Watchers on the Wall

Lena Headey Opened Up About The Hate She Got After Filming Her Nude Scene In 'Game Of Thrones'

As Game of Thrones nears its conclusion, series star Lena Headey is looking back at some of her most challenging moments.

In particular, Headey recently spoke about the backlash to her nude scene from the fifth season.

The Mother of All Shows

Warner Bros. TV/Fox

Over a decade ago, Headey won raves for the title role in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

While that series was canceled after two seasons, it freed up Headey for the role of a lifetime.

Brotherly Love


Headey bounced back from Terminator with a leading role on Game of Thrones in 2011.

She took on the role of Queen Cersei, a woman who was a little to close to her brother.

Actually, make that WAY too close.

The One We Love To Hate


Headey's take on Cersei made her one of the show's most compelling villains.

Cersei is a dangerous woman, but we love to hate her. She's just an excellent adversary.

Fall From Grace


Cersei was always the architect of her own destruction.

She empowered religious fanatics and they turned on her.

Cersei was arrested for her various crimes against morality and the crown.

A Dance With Dragons


Readers of George R.R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons knew what was coming next.

To earn her temporary release, Cersei had to take the "walk of shame" while completely naked.

The Humbling Moments


Everyone remembers the Walk of Shame, but it was much more than that.

Cersei was required to be naked for six minutes of screentime, including her humiliating haircut.

These were the moments that tore Cersei down.

Walk of Shame


Perhaps fans expected this to be Headey's first nude scene on the show.

Many of the other actresses on the series had already filmed nude scenes of their own.

However, Headey ultimately went with a body double for hers.

As noted by EW, Headey's body double was actress Rebecca Van Cleave.

The Body Double


At the time, Headey said that she wanted to focus on the emotions in her performance without the nudity.

She was also pregnant at the time.

The Backlash


When fans learned that Headey wasn't really naked, the backlash began.

Via The Telegraph, they complained about bad CGI.

Mostly, they just wanted to see Headey undressed.

"Less of an Actress"


Headey told The Sun that “some people thought I was less of an actress because I didn’t get [naked]."

"It was a bit shocking. [Van Cleave] found it very difficult, obviously. It’s not a natural thing to do.”

She's Not Against Nudity


While speaking to EW, Headey said “You know what? It was really a bit shocking. I’ve done nudity. I’m not averse to it."

She added that "The thought of being naked for three days and trying to contain [Cersei] in the way she would be I think I would feel very angry."

I didn’t want to be angry. I don’t think Cersei would be angry," Headey continued.

Cersei's Emotions


"I did what I thought she would do, emotionally.” continued Headey.

The power of that performance was captured on her face.

The Performance


Fans get so caught up over the CGI and the nudity that they overlooked Headey's performance.

In that scene, Cersei can barely contain her humiliation, rage, and despair.

It's a standout moment for Headey.

Headey recently posted this throwback pic on her Instagram, remembering her behind-the-scenes jitters!

No wonder she had jitters, this was Cersei's breaking point.


She was never truly the same afterward.

The anger that she felt led to her unspeakable vengeance.

That, in turn, led to the death of her last surviving son.

Long Live the Queen


Without that experience, Cersei may not have had the drive to take the Iron Throne herself.

She is truly the Queen of Westeros.

We'll soon see if she can hold on to the throne.