Cersei Lannister naked walk: Lena Headey and George RR Martin discuss 'humiliating' Game of Thrones season 5 finale scene

Producers used a body double for much of Headey's shocking scene

Jess Denham
Tuesday 16 June 2015 12:42
Cersei Lannister undergoes her Walk of Shame in Game of Thrones season five
Cersei Lannister undergoes her Walk of Shame in Game of Thrones season five

Lena Headey has revealed how "humiliating" it was to shoot her character Cersei Lannister's brutal Walk of Shame scene in the dramatic Game of Thrones season five finale.

The British actress was on set for three days filming the shocking moment, in which Cersei is forced to walk the streets naked with her hair shorn in penance for her confessed adultery while the people of King's Landing throw food, bodily fluids and verbal abuse at her. Sounds horrific right?

"It's not hard when people are screaming at you and you look like s**t and you're being f**king humiliated to figure out how that would feel," Headey told Entertainment Weekly. "There's a part of you that's f**king terrified."

But while most viewers were too wrapped up in the storyline to notice, others soon pointed out in a Reddit thread that Headey had used a body double for some of the walk, after noting a "blurry outline" to her head from the front and comparing the show to her topless scenes in 300.

Headey has not attempted to conceal this fact, with reports suggesting that she was either pregnant at the time of filming, had too many tattoos for the make-up department to deal with or, understandably, did not fancy strolling naked through a huge crowd of extras yelling "Liar!" and "Whore!" at her.

Hannah Waddington, who played the septa chanting "Shame!" during Cersei's walk, told Vulture that the unknown double was "fantastic" and "just so brave". "I had a lot of respect for her," she said.

Cersei's Walk of Shame was based on medieval punishment, with author George RR Martin revealing that King Edward IV's wife Jane Shore suffered a similar horror after his death in the 1400s.

"There are symbolic aspects to the Walk of Atonement or the Walk of Shame. You're naked. You have nothing to hide. All concealment has been denied you. Your hair has all been shaved off. You're completely vulnerable. There's nothing more to hide. That's the spiritual justification for this sort of thing," Martin said in a behind-the-scenes video.

"Cersei is not beloved in the streets of King's Landing. This is a woman who you dare not contradict for she could have your tongue torn out. Now, people are calling her filthy names, and accusations, and they're free to do so. It changes the entire public perception of her, and that is obviously part of the intent."

Problems arose last year when Croatian officials initially rejected producers' request to shoot nude scenes in a Dubrovnik church. Permission was later granted for Cersei to walk naked through Stadun Street to the Sponza Palace so long as she was not filmed inside a place of worship.

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