Headey at the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards
3 October 1973 |
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, United States
|Spouse(s)||Peter Loughran (m. 2007; div. 2013)|
After being scouted at age 17, Headey worked steadily as an actress in small and supporting roles in films throughout the 1990s, before finding fame for her lead performances in big-budget films such as the fantasy film The Brothers Grimm (2005), the action film 300 (2007), portraying Gorgo, Queen of Sparta, and the adventure and biographical film The Red Baron (2008).
Headey is best known for portraying Queen Cersei Lannister in HBO's hit fantasy series Game of Thrones since 2011, a performance that has earned her two consecutive Emmy award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She is also known for playing the titular character Sarah Connor on Fox's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and the villainous drug lord Ma-Ma in Dredd.
Headey was born in Hamilton, Bermuda, the daughter of Sue and John Headey. Her father, a Yorkshire police cadet, was stationed there at the time. She has one younger brother, Tim. The family moved to Somerset when she was five, and then relocated to Shelley, West Yorkshire when Headey was eleven. As a child, she took ballet lessons for a time before being told to discontinue.
Headey had her first experience of acting as a pupil at Shelley College and was noticed at the age of 17, when performing in a school production at the Royal National Theatre, being picked for a role in the 1992 film Waterland.
1990s: Debut and early roles
At the age of 17, Headey performed in a one-off show and afterwards a casting agent took a photo and asked her to audition. Later, she got a supporting role in the drama Waterland, in which she had the opportunity to work with actors who had been in the business several years before her. She landed a small role in The Remains of the Day, which came out in 1993 and received eight Academy Awards 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, alongside her co-stars received favourable reviews with James Berardinelli praising their "solid performances". On the set of The Jungle Book, she 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. Headey received several good reviews for her performance in the film. She also had roles in 2000's Gossip and 2001's The Parole Officer.
She received the Silver Iris Award for Best Actress at the 2001 Brussels European Film Festival for her role in Aberdeen. In 2002, she had a role in the mystery drama Possession alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart.
2000s: Rise to prominence
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. You meet her and she is masking who she is. I loved that her environment dictated who she is. She lives and grows up and survives in the forest. Terry and I talked about how her instincts are almost animalistic and she can see 360 degrees around her. She is aware of what is going on. That is how she is grounded. She is of the earth".
The romantic comedy-drama Imagine Me & You received a limited release and earned positive reviews. Critics praised Headey's performance as a lesbian in the film; Mick LaSalle from the San Francisco Chronicle stated that the actress "has a forthright, irresistible appeal and a face and especially a smile that suggest intelligence, integrity and lots of fun".
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 during 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 until its cancellation in May 2009. Variety praised "Headey's gritty performance as Sarah – managing to be smart, resourceful and tough, yet melancholy and vulnerable as well" and that the Chronicles "continue to deliver", getting "considerable mileage out of the constant peril" facing the characters. She was nominated twice for the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television for the role.
Headey has also appeared in a number of independent films, such as The Red Baron, a biographical film of the legendary World War I fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen, in which she appeared alongside Matthias Schweighöfer and Joseph Fiennes. Her character was 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 starred in the Ridley Scott produced 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. The film was directed by Academy Award-nominated Sean Ellis. The film was about "a woman who suspects she's being followed around London by a murderous doppelganger". The Broken was screened at the midnight portion of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and generally got average 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 titled Laid to Rest, which was first screened in 2008. However, the film went straight to video on 21 April 2009 and earned mixed reviews. Critic Mark H. Harris for About.com stated that the film "has a great look and boasts an impressive cast," referring to both Headey and co-star Thomas Dekker. Headey 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.
2010s: Game of Thrones
Since its premiere in April 2011, Headey has portrayed queen regent Cersei Lannister on the HBO series Game of Thrones, based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels. Her performance has received critical acclaim. In 2011, she was nominated for a Scream Award in the category of Best Fantasy Actress for the role. Headey was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for portraying Cersei in 2014 and 2015.
