Game of Thones Star Lena Headey Covers MORE Magazine: Opens Up about Her Hit TV Show, Living With No Regrets, and Her Obsession with Tattoos

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Game of Thrones star Lena Headey plays regal, intense and ferocious Cersei on-screen, but off-screen, she’s every bit as edgy and intriguing as her character. She has numerous tattoos, swears like a sailor and has a fondness for “dark, weird stuff, things other people would say, ‘Eww, I’d never do that.’” In the April issue of MORE magazine, on newsstands March 24, Lena opens up to MORE magazine about her success, getting through depression and divorce, and breaking the mold of what a Hollywood actress should be—“I don’t do what I do because I want to be pretty and drink Champagne.”

On ignoring traditional female stereotypes:
“Sometimes you’re in a room that feels incredibly male-centric, which is hard. I can’t play that game and sometimes women can be misread if they have strong opinions. I can be very blunt. There are moments when I should shh myself. But I won’t.”

On being realistic about her success:
“Nothing is concrete. Right now I’m having a very great moment, but it’s a moment, and I always think, OK, worst-case scenario: Could I survive in my car? Would this be OK? My friends call it disaster thinking. I like to think of it as realism.”

On landing her first movie role in Jeremy Irons’s 1992 film Waterland:
“I remember thinking, ‘This is fucking amazing!’ When you’re young, you don’t realize what’s at stake.”

On her experiences with depression:
“I haven’t had a spell in a long time. I think some people’s brains are just wired that way if you’re a thinker. People who never get anxious always amaze me. The world could be breaking up and they’re saying, ‘Everything’s fine!’ Getting older and having kids, you learn how to become less serious about it all.”

On her split from musician Peter Loughran, the father of her five-year-old son Wylie, after six years of marriage:
“It’s tough. There’s a lot of hurt and sadness and disappointment. Grief. Massive grief. It’s a mourning process, and yet nobody’s died.”

On her romantic life, and being pregnant with her second child:
“I like to keep my personal life private.”

Co-star Peter Dinklage on Lena’s portrayal of Cersei:
“A lesser actress would play a wicked woman. But Lena approaches it as a mother lion—maybe because she’s a mother herself. Cersei will do anything to protect her own.”

On whether her character’s ferocity matches her own:
“Yes. When it comes to my child.”

Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss on Lena’s audition:
”We were struck by the humor she brought to the role. We never imagined Cersei as particularly funny, but Lena makes us laugh in pretty much every scene.”

On her growing collection of tattoos:
“I always want more. It’s a terrible thing. I’ll be outside a tattoo shop and hear the needle and think, I could just get a little one that nobody would see.”

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