"There’s a real pressure on women to be beautiful and skinny. When I was in my twenties and doing a lot of audition tapes in the States, a casting director told me, 'The men take these tapes home and watch them and say, 'Who would you f-ck?'" she told Net-a-Porter’s magazine The Edit. "I’ve never played the game of going in [to auditions] and flirting; I’ve never done it and I’m very happy I didn’t."
When the interviewer asked for clarification if she thought not flirting ever cost her a job, she confirmed, "Yes, and I’m very happy I didn’t."
Now in her 40s, the actress who plays Cersei on the hit HBO fantasy series returning next week said she feels like a weight has been lifted off of her shoulders now that she's older.
“[I’m] playing women who aren’t expected to be beautiful. That pressure has gone for me,” she said. “[Male] actors can be ‘interesting,’ but there’s a real pressure on women to be beautiful and skinny.”
Headey didn’t stop there. The actress also touched on the lack of respect she got because she was a woman.
“I was talking about this with another actress, and I said, ‘Do you find that you have to say the same things seven times, whereas a man says it once and everyone listens?’”
“Male counterparts can say the same thing [I just did] and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, that’s a great idea’ and I’m like, ‘I just said that 19 times, but you chose not to listen or take it on board.’”