Hannah Waddingham Says Filming “Horrific” ‘Game Of Thrones’ Waterboarding Scene Left Her With “Chronic Claustrophobia”

Hannah Waddingham credits Game Of Thrones with transforming her career, but she didn’t love everything about filming the epic HBO series.

Waddingham played religious zealot Septa Unella in the Thrones franchise and featured in a torture scene, in which Cersei Lannister, played by Lena Headey, poured wine on her face.

More from Deadline

She told The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that they filmed the scene for 10 hours and it was like being “actually waterboarded” in a quest for authenticity.

Waddingham said the scene was “horrific” and, five years on from the final season, she continues to have “chronic claustrophobia” as a result of her experience.

Waddingham said she had discussed the condition with Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss since filming had wrapped. “Thrones gave me something I wasn’t expecting,” she said.

The Ted Lasso and The Fall Guy actress has talked about shooting the scene in the past on Collider Ladies Night, during which she said it was second only to childbirth in being the worst day of her life.

“Lena was uncomfortable pouring liquid in my face for that long, and I was beside myself,” she said. “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.'”

Waddingham added that the scene was originally meant to feature Unella being raped by Gregor Clegane, known as The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson).

“I think they’d had so many complaints about the rape of Sansa [Stark, played by Sophie Turner] that they chose not to go with it,” she said. “Unbelievably, they changed it quite at the last minute. I think they possibly changed it when I was mid-air flying to Belfast because suddenly I got sent these new sides that said I would need a wetsuit top. I thought they’d sent me the wrong bits.”

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.