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Hannah Waddingham says her controversial 'Game of Thrones' waterboarding scene left her with 'chronic claustrophobia'

Hannah Waddingham says her controversial 'Game of Thrones' waterboarding scene left her with 'chronic claustrophobia'
  • Hannah Waddingham said that "Game of Thrones" left her with "chronic claustrophobia."

  • Lena Headey's character Cersei repeatedly poured liquid on Waddingham's character Septa Unella's face.

  • Headey previously told BI that Waddingham "was a trooper" while filming the scene.

You might have heard Hannah Waddingham refer to filming her waterboarding scene in "Game of Thrones" as "the worst day" of her entire life. Now, the actor says that it resulted in her developing "chronic claustrophobia."

Waddingham appeared on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" while promoting her new film, "The Fall Guy." During the interview, she reflected on another trying filming experience: her time as Septa Unella on "Game of Thrones."

"'Thrones' gave me something I wasn't expecting from it, and that is chronic claustrophobia," Waddingham said, referring to a filming incident she'd previously spoken to Collider about.

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As a refresher, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) gets her revenge on Septa Unella in season six, strapping her to a table and repeatedly pouring water over her face. After Cersei leaves, Ser Gregor Clegane — "The Mountain" — takes her place to torture Unella.

Waddingham said that she had spoken with showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (who just launched their Netflix series "3 Body Problem") about the sequence in the years since it happened. Overall, shooting the scene amounted to "10 hours of being actually waterboarded," the actor told Colbert. During the scene, she was strapped to a table, with her head partially immobilized because it would have been "too obvious" that she could move it.

Cersei pouring wine into the mouth of Septa Unella
Septa Unella's death scene in "Game of Thrones."HBO

Waddingham said that "Game of Thrones" has yet to be matched in terms of its cinematography and was on "a different level" than other shows. "But with that comes actual waterboarding," she added.

Despite what sounds like an admittedly pretty horrific scenario, Waddingham said that she was glad it was in service of the show.

"It kind of doesn't matter when you're in 'Thrones' because you just want to give the best," she told Colbert.

Headey, who was on the opposite side of the scene, told Business Insider in 2021 that it was a "shit time" for Waddingham.

"People have different limits," Headey said. "People will go to different places. And some people will be like, 'I don't want to fucking put myself in that position.' I totally respect whatever your boundaries are, but Hannah was a trooper. That was a long day of prune juice in your face."

Read the original article on Business Insider