Warning, spoilers ahead if you’ve never watched Game Of Thrones.
One of the stars of the show has opened up about a traumatic day of filming.
The show was known for pushing boundaries, and had many scenes of violence against women that upset viewers.
Now Hannah Waddingham has talked about the shocking waterboarding scene from the series.
She has described it as “the worst day of my life.”
She played Septa Unella in series, the fanatical follower of The High Sparrow.
One of the most iconic moments in the series came as her character yelled “Shame” at Cersei Lannister during her naked walk of atonement.
In season Six, Cersei eventually got her own back.
She strapped Septa down and waterboarded her with wine to make her confess she took joy in watching her suffer.
Hannah told Collider’s Ladies Night about filming the scene.
“There I was strapped to a wooden table with proper big straps for 10 hours. And definitely, other than childbirth, it was the worst day of my life.”
“Because Lena [Headey, who played Cersei] was uncomfortable pouring liquid in my face for that long, and I was beside myself. ”
“But in those moments you have to think, do you serve the piece and get on with it or do you chicken out and go, ‘No, this isn’t what I signed up for, blah, blah, blah?’”
And then, the funny thing was, after we’d finished shooting it for the whole day, and people like Miguel Sapochnik, the director by the way, walking past with a cup of tea and a sandwich on-the-go and going, ‘Hi, honey, you all right?’ And I was like, ‘Not really.’
‘The crew have just been saying we are actually really waterboarding you here.’ And I was like, ‘Yup, you don’t need to tell me that!’”
She continued: “I could barely speak because I had been screaming through the Mountain’s hand, which is quite frightening as a singer to completely lose your voice, so I had no voice at all to barely whisper, bruises already coming up like I had been attacked and I was like, ‘I’ve basically just been waterboarded for 10 hours.”
Hannah’s experience had other consequences, too: “I hadn’t even realized that it definitely gave me claustrophobia around water. Definitely.”
“I hadn’t realized until I watched a program where the camera’s down on the actor’s face and they’re being dipped into the water, but you see them face-up to the camera, and I got in a terrible panic about it.”
“And I actually went and had a bit of a chat to somebody about it, because it’s quite full-on being waterboarded for 10 hours, and then only one minute and 30 seconds can be used on camera.”
It seems that the waterboarding scene was a last-minute addition to the script.
“I think they possibly changed it when I was mid-air flying to Belfast because suddenly I got sent these new sides that said that I would need a wetsuit top. I thought they’d sent me the wrong bits. And sure enough, when I got there, I was then put in a wetsuit top and I was like, ‘Because?’ And they went, ‘Oh, it’s waterboarding instead.’”
The ending was meant to be even worse too, with the undead Mountain raping Unella. Hannah says she thinks it was changed following the outcry after Sansa’s attack in an earlier series.
This isn’t the first controversy to hit the series. Back in 2019 the directors joked about their treatment of a baby.
Directors Dan ‘DB’ Weiss and David Benioff talked about putting a naked baby on top of a block of ice.
Speaking at the Austin Film Festival they recalled: “The first scene that the Night King appears in was directed by the great Michelle MacLaren and was the most frightened I’ve ever been on set,” David said. “Not because of the Night King, but because we had a baby, a real baby, there was like an altar made of ice, and I think it was real ice?”
He explained: “It was real ice because fake ice in close-ups just never looks real.’
As the audience laughed, he added: “So the altar was actually a hard block of ice and we put a baby on top of this block of ice. A real baby.
“This baby is lying there like “what the f***?” Then a monster, deformed, walks up and puts his clawed finger on this poor baby’s face. The baby starts screaming.
“I’m like “we’re f***ing traumatising this poor kid”.’
Dan added: ‘It was not our proudest moment.’
Are you surprised?
Image Via Alamy.