Dork Hero : Lena Headey

Lena Headey as Sarah Connor


This week’s Dork Hero is a woman who made a name for herself in the past few years by playing some of the toughest, hardest women on screens both big and small. With an ongoing role as one of the central characters in HBO’s epic Game of Thrones, and plenty of geek cred to go around, she is proving a formidable force to be reckoned with.

Meet the woman behind Cersei Lannister (and plenty of others)…

Lena Headey


Who is she?

Name : Lena Headey

Birthday : October 3rd 1973 (age 39, born in Bermuda)

Claim to fame : A string of solid performances in the likes of Waterland, The Remains of the Day, Onegin and Aberdeen.

Currently playing : Amoral and cold-hearted queen Cersei Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones

Dork Hero because : she transitions from smaller indie roles (such as Luce in Imagine Me and You) to big budget blockbusters (Dredd, 300) with ease – she’s proof that women can play solid action roles – in her daily life, she’s an animal rights activist, a vegetarian and practises boxing and Bikram Yoga, so you can bet she’s healthy.


Notable roles

Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo in 300

Queen Gorgo (300 – Zack Snyder)

Based on the 1998 comic series by Frank Miller, 300 is very much a testosterone-fest from the get-go. A buff Gerard Butler as Spartan king Leonidas, a buff Rodrigo Santoro (remember him?) as “god-King” Xerxes, and a buff Michael Fassbender as a soldier called Stelios.

Buff men all around, so the sight of Lena Headey’s Queen Gorgo is a very welcome one indeed. Rallying support for Leonidas amongst the citizens of Sparta, not hesitating to kill a traitor in a fit of anger… it’s not the biggest role in the film, but Headey makes it work. It wasn’t the first time she kicked ass on screen, and it would definitely not be the last.

Buy 300 on DVD on Amazon UK


Sarah Connor (Terminator : The Sarah Connor Chronicles – Fox)

Stepping into a role that Linda Hamilton made iconic is not the easiest of tasks. But Headey brought something fresh to the role of Sarah Connor, playing (in her own words) “a mother, who is a single parent, bringing up a teenage son, who also happens to save the world- as a byline…”

Despite being well-received and ranking as the highest-rated scripted new series of the 07-08 television season, and getting a full second season, the plug was pulled far too early. It wasn’t renewed for a third season, despite fierce campaigning from the fans. But it is another memorable role for Headey, cementing her status as a tough woman on screen. And, of course, the series lives on in repeats and with the fan community.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles Complete First and Second Season is available on Amazon UK.


Madeline “Ma-Ma” Madrigal (Dredd – Pete Travis)

Based on the 2000AD comic Judge Dredd, this British-South African take on the judge and his violent world was released last year. With Karl Urban as the titular Judge and Olivia Thirlby as his inexperienced rookie partner Anderson, it was left to Headey to portray the Big Bad of the film. The Big Bad just happened to be an ultra violent prostitute-turned-drug lord called Ma-Ma.

The sole supplier of a dangerously addicting new drug called “Slo-Mo” (slowing the user’s perception of time to 1% of normal), she is first seen skinning three rogue drug dealers and throwing them off the top floor of a 200-storey slum tower block. It’s safe to say, you do not mess with her.

Dredd is available on DVD from Amazon UK.


Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones – HBO)

Greedy, amoral, extremely cruel. Intelligent, stunning, fiercely protective. There are plenty more words to describe Cersei Lannister, but to get the full grasp of just how much of a terrifying character she is, you need to get on board with Game of Thrones.

Queen of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, Cersei is desperately hungry for power. Having maintained an incestuous relationship with her twin brother Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), all of her three children were fathered with him and not her husband, King Robert Barratheon. Deeply loyal, she will go through extreme lengths to protect her children and Jaime.

The Lannister motto is Hear Me Roar! which is certainly appropriate for Cersei. Then again, its unofficial motto is A Lannister Always Pays His Debts

The complete season 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones is available at Amazon UK.


What’s next?

  • Playing Jocelyn Fray in the upcoming The Mortal Instruments : City of Bones adaptation (and starting pre-production on its sequel, City of Ashes).
  • Reprising the role of Queen Gorgo in 300 : Rise of an Empire.
  • Playing the role of Monica in fantasy-adventure film Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box.
  • The fourth series of Game of Thrones, of course.

Jillian Boyd

Jillian Boyd is a lifestyle blogger, author of romantic/erotic fiction and a self-confessed film addict. Likes Doctor Who, Hannibal, Matt Fraction and David Aja's Hawkeye comics, crafting and baking.

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  1. Helen Brown says

    THRICE YES. She is _glorious_ as Cersei. Ma-Ma must’ve been one of the best movie roles for an actress in years. She killed. KILLED.

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