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Lena Headey – MovieActors.com


Headey in THE RED BARON.

About Lena Headey (1973 – )

Lena Headey was born in Hamilton, Bermuda, the daughter of Sue and John Headey. Her father was a Yorkshire police cadet who was stationed there at the time. She has one younger brother, Tim. The family moved to Somerset when she was five, then relocated to Shelley, West Yorkshire when Headey was eleven. She took ballet lessons for a time as a child before being told to discontinue.

Headey had her first acting experience as a student at Shelley College and was noticed at the age of 17 while performing in a school production at the Royal National Theatre. This led to her being picked for a role in the 1992 film Waterland. She then landed a small role in the prestigious Merchant-Ivory production of The Remains of the Day, which came out in 1993 and received eight Academy Award nominations.

She played Katherine in Disney's The Jungle Book, released in 1994. The film had positive reviews and earned nearly $44 million in the United States. Headey and her co-stars received favorable reviews. On the set of The Jungle Book, she first met her boyfriend of nine years, actor Jason Flemyng.

After a number of film roles, she appeared opposite Vanessa Redgrave in the 1997 romantic drama Mrs Dalloway. Headey landed a supporting role in a higher-profile film titled Onegin, which starred Ralph Fiennes and Liv Tyler. The following year, she had the starring role in the drama Aberdeen, from which she again received several good reviews. She also had roles in 2000's Gossip and 2001's The Parole Officer. In 2002, she had a role in the mystery drama Possession alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart.

Headey co-starred with Matt Damon and Heath Ledger in Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm, which was released in August 2005. The film received mixed reviews. In an interview Headey spoke about her character in the film: "I loved the fact that she was a tomboy. That is what attracted me to her, that she wasn't this predictable female character in this big film."

In 2005, she starred with actress Piper Perabo in the films The Cave and Imagine Me & You. The Cave was disliked by critics and performed poorly at the box office.

Headey played Queen Gorgo in Zack Snyder's 300. Headey had to do nude scenes in the film. "It's always weird, the thought of taking your clothes off in front of 20 people and then to have it projected in front of many more", she told IndieLondon in an interview. "I think it was necessary because we only get that scene to establish their relationship. It is a very obvious moment but I think it does it in quite a beautiful way."

In addition to her film work, Headey starred in Fox's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a television spin-off of James Cameron's popular Terminator franchise. Headey played Sarah Connor from January 2008 to April 2009. The show ran for 31 episodes in two seasons prior to its cancellation in May 2009.

Headey has also appeared in a number of independent films, such as The Red Baron, a biographical film loosely based on the life of the legendary World War I fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen, in which she appeared alongside Matthias Schweighöfer and Joseph Fiennes. She played the love interest Käte Otersdorf, a nurse who may or may not have had a romance with Richthofen in real life. She also appeared as the stuffy Miss Dickinson in the 2007 release of the St. Trinian's series. She also starred in the Ridley Scott production of Tell-Tale, a film based on the short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe. The movie went straight to DVD on 25 May 2008.

In 2008, Headey starred in the horror film The Broken, directed by Academy Award-nominated Sean Ellis. The film tells the story of "a woman who suspects she's being followed around London by a murderous doppelgänger". It was screened at the midnight portion of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival to middling reviews. Some critics praised Headey's performance, including Kim Koynar of Cinematical, who wrote that Headey "largely carries the film, and does so quite ably".

Headey was cast in the lead part in another horror film, Laid to Rest, which was first screened in 2008 and went straight to video on in April of 2009 earning mixed reviews in the process. Headey also had a part in a short film called The Devil's Wedding. She provided her voice for an episode of the Cartoon Network TV series The Super Hero Squad Show playing Black Widow and Mystique.

Starting in April of 2011, Headey has starred as queen regent Cersei Lannister on the acclaimed HBO series Game of Thrones, based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Her performance has consistently won wide critical acclaim.

Headey made a guest appearance in the TV show White Collar in the episode "Taking Account", where she played the role of Sally. In 2012, she appeared memorably in the 3D action science-fiction film Dredd, with Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby. She plays the show's main villain, Madeline Madrigal (Ma-Ma), the leader of a drug dealing gang. Dredd is a film adaptation of the 2000 AD character Judge Dredd. The film was directed by Pete Travis with a script by Alex Garland.

Headey re-teamed with Ethan Hawke to co-star in The Purge, a small-budget horror film that opened in June of 2013 at number one position in the United States, grossing over $36 million on its first weekend.

Following up on the success of 300, Headey reprised her role as Queen Gorgo in the 2014 sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire.

Headey also appeared in the 2014 biopic Low Down, a film that detailed the life of jazz pianist Joe Albany, as well as playing the wife of Patrick Wilson's character in Zipper in 2015.

