Hannah Waddingham Remembers ‘Game of Thrones’ Scene Caused ‘Claustrophobia’

Hannah Waddingham Says Horrific Game Of Thrones Scene Caused Chronic Claustrophobia
Hannah Waddingham Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Hannah Waddingham says one Game of Thrones scene continues to haunt her years later.

Waddingham, 49, appeared in eight episodes of the HBO fantasy series from 2015 to 2016 as Septa Unella, a member of the Most Devout, the ruling council of the Faith of the Seven. She credits the role with transforming her career, however, it left lasting mental scars.

During the Monday, April 1, episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the Ted Lasso star recalled filming a “horrific” torture scene which she said caused “chronic claustrophobia.” In the scene, Cersei Lannister ( Lena Headey) poured wine on her face.

Waddingham remembered they shot the scene for 10 hours and claimed it was like being “actually waterboarded.” She explained that she was strapped tightly to a wooden table so she was unable to lift her head. “I had strap marks like I had been attacked,” Waddingham remarked.

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The Emmy winner added that everyone in the show was willing to make sacrifices for the authenticity of the series.

“It kinda doesn’t matter when you are in Game of Thrones because you just want to give the best,” she said, adding, “Thrones gave me something I wasn’t expecting.”

However, Waddingham soon discovered that another actor on the series, Eugene Simon, was experiencing a worse situation.

“‘You’re lucky,’” she recalled Simon telling her after hearing about her painful scene. “‘I’ve been crawling through s–t on my elbows for four days.’”

Waddingham previously discussed how she suffered in an April 2022 episode of Collider Ladies Night. She said shooting the torture scene was, “Definitely — other than childbirth — the worst day of my life.”

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She added, “Lena was uncomfortable pouring liquid in my face for that long, and I was beside myself,” she said. “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 remembers she endured the suffering as she told herself, “The production company is not going to let you die. So get on with it and be uncomfortable. As long as you don’t feel any genuine threat happening, push yourself.”

Waddingham will next be seen in The Fall Guy starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, opening in theaters on May 3. She will also appear in Mission Impossible 8 set to debut in 2025.