at me, but it was amazing."
Van Cleave felt the anticipation building the first time she undressed but found that, because the experience is such an emotional one for Cersei, she soon "checked out of the fact that you're nude".
"You're so in touch with the scene and what you're going for," she said. "It's definitely the hardest thing I've ever done but also the best experience of my life and I hope the next thing I do will have my head in it!"
Shocking Game of Thrones scenes
Shocking Game of Thrones scenes
1/9 Sansa/Ramsey rape scene
Season 5, episode 6: Fans were outraged as the episode ended with Sansa Stark being brutally raped by her new husband, Ramsey. The camera soon panned to Theon as he watched on, terrified.
2/9 Shireen burns at the stake
Season 5, episode 9:Stannis burns his daughter Shireen at the stake after Red Priestess Melisandre advises him to make a sacrifice to gain more power
3/9 Theon gets his penis chopped off
Season 3, episode 10: While being tortured by Ramsey, Theon Greyjoy goes through all sorts of pain. The most horrible though is when his penis is cut off and then sent to his family.
4/9 George Bush’s head on spike
Season 1, episode 10: According to the directors, they couldn’t get enough prosthetic heads made up for the show and ended up using the spare one’s lying around. One of those just happened to be the fake head of George Bush, which eventually ended up on a spike.
5/9 Joffrey murders two prostitutes
Season 2, episode 4: In one of his most violent moments, Joffrey finds himself with two prostitutes in his room and the most disgusting thing he can think to do with them, uses them as living targets.
6/9 The Red Wedding
Season 3, episode 9: It was the turning point for the entire show. Just as everyone thought it was going the Starks way, they nearly all end up murdered in one of the bloodiest episodes of any TV series ever.
7/9 Rat torture
Season 2, episode 4: Torture is a pretty common occurrence on Game of Thrones, but none were quite a bad as this. In the scene a bucket of rats is put to a man’s chest and then heated up with a flame so they must eat through the man to escape. Terrifying.
8/9 Mountain head explosion
Season 4, episode 8: Just as everything was going Oberyn Martell’s way, it all literally blew up in his face. The warrior ended up looking like a squashed watermelon in one of the most awful scenes in the entire series.
9/9 Theon botched beheading
Season 2, episode 6: Beheadings: In one of the more gruesome beheadings, Theon strikes Ser Rodrick Cassel not just once but four times in the neck, finally taking it all the way off with a kick.
Showrunners' use of a body double has attracted some criticism from viewers, particularly as in George RR Martin's books, a major part of Cersei's humiliation revolves around her having to reveal a body scarred from having borne three children.
I don't know why I'm so surprised Lena used a body double for the naked walk. But I am. #GameOfThrones— Adam (@adamwasere) June 19, 2015
So Cersei Lannister's walk of shame on Game of Thrones was actually a body double. This girl Rebecca Van Cleave. pic.twitter.com/kQl4tySwho— markagustin. (@Mark_Agustin) June 19, 2015
I've just been informed that a body double was used for every one of Cersei's naked scenes in the #GameofThronesFinale. I feel cheated.— Alex Mitchell (@_amitchell) June 18, 2015
It is believed that Headey was either pregnant at the time of shooting or, understandably, reluctant to get her kit off for such a brutal scene.
The Emmy nominee chose not to be nude "for several reasons", including wanting to focus fully on her performance, and declined to be involved in the casting process for her double.
"I was like, 'Listen guys, she happens to have a beautiful body, but I don't do casting," Headey said. "If somebody is brave enough to do this, I applaud it."
Van Cleave has defended Headey from those angry that it was not her body on screen, arguing that "it should all be about the finished product, not about whose body was where and whose head was where".
Season five came to a dramatic close on Monday night with Jon Snow's stabbing and Arya Stark's blinding among the other most climactic moments.
The hit HBO fantasy series is expected to return for season six next spring.Reuse content