Headey made a guest appearance in the television show White Collar in the episode "Taking Account" in which she played the role of Sally. In 2012, she appeared in the 3D action science-fiction film Dredd alongside Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby. Her character is Madeline Madrigal (Ma-Ma), the leader of a drug dealing gang, and the project's primary villain. Dredd is a film adaptation of 2000 AD character Judge Dredd. The film was directed by Pete Travis with a script by Alex Garland. In May and June 2012, Lena filmed the fantasy adventure movie The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box throughout South West England, playing the role of Monica. The film was released in 2014.
She re-teamed with Ethan Hawke to co-star in The Purge, a 'micro-budget' horror film, which opened on 7 June 2013 at number one position in the United States, grossing over $US36 million over the weekend.
In 2013, Headey was cast as Jocelyn Fray in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones opposite Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower. The film never received a sequel, and Headey will not reprise her role in the upcoming TV series Shadowhunters on ABC.
In July 2015, it was reported that Headey will voice Jeopardy Mouse in a reboot of Danger Mouse which will be broadcast on CBBC in late 2015. Headey stated that "I wanted to do it because it was pure nostalgia for me. I have children now and it’s just a treat to be involved in something that you loved as a kid and be able to share it. Those moments as an actor that come along once in while are not to be missed." She will appear alongside Alexander Armstrong as Danger Mouse and Stephen Fry as Colonel K.
In the media
She has appeared on the covers of TV Guide, G3, Sunday Mirror and Germany's Filmstar. She ranked No. 64 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2007 list. She was listed at No. 4, No. 10 and No. 3 in AfterEllen's list of the Hot 100 in 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively. In 2008, Headey spoke out against animal abuse in an advert for animal welfare group PETA. Headey supports the LGBT organisation NOH8 and in April 2015 appeared on a T-shirt designed by them and sold through Represent.com to raise funds for the cause. In 2015, she appeared on the cover of More.
Headey was once engaged to Johnny Cicco, and dated actor Jason Flemyng for nine years, from 1994 to 2003. She and Flemyng met during the filming of The Jungle Book, and she had a tattoo of his name in Thai on her arm, which has since been covered. She was reportedly dating Marcos Domina, a Brazilian model, following her breakup with Flemyng. She was linked to Game of Thrones co-star Jerome Flynn, however the relationship reportedly ended badly, resulting in the two being kept apart on set. She married musician Peter Loughran in May 2007. Headey and Loughran have a son, Wylie Loughran, who was born on 31 March 2010. Headey and Loughran separated in 2011 and she filed for divorce in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on 20 July 2012. The divorce was finalized on 26 December 2013.
In February 2015, Headey confirmed she was expecting her second child in summer 2015. On 16 April 2015, Headey stated that the baby will be a girl. On 10 July 2015, she gave birth to her second child, a daughter.
Headey has been close friends with actress Piper Perabo since they starred together in the 2005 films The Cave and Imagine Me & You. She has also campaigned on behalf of animal rights. Headey was a vegetarian, however in a 2011 interview she stated she now eats meat again, albeit rarely. Headey is good friends with her Game of Thrones co-star Peter Dinklage, who she has stated first pitched the role of Cersei Lannister to her.
Headey has a number of tattoos, and has stated "I was born wearing ink." Her tattoos include a large floral design on her back as well as a Pema Chödrön quote on her ribs. She told Esquire magazine that "I love tattoos. I find it calming." Her tattoos often require covering when Headey works, although she has stated that "you can usually get away with it by keeping your clothes on."
