Gemma Whelan: 'Game of Thrones' sex scenes could be a frenzied mess

·3 min read
Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones (Helen Sloan/HBO)
Gemma Whelan played bisexual warrior Yara Greyjoy in 'Game of Thrones'. (Helen Sloan/HBO)

Game Of Thrones star Gemma Whelan has revealed sex scenes on the fantasy series could be a "frenzied mess" with directors telling her to 'just go for it'.

The 40-year-old actor — also known for her appearances in Killing Eve and Gentleman Jack  played bisexual Ironborn commander Yara Greyjoy in the HBO show. She revealed she liked to discuss sex scenes with her co-stars before the cameras started rolling, as they were 'almost literally' left to get on with it.

Whelan told The Guardian: "They used to just say, ‘When we shout action, go for it!’, and it could be a sort of frenzied mess. But between the actors there was always an instinct to check in with each other. There was a scene in a brothel with a woman and she was so exposed that we talked together about where the camera would be and what she was happy with.

Read more: Killing Eve star Gemma Whelan to front new ITV crime thriller The Tower

"A director might say, ‘Bit of boob biting, then slap her bum and go!’, but I’d always talk it through with the other actor.”

Watch: 'Game of Thrones' stars ponder show's effect

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - APRIL 12: Gemma Whelan, Kit Harrington, Conleth Hill, John Bradley at the
Gemma Whelan with Kit Harrington, Conleth Hill, John Bradley at the 'Game of Thrones' season finale premiere in Belfast. (Getty Images)

In the second season of Game of Thrones Yara and Theon, played by Alfie Allen, had a notoriously intimate scene on a horse.

Whelan said the recent introduction of intimacy consultants on-set have made her feel more comfortable about sex scenes.

She said: “Alfie was very much, ‘Is this Okay? How are we going to make this work?’

Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy, Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones (Helen Sloan/HBO)
Gemma Whelan and Alfie Allen shared an intimate scene on a horse in 'Game of Thrones'. (Helen Sloan/HBO)

"With intimacy directors, it’s choreography — you move there, I move there, and permission and consent is given before you start. It is a step in the right direction.”

Earlier this year her GoT co-star Hannah Waddingham described a torture scene in the show as "the worst day of my life", claiming she was actually strapped down and waterboarded for 10 hours.

The 46-year-old English West End theatre actor played devoted follower of The High Sparrow, Septa Unella in the HBO show – who was tortured by villainous queen Cersei Lannister, played by Lena Headey, in season six.

Waddingham told Collider’s Ladies Night podcast: “There I was strapped to a wooden table with proper big straps for 10 hours. And definitely, other than childbirth, it was the worst day of my life... I was beside myself.”

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister tortures Hannah Waddingham's Septa Unella in Game of Thrones' S6 finale The Winds of Winter (HBO/Sky Atlantic)
Hannah Waddingham described her 'Game Of Thrones' torture scenes as the 'worst day of my life'. (HBO/Sky Atlantic)

The Sex Education star admitted she had opted to be submitted to the real-life torture for the sake of her performance.

Read more: GoT's Hannah Waddingham: I was waterboarded for 10 hours to film torture scene

She went on: "I had no voice at all to barely whisper, bruises already coming up like I had been attacked, and I was like, ‘I've basically just been waterboarded for 10 hours.'

“The one thing I kept thinking to myself [was] ‘the production company aren't going to let you die, so get on with it, be uncomfortable’.”

Watch: Gemma Whelan on playing a strong woman in Game of Thrones

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting