Walked nude in front of 500 extras: GoT’s Lena Headey's body double

  • Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 19, 2015 22:44 IST

Still reeling under Game of Thrones, Season 5’s shocker of a final episode? If you thought Jon Snow’s death was the biggest anti-climax of the show, here’s more. Cersei Lannister’s ‘Walk of Shame’, which left many fans scarred, wasn’t shot with just Lena Headey, who played the role in the series. The producers had to hire Rebecca Van Cleave, an American theatre actor, as a body double for Headey, because she was pregnant at the time of shooting last year.

In an interview to Entertainment Weekly, Cleave said the sequence was one of the ‘scariest’ she’s ever done in her life. "It was one of the scariest, most wonderful, most gratifying experiences I could have imagined. I never in a million years would have thought I would be in Dubrovnik surrounded by hundreds of extras and crew members throwing food at me, but it was amazing," she told EW.


Rebecca Van Cleave. Source: Twitter

In the sequence, Cersei was paraded through the city, naked, to atone for her sins. She walks through a sea of people who shower abuses at her, spit on her and throw a lot of things at her… including faeces.

Cleave shot the sequence in full nudity, while Headey was in beige shift. The performances were merged into one another by the show's visual effects team where they combined Headey's face and expressions and Van Cleave's physical movement in order to create the seamless illusion that Headey was completely bare for the sequence.

"Lena was so good about walking beside me and guiding me into what Cersei was thinking and the movements," Van Cleave said. "We were playing tag team - 'You're it!' - and trying to make light of the fact we're all covered in everything and going through this together."

Cleave revealed that this was her first nude scene which is even more shocking as she did it with a crowd of more than 500 extras. "It was actually the most comfortable casting I've ever had, considering," Cleave said.

"We needed somebody who could do The Walk of Shame physically, somebody who could match Lena's integrity, intensity and sensibility," David Nutter, the director for the episode, says. "We found a tremendous actress in Rebecca; she was a godsend. The courage of this girl, who's never done anything like this in her life, who understood what was important about this … once I had her I felt like I could accomplish anything," he added.

Headey was all praises about the new actor as well, "It was a long process trying to find somebody who got what it means physically to be there with all that stuff going on, and Rebecca is a great actress." "It takes a lot to walk through the crowd naked for three days in a row with the crowd braying at you," she added.

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