Hannah Waddingham remembers “being actually waterboarded” on ‘Game Of Thrones’


Hannah Waddingham has revealed that she was once waterboarded “for 10 hours” while filming Game Of Thrones.

The actor portrayed Septa Unella in the HBO fantasy series, and in an episode of season six in 2016, the character was tortured by Lena Headey’s Cersei Lannister, who poured a jug of wine onto her.

In an interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Waddingham said that creating the scene later gave her “chronic claustrophobia”.

“I have talked about it since with David Benioff and Dan Weiss, the two exec producers on it, I was like, ‘Good job it’s for them because it was horrific’,” she said.

“[I had] 10 hours of being actually waterboarded, like actually waterboarded.”

The actor went on to heap praise on the show, adding: “The reason why I don’t believe [Game Of Thrones] is touched yet in terms of the cinematography of it for a series, it’s just a different level. But with that comes actual waterboarding.”

In other Game Of Thrones-universe news, the trailer for the second season of prequel series House Of The Dragon has been released. It is based on George R. R. Martin’s 2018 book Fire & Blood. It is set almost 200 years before the events of Game Of Thrones, and chronicles the events which lead up to the decline of House Targaryen.

The second season was renewed five days after the premiere of season one, in August 2022, and is set to premiere on June 16 this year.

In a four-star review of the first season, NME wrote: “What is reassuring is that House Of The Dragon feels as though it is walking on solid ground: the bubbling rivalries, the jostling for power, the eruptions of violence; six episodes in, it is all coming together to create a rich stew … it is a relief to see a prequel that seems to know what it’s doing. A decent watch for fans and neutrals alike.”

Late last year, Waddingham said she had “no time” for the people who criticise Tom Cruise.

She had been filming scenes alongside the actor for the concluding instalment of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, which will arrive in cinemas in 2025.

Having spent “five intense days” with Cruise on the USS George HW Bush fighter carrier, Waddingham told TV chef Martin: “I have to say, I have a real problem with anybody that goes at him now.”

She continued: “He is without doubt one of the loveliest and encouraging, positive and inspiring human beings I have ever met. Isn’t he gorgeous? I have no time for anyone saying anything about him.”


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