|1993||The Summer House||Margaret|
|1993||Remains of the Day, TheThe Remains of the Day||Lizzie|
|1994||Fair Game||Ellie||Television film|
|1994||The Jungle Book||Katherine "Kitty" Brydon|
|1994||MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday||Elise Moran||Television film|
|1995||Grotesque, TheThe Grotesque||Cleo Coal|
|1995||Devil's Advocate||Clare Rigby||Television film|
|1995||Loved Up||Sarah||Television film|
|1997||Mrs Dalloway||Young Sally|
|1998||Man with Rain in His Shoes, TheThe Man with Rain in His Shoes||Sylvia Weld|
|1999||Inside-Out||Window Dresser||Short film|
|2001||Parole Officer, TheThe Parole Officer||Emma|
|2002||Anazapta||Lady Matilda Mellerby|
|2002||Gathering Storm, TheThe Gathering Storm||Ava Wigram||Television film|
|2002||Ripley's Game||Sarah Trevanny|
|2003||Actors, TheThe Actors||Dolores|
|2003||No Verbal Response||Dr. Megan Pillay|
|2005||Brothers Grimm, TheThe Brothers Grimm||Angelika|
|2005||Cave, TheThe Cave||Dr. Kathryn Jennings|
|2005||Round About Five||Girlfriend||Short film|
|2005||Imagine Me & You||Luce|
|2006||Vacancy||Pam Bishop||Short film|
|2006||300||Gorgo, Queen of Sparta|
|2007||Contractor, TheThe Contractor||DI Annette Ballard||Direct-to-video|
|2007||St Trinian's||Miss Dickinson|
|2008||Broken, TheThe Broken||Gina McVey|
|2008||Red Baron, TheThe Red Baron||Käte Otersdorf|
|2009||Devil's Wedding, TheThe Devil's Wedding||The Devil's Bride||Short film|
|2009||Laid to Rest||Cindy|
|2009||Tell Tale||Elizabeth Clemson|
|2010||Pete Smalls Is Dead||Shannah|
|2012||Dredd||Madeline "Ma-Ma" Madrigal|
|2013||Purge, TheThe Purge||Mary Sandin|
|2013||Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, TheThe 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|
|2016||Pride and Prejudice and Zombies||Post-production|
|1993||Screen Two||Margaret||Episode: "The Clothes in the Wardrobe"|
|1993||Spender||Emily Goodman||2 episodes|
|1993||How We Used To Live||Grace Palmer||3 episodes|
|1993||Soldier Soldier||Shenna Bowles||3 episodes|
|1996||Ballykissangel||Jenny Clark||Episode: "The Things We Do for Love"|
|1996–1997||Band of Gold||Colette||8 episodes|
|1997||Kavanagh QC||Natasha Jackson||Episode: "Diplomatic Baggage"|
|1997||Hunger, TheThe Hunger||Steph Reynolds||Episode: "Ménage à Trois"|
|1998||Merlin||Queen Guinevere||3 episodes|
|2004||Long Firm, TheThe Long Firm||Ruby Ryder||2 episodes|
|2006||Ultra||Penny / Ultra||Pilot|
|2008–2009||Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles||Sarah Connor||31 episodes|
|2009||Super Hero Squad Show, TheThe Super Hero Squad Show||Black Widow
Episode: "Deadly Is the Black Widow's Bite!"
|2011||White Collar||Sally||Episode: "Taking Account"|
|2011–present||Game of Thrones||Cersei Lannister||Main role|
|2014||Uncle Grandpa||Aunt Grandma||Voice
|2014||RuPaul's Drag Race||Herself||Season 6 Episode: 3 "Scream Queens"|
|2015||Danger Mouse||Jeopardy Mouse||Voice role|
|2009||Risen||Patty / Cathy / Jasmin / Lily||Voice|
|2014||Game of Thrones||Cersei Lannister||Voice and likeness|
Awards and nominations
- "Lena Headey". TV Guide.
- "Lena Headey Profile | Men's Health". Menshealth.com. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "Lena Heady on Letterman". YouTube. 1 April 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Campling, Katie (16 January 2008). "Lena gets ready to terminate TV ratings". Huddersfield Daily Examiner.
- Game of Thrones. "Game of Thrones star Lena Headey: I believe Cersei is very frightened and paranoid". Telegraph. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "Box Office / Business for The Jungle Book". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- Berardinelli, James. "Review: The Jungle Book (1994)". Reel Reviews. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Lena Headey, The Brothers Grimm Interview". Futuremovies.com.uk. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "The Cave (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "The Cave". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- LaSalle, Mick (24 June 2011). "She found the perfect wedding florist". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "300 – Lena Headey interview". IndieLondon.co.uk. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- Lowry, Brian (3 September 2008). "Review Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles". Variety. Retrieved 4 September 2008.
