This Actress Says Game Of Thrones Saved Her “From A Life Of Prostitution”

Photo Via Josephine Gillan/Facebook.
There's no doubt that a role on Game of Thrones can be life-changing, but this actress says getting a part on the HBO show actually saved her. In an interview with The Daily Mail, Josephine Gillan, who's played courtesan Marei since season 2, says she was working as a prostitute and an adult film actress until she saw an open casting call for Game of Thrones.

"They were looking for young women with natural breasts and no tattoos who didn’t mind being filmed naked. So I immediately sent in a picture," the 27-year-old said. "They wrote back that they wanted me and I was thrilled because it was an amazing opportunity to do some proper acting. But I had no idea how much it would change my life." Gillan told the paper that after being put into foster care as a child, she was sent to live with a family who gave her drugs when she was as young as 12. She said she was sexually abused by a male member of the family who "then pimped [her] out to his friends," traumatic experiences, she says, that led her to sex work. While the redhead, who reprised her role on this week's episode of GoT, knows some people will find it funny that she went from being a prostitute to playing one on TV, she says in the interview that the show "saved me from a life of prostitution and has made me a much stronger person." With no prior dramatic acting experience, Gillan was nervous about doing the show, but found that her real-life experience had prepared her pretty well. "They didn’t need to show me how to do anything," she said, "because that’s how I earned my living." The show has been criticized in the past for its treatment of women, specifically its storylines concerning rape and sexual assault, but Gillan said we should all remember that this is a fantasy world. "People ask me all the time if we are at it for real and I reply, 'Are dragons or zombies real?'" she said, adding, "Watch the entertainment and enjoy. Or don’t if you’re too prudish." While Gillan, who has acted in two indie movies since appearing on GOT, may play a character of lower nobility on the show, she says there is no hierarchy once the cameras stop rolling. "I spoke to Kit Harington in the hair dressing trailer when he was complaining about having to get his brown hair dyed black," she said. "He was very chatty, and all the girls were swooning in his presence. I’m not the only one who’s glad that [Jon Snow] wasn’t killed off."

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