What's Life Like After 'Game of Thrones'? Finally, Nobody Is Asking Lena Headey

Lena Headey attends the 71st Emmy Awards 2019 - Getty-H 2020
Dan MacMedan/WireImage

Lena Headey sat for 30 minutes in front of a nearly sold-out audience at Laemmle Santa Monica on Feb. 29 fielding questions and offering answers (from amusing to sobering) following a screening of her new film, the intimate refugee drama The Flood, written by Helen Kingston and directed by Anthony Woodley.

It proved to be a weighty conversation, understandably so considering the film’s subject matter, but the real shocker was that not one query centered on Game of Thrones, the show that gave Headey global fame thanks to eight seasons playing Cersei Lannister. Even more surprising because her GoT colleague Iain Glenn, aka Jorah Mormont, plays her boss in The Flood, which follows Headey's hardened, alcoholic immigration officer who decides the fate of an asylum seeker played by Ivanno Jeremiah (who turned up to the Q&A and even asked a question of his co-star).

Instead, Headey was asked for suggestions on what can be done about the global refugee crisis (“Just fucking love each other — it’s really simple”); how she approached playing a potentially unlikable immigration officer (“I don’t do what I do to be liked, I do what I do because it interests me”); why she chose the film (“It doesn’t tell you to think a certain way; it’s very honest and leaves you to breathe and come to your own conclusion”); how it was to be in the indie world (“I love being part of small things that have an energy”); and her take on social media’s rampant negativity (“I don’t read those comments, although sometimes I do and I don’t reply”).

Producer Luke Healy encouraged audience members to spread word about their film, which released last year in the U.K., emphasizing how difficult it is to sell tickets to a film about refugees and global politics. Even Headey joked that Healy wouldn't spring for tickets to such a film on a night out with his family. “You’re going to see Fast and Furious 9.”

The only GoT nod came when one fan said she loved Headey’s work and attended a live concert recently and heard a Cersei voiceover. That's when Headey herself brought up the subject, plugging House of the Dragon, a prequel slated for 2022. “There’s a spinoff, guys — it’s coming,” she teased.

A version of this story first appeared in the March 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.