- Meza, Ed (6 February 2007). "Warner flies with 'Baron'". Variety.
- Smith, David (16 March 2008). "Red Baron recast as a German hero". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Tell Tale Blu-ray and DVD Art". Dread Central. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- Barnes, Jessica (6 December 2006). "Lena Headey Stars in the Broken". Moviefone. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- Chang, Justin (22 January 2008). "The Broken Movie review". Variety.
- "Sundance Review: The Broken". Cinematical. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Laid to Rest DVD Review". About.com. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Quick Hits: Set visits, Headey wraps and cameos". Winter Is Coming. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- Margaret Lyons and Denise Martin (19 August 2014). "Emmys: Who Should Win in the Drama Races?". Vulture.
- James Hibberd (14 June 2015). "Game of Thrones star on her brutal Walk of Shame". Entertainment Weekly.
- Debra Birnbaum (15 June 2015). "‘Game of Thrones’ Finale Director on Shocking Death, Cersei’s Walk (SPOILERS)". Variety.
- "SCREAM 2011". Spike TV. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
- Jacobs, Matthew (10 July 2014). "Emmy Nominations 2014: Breaking Bad, Orange Is The New Black Among Top Nominees". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- Brown, Tracy (10 July 2014). "Emmys 2014: Complete list of nominees". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "Emmy Award Nominations: Full List of 2015 Emmy Nominees". Variety. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- Gallagher, Brian (11 January 2011). "Dredd Adds Lena Headey as Ma-Ma". Movieweb.com. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Pete Travis to Direct 3-D Judge Dredd Reboot". ReelzChannel. 19 May 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- Stewart, Andrew (21 July 2011). "Lionsgate sets 'Dredd' for 2012". Variety. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- Dawtrey, Adam (11 April 2012). "Aneurin Barnard tapped for ‘Mariah Mundi". Variety. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- Coyle, Jake. "'The Purge' shocks with $36.4 million opening". Yahoo!.
- Warn, Sarah (11 May 2009). "The 2009 AfterEllen.com Hot 100". Afterellen.com. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Watch Lena Headey in Peta advert". The Guardian (UK). 9 September 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Game of Thrones stars Lena Headey and Jerome Flynn 'not on speaking terms'". Telegraph.co.uk. 13 March 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- "Game of Thrones Star Lena Headey Files for Divorce". People. 25 July 2012.
- "Wiley's birthdate". Lena Heady Facebook page. 1 April 2011.
Wylie was a year old yesterday ..
- "'Game of Thrones' star Lena Headey strikes divorce settlement with ex". Toronto Sun. 26 December 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Bacardi, Francesca (26 May 2015). "Game of Thrones Star Lena Headey Reveals Her Second Baby's Sex and Due Date!". E!. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- Berk, Philip. "You can't take your eyes off Lena Headey". Malaysia Star. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Lee, Michael J (22 March 2007). "Piper Perabo". Interview. Radio Free Entertainment.
- Lee, Michael J (22 March 2007). "Piper Perabo". Interview. Radio Free Entertainment.
- "Peta interview". peta.org.
- "Imagine Me and You Fansite". Imaginemeandyouthemovie.com. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "lena headey on Twitter: ""@cerseipls: @IAMLenaHeadey how old were you when you got your first tattoo?" I was born wearing ink .."". Twitter.com. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "Lena Headey Sexy Photos - Game of Thrones Queen Cersei Sexy Photos". Esquire. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "Lena Headey's photo "Pema's words. My new addition. " on WhoSay". Whosay.com. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "Lena Headey Tattoos". Esquire. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "Lena Headey Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "MTV Movie Awards Nominees: Pirates, Spartans – And That Crazy Kazakh". MTV. 8 May 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Empire Hero Award". Empireonline.com. Bauer Consumer Media. 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
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- Lena Headey at the Internet Movie Database
- Lena Headey at the TCM Movie Database
- Lena Headey at AllMovie