Lena Headey and Hannah Waddingham discuss controversial Game of Thrones scene

Image: Game of Thrones/HBO
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO /

A while back, Game of Thrones star (and now Emmy nominee for Ted Lasso) Hannah Waddingham told Collider about a scene she filmed with Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) towards the end of the HBO’s show’s sixth season: Cersei has destroyed the Sept of Baelor and now has Waddingham’s character, Septa Unella (aka the Shame Nun) strapped to a table. Still pretty miffed about that whole marching-me-through-the-streets-naked thing, Cersei tortures Unella, pouring wine on her face, essentially waterboarding her. “Definitely, other than childbirth, it was the worst day of my life,” Waddingham said.

Waddingham made clear in that same interview that she was entirely willing to push through despite the discomfort, but her statements stuck around and jump-started a media narrative about the Game of Thrones set being unsafe. She clarified her comments not long ago. “I would 100% do it again in a heartbeat. Because there are some moments — and I’ve actually discussed it with a couple of the guys from ‘Thrones’ since — where you need to give of yourself, even if it makes you uncomfortable.”

And now, Entertainment Weekly has gotten Waddingham and Headey together to discuss the scene (and anything else they felt like talking about) anew, perhaps putting it to bed for good.

Lena Headey and Hannah Waddingham discuss the Game of Thrones wineboarding scene

“I wanted to ask you, which we never really talk about because I think both of us found it quite traumatic at the time: Our waterboarding, or rather wineboarding, scenes,” Waddingham said. “People are always quite shocked that that actually did happen in reality and there was nothing CGI’d. One thing I’ve said a lot is that both of us were quite uncomfortable about it, but as with all these things, you know that they’re not actually going to kill you so you just get on with it and do it. It made wicked telly and I just wondered what your take on all that was, because I think you found it quite difficult too.”

“Yes, that was, for you, horrendous,” Headey replied. “Someone else asked me about that the other day and I was like, you know, as an actor we all have boundaries or no boundaries. And no boundaries are obviously very thrilling when you can go to a place… but something like that when you’re tied down [during filming for 10 hours], it made me feel horrendous doing that scene with you.”

As rough as it was, at least the experience brought the two actors closer: “I have to say one thing that that traumatic experience — and you walking through the streets practically with your nunny out — gave us was that you and I absolutely [became incredibly close],” Waddingham said. “And I was really nervous joining you [on Game of Thrones] because you were like queen lady of the ladies and I was some nobhead who had popped a baby out nine weeks previously.”

“Well, and then you met me and you realized [that I was an] equal nobhead!” Headey replied.

Lena Headey and Hannah Waddingham remember Cersei’s Walk of Shame

In fact, the infamous walk-of-shame scene was the first thing that Waddingham shot for the show, or at least the start of it. “My first day ever on Thrones was standing at the top of those stairs,” she recalled. “My daughter had popped out maybe nine weeks previously, so I didn’t even know what my name was that day. And I said to you, ‘Oh, my God, this is so epic.’… ‘Oh, my God, do you ever get used to this?’ And you were so cool about it all. And I thought, I want to be like her when I grow up.”

“I think I was probably terrified about being semi-naked for two days in front of 6,000 people,” Headey said.

“A lot of people probably had the horn, as well, looking at you!” Waddingham cracked.

You can see Waddingham as Rebecca in Ted Lasso on Apple TV+! Season 2 is airing now.

dark. Next. Why Game of Thrones fans should be optimistic about House of the Dragon

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Get HBO, Starz, Showtime and MORE for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels