Battles are a cake walk for “Game of Thrones” character Cersei Lannister, but the actress who portrays her — Lena Headey — reveals that not all battles in her life are easily won, including her fight to overcome postpartum depression. Headey spoke with co-star Maisie Williams (who was also the interviewer) for Net-A-Porter’s The Edit about her postpartum depression, which she refers to it in the English wording, postnatal.
The “Game of Thrones” developed postpartum depression following the birth of her son, Wylie. The American Psychological Association verifies that postpartum is very common for pregnant women to experience, claiming 1 in 7 women will likely encounter it.
When asked what was it was like doing traumatic scenes while having issues in her personal life, Headey responded: “Really horrendous – I was postnatally depressed but I didn’t know it. I saw a doctor for the medical check, and I just burst into tears. She said I was postnatally depressed and I went, “Am I? Why is that?” I saw a great guy and he sorted me out, but I did the first year [on Game of Thrones] in that space, figuring out motherhood and going through a weird time personally. It was tricky.”
Williams also asked her about whether her “GOT” character affected the way she raised her children, to which Headey shares that she believes that her parenting style is “very different” from Cersei’s.
“I want for my children is for them to be kind and conscious and happy and that’s it, really,” Headey added. “I don’t want them to think, ‘You have to achieve that in order to have that,’ because that’s not true anymore. And I want my daughter to have a good voice and to use it, to not feel restricted by being a woman in any way, to make her choices freely.”
Headey’s seventh and final season of “GOT” begins on July 16. The 43-year-old Brit will appear in two upcoming films slated for 2018, “The Flood” and “Fighting With My Family.”
Headey was born in Bermuda but moved to West Yorkshire in northern England when she was 11 years old. She later attended Shelley College and began acting at age 17. Her first acting role didn’t come until “Waterland,” which debuted in 1992. Since then, she has nabbed roles in a variety of television and film projects like “Mrs. Dalloway,” “The Brother’s Grimm,” and “300.”
Headey gained fame for playing Sarah Connor in the FOX television program “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” Although the series was short-lived on the network — it lasted only two seasons — audiences took notice of her as a leading lady. Following the show, she starred opposite of Ethan Hawke in the original “The Purge” film, which launched a growing franchise. Headey appeared in “The Purge” during her time on “GOT.”
In a 2013 interview with Conan O’Brien, she admitted being fearful of appearing on talk shows. Headey claimed to be “terrified” as O’Brien attempted to put her at “ease.” She also admitted to the comedy show host that prior to landing the coveted role of Cersei, she hadn’t read the “GOT” books by George R.R. Martin.
“I haven’t read his books for fear I’ll lose my life,” Headey said.
O’Brien responded, saying: “And now he’ll be furious because you haven’t read his books. Fans are not shy about their intense feelings about your character, Careen Cersei. She is tough.”
Headey was previously married to musician Peter Loughran in May 2007. The pair divorced in December 2013. She also previously was in a relationship with GOT co-star Jerome Flynn, though it did not end amicably.
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