Games Of Thrones Star Lena Headey Revealed The Sexist Reason She Lost Roles

Photo: C Flanigan/Getty Images
No one would accuse Hollywood of treating women well, but the true scope of how poorly the entertainment industry treats even successful actresses should appal everyone. According to a new interview, the woman who portrays Game Of Thrones' tough-as-nails Cersei Lannister, Lena Headey, had to deal with Hollywood sexism early in her career — and she was definitely not having it.
In a new interview with Net-A-Porter the HBO actress revealed to her Game Of Thrones co-star Maisie Williams the way she was told she could score parts: by flirting in her auditions.
She told Williams in their interview:
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"When I was in my twenties, and doing a lot of audition tapes in the States, a casting director told me: 'The men take these tapes home and watch them and say, 'Who would you fuck?' I’ve never played the game of going in [to auditions] and flirting; I’ve never done it."
Headey said "No, thanks" to that gross industry standard — but it came at a price. She admitted that the decision to not do the flirting thing probably cost her roles, which is a sad reality too many actresses face when they don't want to play by gross, sexist rules. Fortunately, those "missed opportunities" (if you can even call them that, given the circumstances of the auditions) eventually led to the three-time Emmy nominee scoring the part of a lifetime on Game Of Thrones.
This isn't the only thing Headey had to say about struggling with her career. She revealed to Williams that she filmed season 1 of Game Of Thrones while still battling postpartum depression. As for the drama onscreen, the actress admitted to the outlet that it was Hodor's (Kristian Nairn) death that really broke her heart — especially because she found out about his death so late.
"Last season I was doing [post-production] in L.A. and watched Hodor’s death," Headey told Williams. "I was just weeping. The technician said, ‘Are you okay?’ and I went, ‘I didn’t know, I didn’t know he died.’ I was beside myself; genuinely heartbroken."
As sad as Game Of Thrones can get, it sounds like Headey is in a great place. She knows who she is and what she's not willing to do for her career — and it seems like she was ultimately rewarded for it with the part of a lifetime.
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