One of the most harrowing scenes in the history of Game of Thrones was Cersei Lannister’s Walk of Shame. In season five, Cersei (played by Lena Headey in all eight seasons) is paraded across King’s Landing by the High Sparrow, as punishment for her incestuous relationship with her cousin, Lancel.
Not only did she have to walk naked, Cersei was also subjected to abuses by the men and women of the town. They threw filth and food at her at her, too. The scene was extremely uncomfortable for many to watch so one can only imagine how difficult it must be for the cast and crew to perform. However, in 2015, it was revealed that a body double was used for scene. Rebecca Van Cleave told Entertainment Weekly that it was her first time appearing nude in front of a camera. And in her first time itself, she had to do it in front of 500 people.
“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 surrounded by hundreds of extras and crew members throwing food at me, but it was amazing,” she had said.
Rebecca shot fully nude, while Headey joined her in a nude-coloured slip. The performances were merged into one another by the show’s visual effects team, where they combined Lena’s face and expressions and Rebecca’s physical movements in order to create the seamless illusion.
Rebecca said that Lena walked beside her through the shoot. “Lena was so good about walking beside me and guiding me into what Cersei was thinking and the movements,” she said. “We were playing tag team — ‘You’re it!’ — and trying to make light of the fact we’re all covered in everything and going through this together,” she added.
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Director of the episode David Nutter called Rebecca courageous. “We needed somebody who could do The Walk of Shame physically, somebody who could match Lena’s integrity, intensity and sensibility. We found a tremendous actress in Rebecca; she was a godsend. The courage of this girl, who’s never done anything like this in her life, who understood what was important about this … once I had her I felt like I could accomplish anything,” he had said.
Even Lena was impressed with Rebecca’s work. “It was a long process trying to find somebody who got what it means physically to be there with all that stuff going on, and Rebecca is a great actress,” she said. “It takes a lot to walk through the crowd naked for three days in a row with the crowd braying at you,” she added.
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