‘Game of Thrones’ star Lena Headey reveals she lost roles for not flirting

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Lena Headey plays Cersei Lannister, one of the most powerful figures in the HBO series “Game of Thrones”.

Image: HBO/Helen Sloan

But her role is more the exception than the rule in Hollywood.

In a The Edit interview with co-star Maisie Williams, 20, who plays another strong-willed character, Arya Stark, she shared the struggles that women face versus men in showbiz.

Maisie Williams, Arya Stark

Image: HBO

“You said that being a woman meant being judged on your looks as soon as you walk into a room,” said Williams.

“Yes, I’m happier now I’m older, playing women who aren’t expected to be beautiful. That pressure has gone for me,” explained the 43-year-old British actress. “[Male] actors can be ‘interesting’, but there’s a real pressure on women to be beautiful and skinny.”

She also shared the lewd practices that goes on behind-the-scenes, and what women would have to do to land a role: “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*ck?’ I’ve never played the game of going in [to auditions] and flirting; I’ve never done it.”

“Do you think taking that stance has ever stopped you from getting the job?” asked Williams

“Yes, and I’m very happy I didn’t,” responded Headey.

She also shared, “Male counterparts can say the same thing 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.’”

Lena Headey

Image: HBO

Still, she’s soldiered on in the industry, and continues to face challenges like postpartum depression during the first season of the series, and then more trivial things: “[On set] I fall down a lot on those stairs when I’m trying to be really regal.”

Her steely performance has gained her recognition: Headey was nominated as Best Supporting Actress for the 2016 Golden Globes.

“Game of Thrones” season seven premieres July 16. Niña V. Guno/JB

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