It has been a big year for actress Lena Headey, and believe it or not, Game of Thrones was only part of it. The 46-year-old wrapped up her 8-year-long tenure as Cersei Lannister back in May when the series came to its conclusion, marking the end of an era for her and for all of pop culture. In the months since, Headey has been decompressing and getting back to work.
Headey is a beloved star even outside of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. She got her first role in a major motion picture back in 1992 with Waterland, and came onto the genre fiction radar in 2007 with 300. She played Queen Gorgo in the film, as well as its sequel.
Headey also played the starring role in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles in 2008, so all eyes were on her this year as the franchise saw a bit of a reprisal. Of course, she is now a global star outside the bounds of any one franchise, and she has done a lot with the platform stardom affords.
Headey is an active participant in social media as well, and not just for the sake of promotion or publicity. Headey engages with fans and makes her voice heard, even when some followers do not like what she has to say. In 2019, that has lead to plenty of arguments — as Cersei and otherwise.
Of course, it is no secret that many fans were disappointed with Cersei's role in the Game of Thrones finale. More than a few critics joked about the fact that Headey's character spent about two seasons standing on the same balcony, swirling a glass of wine menacingly as she stared out over her city.
Headey is not quite so passive. Here's a look at what the A-lister has been up to since the Game of Thrones finale earlier this year.
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Outside of Game of Thrones, the first thing many fans might associate with Headey is social media activism. The actress is outspoken on issues of animal rights, LGBTQ rights and immigration. That is all the more true these days, as Headey has been very vocal about her opposition to Brexit, President Donald Trump and other big political issues.
These days, Headey often posts about environmental issues, including her support for iconic teenage activist Greta Thunberg. She also supports various initiatives for mental health, gun law reform and diversity in entertainment. Above all, however, Headey advocates for compassion and thoughtfulness in her posts.prevnext
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Headey picked up a new tattoo back in September, right on the back of her hand. The ink might have looked out of place on Queen Cersei, but for her, the intricate little scarab drawing was a perfect fit.
Headey has other tattoos as well, including a huge floral design on her back and a Pema Chodron quote on her ribs. Back in 2014 she told Esquire that she often has to get her tattoos covered for work, but that she finds it to be worth it.
"I love tattoos. I find it calming," she said.prevnext
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And that was that... what a night .. my brothers from others mothers... or the same mothers .. whatever it’s confusing .. I love you and couldn’t have done this without you both, no one more daft , kind or supportive... I will cherish all of it. @nikolajwilliamcw #peterdinklage #Lannistersforever 😼😼😼💚
Headey picked up several awards in the 2019 season, fresh off of Game of Thrones and a few other big roles. She was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the Emmys, and Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films awards. She also won a Gold Derby Award, naming her the Drama Supporting Actress of the Decade.prevnext
Game of Thrones was only one of the massive fantasy adaptations that Headey starred in this year, the other being The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance on Netflix. Headey played Maudra Fara on the series, which used real puppets to recreate the magic of the original film. She was acclaimed for this performance a well.prevnext
Headey's work and her activism intersected over the summer when she starred in The Flood, a dark drama about an immigration officer deciding on the case of an asylum seeker. She shared the screen with her Game of Thrones co-star Iain Glen, who played Ser Jorah Mormont on the series.prevnext
Of course, Headey spent plenty of this year reflecting on Game of Thrones along with the rest of the cast and crew. She was in many featurettes, documentaries and interview talking about how profoundly the show effected her life and how badly she would miss it going forward. However, Headey did not attend the San Diego Comic Con panel back in July, nor other high profile events that some stars took part in.prevnext
Just this month, Headey gave a unique interview on Tig Notaro's Funny or Die show Under A Rock. The conceit of the show is that Notaro does not watch much TV or movies, and is therefore woefully unaware of who is famous and why. In a nine-minute segment, she tried to guess who Headey was and why she was famous while Headey laughed through the anonymity.
"Why on Earth did you do this show?" Notaro asked at one point.
"Cause I think you're a mad genius," Headey replied.
As Notaro tried to find familiar ground with Headey, one stand-out moment was Headey revealing that people on the street who do recognize her constantly yell "Shame!" in her direction. This is a reference to Cersei's infamous shame-walk on the series.
"They shout it in the street, at airports, when I'm with my children, and the word is 'Shame!' It's a good one as a mother, isn't it?" Headey said.prevnext
Other Upcoming Projects
Finally, Headey has plenty of other projects on the way that she has been hard at work on in 2019. The actress has one movie in post-production, according to IMDb, called Gunpowder Milkshake. It is due out some time in 2020.0comments
Headey is currently filming Twist, another film slated for release next year, where she shares the screen with Michael Caine. Finally, she has two more films in pre-production, with no release date announced.
We can only assume these are the tip of the iceberg for Headey. Having conquered the Seven Kingdoms with wit and wine, she now has her eyes set on the entertainment world.prev