Lena Headey says fuck a lot. She is covered in tattoos—over a dozen—and possessed of an insouciance and flair for badinage that comes with being the Yorkshire-bred tomboy daughter of a mustachioed cop who could seriously take the piss out of himself. The British actress is, in short, mega cool, so it’s little surprise she’s brought a character like Cersei Lannister, one of the most deliciously sinister to ever grace the screen, to thrilling life.
“This is not my own work,” offers Headey, drawing attention to her makeup with a leisurely wave. “Yes, I lived in a tomboy phase. I still do…They asked me to leave ballet when I was five or six. They just said to my Mom, It’s a waste of my time and your cash. Take her out.”
She was naturally drawn to the tale of the Knights, a rowdy family of professional wrestlers in Norwich and the subjects of the 2012 documentary The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family (it didn’t hurt that Headey is also “a documentary monster…I just eat them up”). And when she got word that Stephen Merchant (of The Office fame) and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were developing a feature film based on the Knights, she leapt at the chance to star as the clan’s no-nonsense matriarch, Sweet Saraya, and flex her comedy muscles.
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