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Hannah Waddingham reveals Game of Thrones waterboarding scene gave her chronic claustrophobia

Hannah Waddingham left 'Game of Thrones' with trauma from her waterboarding scene credit:Bang Showbiz
Hannah Waddingham left 'Game of Thrones' with trauma from her waterboarding scene credit:Bang Showbiz

Hannah Waddingham has revealed she left 'Game of Thrones' with "chronic claustrophobia".

The 49-year-old actress - who played Septa Unella for eight episodes of the hit HBO fantasy show - had to be “strapped to a table with all these leather straps” for 10 hours of waterboarding and had grape juice thrown at her, which turned her hair purple, and the stunt left her with trauma.

Waterboarding is a torture method of causing a person to suffer a physical and psychological sensation similar to that of drowning by strapping them head-down on a sloping board with the mouth and nose covered while water is poured over their face.

Despite the horrific ordeal, Hannah didn't care because she was in 'Game of Thrones'.

Appearing on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert', she said: "Thrones gave me something I wasn’t expecting from it, which was chronic claustrophobia.

"It was horrific. Ten hours of being actually waterboarded...Like actually. I’m strapped to a table with all these leather straps. I couldn’t lift up my head because I said that would be too obvious that it’s loose."

The 'Fall Guy' star continued: "I had strap marks everywhere like I had been attacked.

“One of the other guys who had been shooting something else was like, ‘What has happened to you?’ And I told him everything, and he went, ‘You’re lucky. I’ve just been crawling through **** on my elbow for four days.’ And we were laughing about how both of us are in Game of Thrones, and it kind of doesn’t matter when you’re in Thrones. You just want to give the best."

Speaking during 'Collider Ladies Night' in 2021 about filming the scenes for the season six finale, she admitted it was "the worst day of my life".

She said: "Definitely other than childbirth, [it] was the worst day of my life.

"Lena (Headey, Cersei Lannister) was uncomfortable pouring liquid in my face for that long, and I was beside myself. But in those moments, you go, 'Do you serve the piece and get on with it?' Or do you chicken out and go, 'This isn't what I signed up for.'"

The episode's director, Miguel Sapochnik, asked if she was doing OK after they finished for the day, and she told him: "Not really."

To which he replied: "[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!'"