The beautiful Lena started her acting career as a teenager – while performing at the Royal Theatre in London with a group of friends, she was spotted by an agent and her calling was determined. Soon enough, in 1992, she got her first role, a supporting character in the movie „Waterland“, with established stars like Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke. It did not take long for the rest of the movie world to understand her talent and she saw more success in the early period of her career with titles such as „The Remains of the Day“, which received 8 Academy Award nominations, and „The Summer House“, released the following year, 1993.
Her first lead was a romantic character Katherine in Disney’s „The Jungle Book“. The film did well and her performance was praised. While filming she met her future boyfriend Jason Flemying, with whom she stayed for the following nine years. Even though star roles proved difficult to obtain in the following years, Lena had a series of roles which established her position and ensured steady work. From the TV movie „Loved up“ (1995), to the mini-series „Band of Gold“, where she played an S&M prostitute, greater success came with the 1997 and 1998 movies „Mrs. Dalloway“, in which she starred together with Vanessa Redgrave and „The Man with Rain in His Shoes“, where her partner was Penelope Cruz. Also, Lena was noticed for her supporting role in the adaptation of the novel „Onegin“, starring alongside Ralph Fiennes and Liv Tyler.
Her first award, the Silver Iris Award in 2001 at the Brussels film festival, came for her role in the movie Aberdeen. This award was maybe a key point in her career, since the 2000s’ brought her much more significant success. 2005 saw Lena star in Terry Gilliam’s „The Brothers Grimm“where her partners were Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, major Hollywood stars. She was challenged for this role, but she liked it, speaking how the fact that she portrayed a tomboy attracted her because it was not a typical female character. She became good friends with Piper Perabo, who is still a close friend, at the set of „The Cave“from 2005. Soon enough, she was cast in blockbusters such as „300“, from which we remember her as Queen Gorgo, and Sarrah Connor in the TV spin-off of the Terminator franchise.
Maybe the most well-known role she landed was Cersei Lannister in the TV series „Game of Thrones“, to which she was recommended by her friend Peter Dinklage. The show was a massive success and she earned an Emmy nomination in 2014 for her good work. The pilot episode was aired in 2011 and is still being filmed. Of course, Lena did not neglect her movie roles, and starred in 2012 sci-fi movie „Dredd“ and the horror movie „Purge“ of 2013. She played Queen Gorgo again in the „300“ sequel, „300:Rise of an Empire“. In 2014, she starred in „Low Down“and „Zipper“.
In 2016, she will dedicate her time to her role of Cersei Lannister in the „Game of Thrones“.
We all know her as the power-hungry Queen Cersei from the Lannister family in the epic fantasy HBO series „Game of Thrones“. Premiered at 2011 and became a massive international hit, „Game of Thrones“gave Lena Headey to present us her talents, portraying the beautiful, but dark queen Cersei.
Her first contact with the producers came when Peter Dinklage, her good friend, recommended her to the producers of the show. Not long after, she was given the role of Cersel Lannister, the twin sister of Jamie Lannister and elder sister to Tyrion Lannister, portrayed by the aforementioned Dinklage. She liked the script immediately, even though she said that she did not expect such success from the show, with all the dragons, magic, wizards and other fantasy stuff.
Her job in the series is to portray a scheming femme fatale, Cersei Lannister, a woman who maintains an incestual sexual relationship with her twin brother Jamie, but also the relationship with the King. She is a strong character, a survivor, as Lena puts it. As a woman who lives in a man’s world, Lena says she has to portray Cersei as strong, brutal, vengeful, but rational and calculated. Cersei can also be feral, Lena says. She has very strong reactions, emotional outbursts when attacked. And she knows how to defend herself and her family. Cersei, even when suffering injustice and harm from her family members, keeps a very strong tie, an unbreakable bond with her brothers and her father, because the House of Lannister keeps strong connection between themselves.
When the producers of the show realized that Lena was pregnant just before they started to film episodes from the first season, they did not see this as an obstacle. They were so enthusiastic about her good performance that they filmed around the pregnancy, using special techniques to avoid the pregnancy to be seen, like filming above the waistline. Also, specific camera angles and wardrobe helped hide pregnancy. This is especially visible in the sex scene with her on-screen-brother Jamie, when she is practically fully clothed. Also, the producers of the show made a decision to never show Cersei naked, despite the fact that most of the female actresses participate in scenes were nudity is involved. This is because the scene of the penance walk, which would take place years later, was meant to be as dramatic and as shocking as possible. In the end, a body double was used for this scene with Lena’s head digitally added, but there was no clear explanation as to why this was the case. One theory says that she was pregnant with her second child at the time (February 2015). Also, maybe it was easier for the producers to use a body double because of Lena’s numerous tattoos, which would have to be removed, whether digitally on the screen or by using a lot of makeup.
Cersei Lannister will be remembered as one of the most memorable characters in the show, portrayed perfectly by the stunning Lena Headey.
One of the most desirable women in the world, once voted in the Hot 100 on the Maxim Magazine list, Lena Headey is the best known for her on-screen appearances as Queen Gorgo in the „300“ and, even more, as Cersei Lannister in the TV show „Game of Thrones“.
Not many people are aware of the fact that the beautiful Lena was born in the Bermudas, more specifically, the town of Hamilton. Her father, John Headey, was a Yorkshire police cadet, but was sent to Bermuda just shortly before Lena was born. Lena’s mother Sue gave birth to her in Hamilton on October 3rd, 1973. She spent the first 5 years of her life in the sunny Bermudas, when her father’s assignment came to an end and the whole family moved to Somerset in England. Next six years Lena spent growing up in Somerset, Southwestern England. When Lena was 11 years old, the Headeys moved again, all across the country to West Yorkshire, to the town of Shelley, between Leeds and Sheffield. She developed an interest in ballet when she was young, but soon she was told to give up.
Some say, confirmed by Lena herself, was growing up to be quite a rebellious girl. She learned to love animals, just as she does today, contributing to many animal rights groups, which led her to become a vegetarian. Lena had a strong bond to her brother Tim, always feeling protective of her younger brother. Her relationship with her mother was, as she puts it, „tricky“. Having shown signs of clinical depression at the age of 15, which surface even today sometimes, she admits she sometimes has problems with her internal rage that results in outbursts of tears. Yet, she was and is still aware of the meaning of the people who care about her and the importance of these relationships and she recognizes that her acting career has developed specifically because of these bonds, rather than the work, because they kept her centered and happy.
Her first intention was to become a hairdresser, but was soon drawn to the life on the stage, developing her love towards movies and the theatre. Her first contact with acting happened in Shelley College. Prior to this, her mother, wanting a bit more out of Lena than an average, middle class life, made her to take speech lessons. Lena also never had acting lessons before that nor any contact with a drama school. Soon, when she was only seventeen years old, she caught the eye of a casting agent. This happened during a performance at the Royal National Theatre in London. It was a show prepared by Lena and her six friends from school. The agent made a couple of photos and invited her to an audition in London. All of this led to her first on-screen appearance, a supporting role in the movie Waterland, in 1992, alongside stars like Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke. This role led to many successful movies and, eventually, a brilliant career in acting.