Hannah Waddingham has ‘chronic claustrophobia’ from ‘Game of Thrones’ scene

Hannah Waddingham got more from Game of Thrones than a boost to her CV.

The actress now suffers what she describes as “chronic claustrophobia,” as a result of filming the infamous “wineboarding” scene in which Cersei (Lena Headey) takes her revenge on Waddinham’s religious zealot Septa Unella (of the infamous “shame” meme).

Thrones gave me something I wasn’t expecting from it, which was chronic claustrophobia,” Waddingham told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show when she stopped by as part of The Fall Guy press tour. “It was horrific. Ten hours of being actually waterboarded…Like actually. I’m strapped to a table with all these leather straps. I couldn’t lift up my head because I said that would be too obvious that it’s loose.”

Hannah Waddingham on ‘Game of Thrones’.

HBO


Waddingham also detailed how her hair had turned purple by the end of the day from the grape juice used in the scene and noted that she had lost her voice from all the screaming.

“I had strap marks everywhere like I had been attacked,” Waddingham added. “One of the other guys who had been shooting something else was like, ‘What has happened to you?’ And I told him everything, and he went, ‘You’re lucky. I’ve just been crawling through s– on my elbow for four days.’ And we were laughing about how both of us are in Game of Thrones, and it kind of doesn’t matter when you’re in Thrones. You just want to give the best.”

The Ted Lasso star has been open about her experiences filming the grueling scene before. She first revealed that she endured 10 hours of what was akin to real waterboarding back in 2021 while joining Collider Ladies Night.

“Definitely other than childbirth, [it] was the worst day of my life,” she said then. “Lena was uncomfortable pouring liquid in my face for that long, and I was beside myself. But in those moments, you go, ‘Do you serve the piece and get on with it?’ Or do you chicken out and go, ‘This isn’t what I signed up for.'”

Waddingham also recalled walking past the episode’s director, Miguel Sapochnik, after finishing filming for the day and telling him, “Not really,” when he asked if she was all right. “[He then said], ‘The crew have just been saying we are actually really waterboarding you here.’ And I was like, ‘Yup, you don’t need to tell me that!'”

Waddingham also discussed the scene with Headey in an unmoderated video chat later that same year.  “People are always quite shocked that that actually did happen in reality and there was nothing CGI’d,” Waddingham said to her friend and former costar.

Headey added that she “felt horrendous” filming the scene and watching Waddingham suffer.

“One thing I’ve said a lot is that both of us were quite uncomfortable about it,” reflected Waddingham. “But as with all these things, you know that they’re not actually going to kill you so you just get on with it and do it.”

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