Lena Headey says Hollywood directors ‘speculate about who to have sex with in auditions’

Delightful

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

With Game of Thrones season 7 just around the corner, Westeros fever has been spreading like wild fire. The internet has been awash with rumours about who is going to end up on the iron throne, and everyone is more convinced than ever that Daenerys and Jon Snow will get it on, Targaryen style.

But the actress who plays everyone’s favourite baddie, Cersei Lannister, is less interested in sharing spoilers and more interested in telling stories about what goes on behind the camera.

Following in the footsteps of Jessica Chastain and Elisabeth Moss, Lena Headey has been shedding light on sexism in the Hollywood – and more importantly, the expectations put on actresses when they are auditioning for roles.

In an interview with co-star Maisie Williams for Net-A-Poter’s magazine, The Edit, she said: ‘When I was in my twenties, 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***?”

‘I’m happier now I’m older, playing women who aren’t expected to be beautiful. That pressure has gone for me. [Male] actors can be ‘interesting’, but there’s a real pressure on women to be beautiful and skinny.’

But the inequality doesn’t just stop when actresses get older, the Game of Thrones villain points out. Lena also goes on to explain the frustration of never being listened to, saying: ‘I was talking with another actress, and I said, “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 [I just did] 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.”‘

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