You might not have thought that anyone could take on the role of Sarah Connor that Linda Hamilton owned so completely in the Terminator films, but Lena Headey managed it. Now she’s playing the incestuous, evil queen Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones. Then I watched her being a sadistic, scar-faced gang leader called Ma-Ma in Dredd which only served to compound what I already suspected: Lena Headey is seriously kickass.
I love the fact that these three roles are pretty, erm, unsympathetic shall we say, and Lena seems totally fearless about taking that on – it’s like she doesn’t care about being popular or ladylike, she’s more interested in firing machine guns and doing pull ups and scheming to make her repulsive, psychopath of a son king. So cool!
The characters she plays are often women in a man’s world and I think that’s why I find myself rooting for her, even when the role she’s playing is technically a ‘baddie’- because when she uses her brains and brawn to kick some guy’s ass on screen, she’s doing it for all of us.
When talking about the director Kathryn Bigelow, she says “She’s playing in the boy’s sandpit, and winning. She gives us these macho movies that have such balls, and you have to remember that it’s a woman going out there and doing that.”
Maybe it’s because I’m a massive goody two shoes myself, but I’m fascinated by baddies in pop culture, and when they’re played by a strong woman, I can’t resist. Of course she’s not a baddie in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but she’s not exactly a barrel of laughs either – she’s a woman on a mission and barely cracks a smile through two entire seasons. She ain’t flirtin’ or foolin’, she’s got the future saviour of the human race to protect and evil robots cyborgs to destroy!
Oh sweet lord, I just read that she owns a dog called Angela Lansbury. I really, really hope that’s true. Also, she’s got a fantastically random Twitter style (follow her @IAMLenaHeadey) where she rants and raves about traffic jams and going to comic conventions in Milton Keynes and all sorts of weird stuff. And I didn’t even realise she’s English! That makes me love her even more.
I know Lena’s never made it through to the circle of ‘leading ladies’ in the same way as Angelina, or Keira or Jennifer Lawrence, but she deserves to. In interviews she comes across as fun, a bit geeky and a lot sweary – in short, the kind of woman you’d like to sink Jaegerbombs with in Crobar.