"I was strapped to a wooden table with proper big straps for 10 hours," Hannah Waddingham said

By Dory Jackson
May 24, 2021 04:58 PM
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Hannah Waddingham is recalling a particularly tough day at the office.

The Game of Thrones actress recently revealed that filming her most harrowing scene, in which her character, Unella, was waterboarded in season 6, was not her favorite day on the job.

During a recent appearance on Collider Ladies Night, the Ted Lasso star revealed that her character "was meant to be raped by The Mountain" but she believes that they changed the storyline after the "many complaints about the rape of Sansa [played by Sophie Turner]."

Instead, Waddingham said that deviation was made last-minute and that it required her to wear a wetsuit top.

"I thought they'd sent me the wrong bits and sure enough, when I got there, I was then put in a wetsuit top," Waddingham, 46, said. "I was like, 'Because?' And they went, 'Oh, it's waterboarding instead.' And I was like, 'Oh, well, we're not actually doing waterboarding.' [And they said], 'No, no, no - we are.' And 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."

HBO did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

The actress then recalled how her former costar Lena Headey was "uncomfortable pouring liquid" onto her face over a long period of time. Waddingham, for her part, remembered being "beside myself."

"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?'" Waddingham said.

Hannah Waddingham
Credit: HBO

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"And then, the funny thing was after we'd finished shooting it for the whole day, and people like Miguel Sapochnik, the director, by the way, walking past with a cup of tea and a sandwich on-the-go and going, 'Hi honey, you alright?' And I was like, 'Not really,'" she continued. "[He then said], 'The crew have just been saying we are actually really waterboarding you here.' And I was like, 'Yup, you don't need to tell me that!'"

As she returned to her hotel after the shoot, Waddingham ran into costar Eugene Simon (a.k.a. Lancel Lannister) who had asked her what had happened. She recalled having "no voice at all to barely whisper" and "bruises already coming up" as she explained to Simon, 28, that she had been waterboarded for 10 hours.

"He went, 'Mate, I've just been crawling through s--- for four days on my elbows,'" she recalled. "So we were like, 'See? You haven't been in Game of Thrones unless you've been really, really, battered around.'"

After the episode aired in 2016, Headey, 47, told Entertainment Weekly that Game of Thrones went with "the tame version." She added, "It's pretty bad still though. I'd take being exploded in the Sept over that any day."

Hannah Waddingham
Hannah Waddingham
| Credit: Darren Bell/Getty

Waddingham played Unella, a Septa of the Faith of the Seven, during the show's fifth and sixth seasons. After her time on the acclaimed HBO series, she has landed multiple roles on shows, such as Sex Education and Krypton, and films, including The Hustle.

She is currently starring as Rebecca Welton opposite Jason Sudeikis on Ted Lasso, for which she won a Critics Choice Award in March for best supporting actress in a comedy series. The Apple TV+ show, which is returning for its second season on July 23, was also up for a Screen Actors Guild Award earlier this year for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.