'Game of Thrones' Lena Headey Recalls Her Disturbing Audition Experience

The actress also admits that refusing to flirt with casting directors has lost her jobs.

Lena Headey
(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz)

Lena Headey has exposed the dark side of the film and TV industry by recalling a disturbing audition she once experienced in her twenties.

Speaking with Game of Thrones co-star Maisie Williams, the actress admitted that she's lost out on parts in the past because she's refused to flirt with casting directors.

"When I was in my 20s 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 f*ck?'" Headey told the Edit (opens in new tab). "I've never played the game of going in [to auditions] and flirting; I've never done it."

When Williams asked whether her "stance has ever stopped you from getting the job?", she replied: "Yes, and I'm very happy I didn't."

The 43-year-old star also spoke of her struggle to be heard on set as a woman, continuing: "I said [to a female colleague], 'Do you find that you have to say the same things seven times, whereas a man says it once and everyone listens?' Male counterparts can say the same thing and everyone's like, 'Oh, that's a great idea,' and I'm like, 'I just said that 19 times but you chose not to listen or take it on board.'"

Headey went on to speak candidly about suffering from post-natal depression during the first year of filming HBO's Game of Thrones, and it took a medical check on set to be diagnosed.

"[Filming was] really horrendous—I was postnatally depressed but I didn't know it. I saw a doctor for the medical check, and I just burst into tears," she recalled. "She said I was postnatally depressed and I went, 'Am I? Why is that?'

"I saw a great guy and he sorted me out, but I did the first year [on] in that space, figuring out motherhood and going through a weird time personally. It was tricky."

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On who she'd like to see upon the Iron Throne, she responded: "I think she's already sitting there, isn't she?"

Praising Williams and the other younger GoT cast members for remaining down-to-earth despite the huge success of the show, Headey added: "I'll always love you, Maisie, because you've just remained. You guys [Game of Thrones' younger cast members] have all handled it brilliantly.

"I just think it's great; you've grown up with this, and you've remained delightful. There isn't a knob amongst you, which is incredible. Not everybody would have come out…knobless."

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Naomi Gordon
Naomi Gordon

Naomi Gordon is news writer mainly covering entertainment news with a focus on celebrity interviews and television.