Lena Headey naked body double Rebecca Van Cleave speaks out on filming 'wonderful' Game of Thrones season 5 finale 'shame' scene

Headey did not do the famous 'Walk of Shame' herself for 'several reasons'

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

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!"


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.

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.