‘Worst day of my life’ Game of Thrones star Hannah Waddingham waterboarded for 10 hours

Game of Thrones' Cersei Lannister does the walk of shame

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Hannah Waddingham played Septa Unella in seasons five and six of Game of Thrones. The actress has since opened up about a traumatic experience she faced while filming the HBO series.

The 46-year-old detailed being strapped down on a wooden table and waterboarded for 10 hours on the set of Game of Thrones.

Hannah admitted that the scene was the “worst day of my life” in a new interview.

Viewers may recall her character Septa Unella being tortured by Cersei Lannister (played by Lena Headey).

The actress, who also starred also appeared in Ted Lasso and Sex Education, admitted she first thought the waterboarding addition was a mistake after she was told she’d need a wetsuit top.

Hannah explained: “There I was strapped to a wooden table with proper big straps for 10 hours. And definitely, other than childbirth, it was the worst day of my life.

“Because Lena was uncomfortable pouring liquid in my face for that long, and I was beside myself.”

“But in those moments you have to think, do you serve the piece and get on with it or do you chicken out and go, ‘No, this isn’t what I signed up for, blah, blah, blah?'”

Hannah added that she didn’t really feel good following the waterboarding scene and said she had suffered some painful physical symptoms.

“I could barely speak because I had been screaming through The Mountain’s hand,” Hannah told Collider.

“So I had no voice at all to barely whisper, bruises already coming up like I had been attacked and I was like, ‘I’ve basically just been waterboarded for 10 hours.'”

The actress explained that she suffered lasting consequences following the harrowing day.

Hannah revealed that the scenes had left her with claustrophobia around water and she recalled how she got herself into a “terrible panic” when watching another show which had an actor’s face in water.


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The Game of Thrones star concluded that she wanted to make the scene as realistic as possible.

Hannah said: “The one thing I kept thinking to myself, ‘The production company aren’t going to let you die, so get on with it, be uncomfortable’.”

Express.co.uk has contacted HBO representatives for comment.

Hannah’s Septa Unella had tortured Cersei before the waterboarding scene and famously shouted “shame” during Cersei’s walk of atonement to the Red Keep.

Since starring in Game of Thrones, Hannah has gained more international recognition with her portrayal of Rebecca Welton in Ted Lasso.

The actress transforms from a bitter ex-wife to a confident club owner in just one season.

Ahead of her Ted Lasso role, Hannah appeared in several hit West End productions and remained close to London so that she can always be close to her six-year-old daughter, whose name she has not publicly revealed.

Game of Thrones is available to stream on NOW TV now.

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