Saturday, 23 November 2013

interview: Lena Headey

I grabbed a very quick interview with Lena Headey on the set of the Hallmark mini-series Merlin, in which she played Guinevere, on 11th February 1998. This has never been published.

How’s it going from your point of view?
"It’s very cold. I’ve only been in it for about a week; all my stuff’s been squished into the last week, really."

Why was that?
"Because they had so much to do. Merlin and Arthur are the main guys anyway, along with Mab, so they did all that first. All my stuff is in the studio, although I was in Wales for a couple of days, which was gorgeous. I’d never been out there and I loved it. But then I spent most of my life in here, in this dark, dingy studio."

How did you get this role?
"Just through an audition, really. I went along, met them. They went, ‘Do you want it?’, I went, ‘All right.’ That was it."

What did you know about the production before hand?
"Nothing. They didn’t have a script and it was real last minute casting; I think they kind of panicked. Luckily I didn’t have any spots that week so I got it."

Have you done a production of this size before?
"Not really. I did The Jungle Book about four years ago, with Jason Scott Lee, which was quite big, but nothing with this much weird stuff going on."

Is it quite daunting, being on a production this size?
"It’s not, actually, it’s kind of more fun. It’s still stressful, but everyone seems to be not so much into heavy drama; everyone’s having a bit more of a giggle. So it’s not at all stressful. It’s a big ensemble piece anyway."

As queen, have you got to wear some pretty spectacular costumes?
"Yes, that’s been quite a nice aspect. There’s my wig, obviously. I’m usually in red because I’m a scarlet woman."

Has the make-up and hair been a pain?
"No, not really. Having long hair has been nice actually."

Does your character age at all?
"No, she doesn’t. It’s so brief, this role. I have about three scenes with Arthur and the rest are getting it on with Lancelot. Then I’m called a whore and tried to be burnt and then I fuck off. So it’s so quick."

Do you have to do any horse-riding?
"I was supposed to, but they took that scene out. It’s quite disappointing. This is why it’s crap to be a goody."

What about the burning at the stake?
"That was all right. I suddenly thought, ‘Oh, Michael Jackson incident! I can feel it coming on!’"

Were the flames added in post?
"No, there were actually flames there, but it was fine. That was my most exciting thing."

Has it been a fun project?
"Yes, I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been very short for me, though."

What’s Steve Barron like as a director?
"Terrible! No, he’s great, he’s just such a lovely man."

Anything lined up after this?
"Yes, I’m going on to do a thing called Onegin with Ralph Fienes and Liz Hurley."

Are you doing location work on that?
"No, I’m again stuck in a studio.”

interview originally posted 3rd December 2005

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