“It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done.” According to the Daily Mail, that’s how actress Rebecca Van Cleave describes standing in as Lena Headey’s body double in the Game of Thrones Season 5 finale. Make no mistake, though; Van Cleave enjoyed every minute of playing Lena Headey’s body double. The episode finale, entitled “Mother’s Mercy,” includes a scene where Headey’s character, Cersei Lannister, took a naked “walk of shame” through King’s Landing as penance for her incestuous relationship with her brother Jaime. Word on the street is people aren’t happy about Lena’s choice to use a body double for the scene or about the overall brutality of the scene.
Entertainment Weekly spoke to Van Cleave about her new role, where she defended Lena’s choice and gave a little insight into the experiences she had while on the hit HBO drama.
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 (Croatia) surrounded by hundreds of extras and crew members throwing food at me, but it was amazing.
Lena told ET she made the move for a variety of reasons, including wanting to focus on the emotions of her performance. Headey’s character is certainly full of emotions; trapped in a loveless marriage to the King of Westeros, mother of three illegitimate children with her brother, whom she actually loves; and full of mistrust in her other brother Tyrion.
As the Inquisitr reported earlier this week, Lena is also pregnant with her second child, another possible reason for opting out of the walk of shame in the upcoming season finale. Whatever the reasons for Headey’s decision, Miss Van Cleave seems excited and grateful for the opportunity.
— Rebecca Van Cleave (@rebeccajoean) June 18, 2015
The Season 5 finale originally aired on HBO this past Sunday, June 14 and got a largely positive review from movie and TV rating site Rotten Tomatoes. Many fans, though, were up in arms about the nudity and overall shock value of Headey and Van Cleave’s scene. For die-hard fans, the Walk of Shame Headey’s character had to endure is probably a bit less shocking than, say, Sansa’s highly controversial “Black Wedding” scene in Season 5, Episode 6, but will likely still serve to alienate some viewers.
What are your thoughts on the Season 5 finale? Has Game of Thrones finally gone too far, or is the violence against and degradation of characters like Lena’s just something we should expect at this point? Do you support Lena’s choice to use a body double? Why or why not?
[Image via Game of Thrones / HBO]