Ever since breaking out in the states in "300," Lena Headey has been lighting up the small and silver screen playing strong, iconic women.
Over 20 years ago, Headey's film career was jump-started by a chance encounter at the Royal National Theatre in high school. Today, the actress plays character-you-love-to-hate Cersei Lannister in the hit HBO series "Game of Thrones," but, this Friday, the actress will return to theaters as the popular warrior queen for another go-round in "300: Rise of an Empire."
From hilarious fan encounters to her love of horror films, here are 15 things you probably don't know about Lena Headey.
1. Headey was born in Bermuda, where her father -- a Yorkshire police cadet -- was stationed. She grew up on the island country before her family moved back to Huddersfield, Yorkshire, when she was five.
2. Peter Dinklage and Headey were friends before "Game of Thrones," prompting the actor to recommend the English actress for the role of Cersei Lannister.
3. She practices boxing and yoga in her free time in order to stay fit.
4. The actress was first spotted by a casting agent in a one-off show when she was 17 years old. Realizing the young woman's talent, the agent took a photo and asked her to audition. The chance encounter resulted in her getting cast in her first feature film, "Waterland" (1992), which co-starred Ethan Hawke and Jeremy Irons.
5. Headey dated "The Jungle Book" co-star Jason Flemyng ("Snatch") for nine years and has a tattoo of his name in Thai on her arm.
6. She's an avid Twitter user and couldn't care less if she drunk tweets, saying, "they're just these tiny words."
7. The English actress had to learn how to skin a rabbit for her role in Terry Gilliam's "The Brothers Grimm" (2005).
8. She is a vegetarian and has campaigned against animal abuse with PETA.
9. Headey's only marriage was to Irish hairstylist/musician Peter Loughran in May 2007. The actress and Loughran have since split, but they have a young son together (Wylie, b. 2010).
10. She is friends with actress Piper Perabo, who she starred with in two films in 2005 -- "Imagine Me & You" and "The Cave."
11. The actress loves horror movies, saying they're a "real escape" and often very relaxing because she can get caught up in the fantasy of the film and just shut down for a minute.
12. One of Headey's female fans once approached her and showed the actress her "300" inspired wedding album, in which the bride dressed up as Headey's character, Queen Gorgo, for her special day.
13. She used a body double for her "risque" scene in "Game of Thrones" (that one between her and her onscreen brother...).
14. The actress has acknowledged she's terrified of appearing on talk shows.
15. She has two dogs, named Wizard and Angela Lansbury (of course).
[Sources: Wikipedia, IMDb, Vulture]