As of this writing, Headey will next be seen in the upcoming comedy horror film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, with her former Game of Thrones co-star Charles Dance.

Lena Headey's notable movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
1992 Waterland Young Mary
1993 The Summer House Margaret
1993 The Remains of the Day Lizzie
1993 Century Miriam
1994 Fair Game Ellie
1994 The Jungle Book Katherine "Kitty" Brydon
1994 MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday Elise Moran
1995 The Grotesque Cleo Coal
1995 Devil's Advocate Clare Rigby
1995 Loved Up Sarah
1997 Face Connie
1997 Mrs. Dalloway Young Sally
1998 The Man with Rain in His Shoes Sylvia Weld
1999 Inside-Out Window Dresser
1999 Onegin Olga
2000 Ropewalk Allison
2000 Gossip Cathy Jones
2000 Aberdeen Kaisa
2001 The Parole Officer Emma
2002 Anazapta Lady Matilda Mellerby
2002 The Gathering Storm Ava Wigram
2002 Possession Blanche Glover
2002 Ripley's Game Sarah Trevanny
2003 The Actors Dolores
2003 No Verbal Response Dr. Megan Pillay
2005 The Brothers Grimm Angelika
2005 The Cave Dr. Kathryn Jennings
2005 Round About Five Girlfriend
2005 Imagine Me & You Luce
2006 Vacancy Pam Bishop
2006 300 Gorgo, Queen of Sparta
2007 The Contractor DI Annette Ballard
2007 St Trinian's Miss Dickinson
2008 The Broken Gina McVey
2008 The Red Baron Käte Otersdorf
2008 Whore Mom
2009 The Devil's Wedding The Devil's Bride
2009 Laid to Rest Cindy
2009 Tell Tale Elizabeth Clemson
2010 Pete Smalls Is Dead Shannah
2012 Dredd Madeline "Ma-Ma" Madrigal
2013 The Purge Mary Sandin
2013 The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Jocelyn Fray
2014 The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box Monica
2014 Low Down Sheila Albany
2014 300: Rise of an Empire Gorgo, Queen of Sparta
2015 Zipper Jeannie Ellis
2015 Unity Narrator
2016 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Lady Catherine de Bourgh

Lena Headey's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
1993 Screen Two Margaret
1993 Spender Emily Goodman
1993 How We Used To Live Grace Palmer
1993 Soldier Soldier Shenna Bowles
1996 Ballykissangel Jenny Clark
1996–1997 Band of Gold Colette
1997 Kavanagh QC Natasha Jackson
1997 The Hunger Steph Reynolds
1998 Merlin Queen Guinevere
2004 The Long Firm Ruby Ryder
2006 Ultra Penny / Ultra
2008–2009 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Sarah Connor
2009 The Super Hero Squad Show Black Widow/Mystique
2011 White Collar Sally
2011–present Game of Thrones Cersei Lannister
2014–2015 Uncle Grandpa Aunt Grandma
2015–present Danger Mouse Jeopardy Mouse
Lena Headey in 300 (2006).
Headey in 300: Rise of an Empire (2014).
Lena as Ma-Ma in Dredd (2012).
Heady in Game of Thrones (2015).
Heady in Imagine Me and You (2005).
Lena Headey in The Broken (2008).
Headey in The Brothers Grimm (2005).
Lena Headey in The Cave (2005).
Headey and Ethan Hawke in The Purge (2013).
Lena Headey in Zipper (2015).

Memorable Quotes

“Nothing I do is by design. It's always the result of a happy accident. I didn't have a career plan. It has just become the way it is. It's all good fun.”

“I hate being looked at. Can't stand it. I know, I know - I picked the wrong career. I should have been a doctor. If you play certain parts you have this nice face painted on you, and then you have feel as if you have a responsibility to this idea of being beautiful. I hate that about our business.”

“One day I can be ecstatically up, and the next, I can feel this real blankness, a deadness almost, which is scary.”

“I'm small but quite tough. When incensed, I can swing a punch.”

“There's a perceived inverse relation between looks and talent. Look at Charlize Theron - she made herself ugly for 'Monster' and suddenly everyone said 'she's a genius.' It shouldn't be like that.”

“There's nothing more exciting for an actor than a chance to lose, to be someone who has lost - especially if it's someone who starts off with a veneer of control. To be broken is wonderful.”

Did You Know

Had a tattoo on her arm saying 'Jason' in Thai.

Had to learn how to skin a rabbit for The Brothers Grimm (2005).

Lives in Laurel Canyon, California with her husband and their two dogs: Wizard and Angela Lansbury. [January 2008]

Is close friends with her Game of Thrones (2011) co-star, Peter Dinklage, who suggested she audition for the role of "Cersei Lannister".