Interview with ‘Game of Thrones’ star Natalia Tena
I catch Natalia Tena during a quieter moment at Collectormania, one of the largest autograph-signing conventions in the country. The 27-year-old actress has spent the day signing autographs and meeting fans, and when I speak to her she seems a bit tired. However, she is more than happy to share her thoughts, offering me up answers peppered with expletives.
The second series of Game of Thrones has just finished airing in the UK and much has happened over the past ten weeks. The show is about the power struggle between the seven kingdoms for the Iron Throne in the fictional world of Westeros, whoever sits on the Iron Thrones rules over Westeros.
Tena plays Osha, a wilding woman, whose people live beyond the Wall and outside of the seven kingdoms. The wildings live off the land and are considered to be savages by others. After being captured in series one, Osha has been serving the Stark family and helps the Stark children to escape after their home is invaded and they become prisoners.
In order to divert attention during the getaway, Osha seduces Theon Greyjoy, played by Alfie Allen, who has taken over the Starks’ homeland of Winterfell. The seduction scene involved Tena stripping naked and shots of full frontal nudity.
I ask her how she felt about doing the scene and Tena does not mince her words. ‘I don’t give a f**k about nakedness. As an actor, […] obviously if it calls for it. You’re not just going to get naked otherwise that’s just basically doing porn. But if it calls for it, I really think you should get over yourself.’
Tena explains that she asked the makers about wearing a pubic wig or even growing her hair for the scene. ‘I was a bit upset about the fact that they showed my minge without hair because I think my character would have a massive bush. I would have muff, like a muff coming down the thighs.’
Just like Rome and Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Game of Thrones is well-known for its bare breasts and sex. In each episode there is at least one nude or semi-naked woman yet the male characters are rarely seen unclothed. Does Tena think there is a disparity in the nudity ratio between men and women?
‘There’s that in everything in the world. I think it’s really unfair, every actor, any actress has had her t*ts out. Every single actress I know. Blokes it’s like, let’s see some c**k. Do you know what I mean? Let’s make it more even.’
Nudity to one side, Tena effuses about working on the programme.
‘I love this character. I love being her, I really love it. I like struggling with the Northern accent but that’s also what helps me make her. I love all the people.’ The series is made up of a huge ensemble cast with a majority of British actors. ‘It’s actually quite hard to get that bond whereas in Game of Thrones you’re always stuck in Belfast where it’s cold and wet. That bond, it’s great and I love it.’
Game of Thrones is adapted from a series of books by George R.R. Martin known as A Song of Ice and Fire. So far five books have been published but Martin plans to write seven in total. Interestingly, Tena’s portrayal as Osha has had an impact upon the way Martin now sees the character. He has said in interviews that Tena’s turn as the character is far more mesmerizing than in the books and that he will have to make her character more interesting in the next novel.
Tena tells me that she has read all of the books – ‘they’re absolutely amazing’. She goes on to comment: ‘I’m really terrified that he’s not going to write the last one for ages. I’m just terrified. I can’t wait that long. I need it now in my life. But now I think the pressure might be on.’ She asks me about whether I have read the books before saying: ‘Get involved, you will lose a good chunk of your life for a while. Two months you won’t want to talk to people. That’s fine. You’re allowed to do that.’
Earlier this year she acted in Bel Ami starring Robert Pattinson and Uma Thurman. ‘F**k, I still haven’t seen this movie. Is it good?’ To which I admit that I don’t know. ‘I was like, why didn’t you invite me to the premiere? I was in it. My mum, she didn’t know I was in it and the other day she was like ‘we should go see this movie’. F**k off. I’m not paying money in the cinema for that film. But I really want to see it at some point.’ She was also in romantic comedy Tonight You’re Mine which was filmed over five days at T in the Park this year. On top of that she has recently finished working on a crime thriller called Falcon in Spain.
Along with acting, Tena is the lead singer and accordion player in a six-piece band called Molotov Jukebox which she initially set up three-and-a-half years ago. ‘My mission is to make people dance and sweat and smile and hopefully get laid.’ She is currently touring with Molotov Jukebox and will be going to Brazil to perform before returning to film the third series of Game of Thrones in August.
For information about Collectormania visit: www.collectormania.com
Image credit: Getty ImagesTagged in: game of thrones, harry potter
Recent Posts on Arts
- Crowds at Lahore Lit Fest ignore bomb risks and raise hopes for Pakistan’s future
- Rolo Tomassi Interview: “It's comforting to know that we've not been treated as a novelty”
- Goblin's Claudio Simonetti on Profondo Rosso reaching the big 4-0
- Friday Book Design Blog: The Ecliptic, by Benjamin Wood
- Ask the Author: Vivian French
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter