Season four of Game of Thrones was so gripping that even the actors starring in it were physically affected by it.
It may have been bold, violent and kinky, but it certainly left a mark.
Actress Natalia Tena, who played Osha in the first three season and is in the minority who has not been brutally murdered on screen, said: “I think people love that. That’s what people like, isn’t it? Everyone thrives off something that’s a bit hard to watch.”
She added: “The last one I just watched, when Brienne gets kicked in the c***, I literally screamed. I was flinching so much for her.
“Or when [Oberyn Martell] gets his eyes gouged out, I was like ‘wow, Jesus’.
“I had to look away and I know how it was done. I can see them on the day doing all the prosthetics and the blood and the make-up and still it does something to me physically.
“And still we like that, don’t we? We want an experience like that.”
The 29-year-old, who lives on a houseboat which moves around the capital, is hopeful that her character will make a comeback on the series.
She said: “I don’t know yet (if I will). They haven’t told me yet. If the books are anything to go by, I’m not sure.
“They kind of are going with the books, amazingly. What they have done more is edit parts and given them to existing characters now, that’s what I get the sense of. I would like to.”
Away from the hugely successful Game of Thrones, Natalia has been working on other acting jobs and with her band Molotov Jukebox.
The six piece bill themselves as Gyp-Step, a phrase coined by a fan to describe their wide ranging influences from gypsy jazz to heavy metal.
Their debut album Carnival Flower is out now.
The lead single, Neon Lights, is inspired by London and characterises the city as a woman.
Natalia said she was inspired by Ben Aaronovitch’s book Rivers of London.
Natalia said: “I had been wanting to write a song about London for ages but it just didn’t come out right. It was a bit cheesey, a bit sentimental and a bit, urgh.
“That and combined with hanging out with Oona (Chaplin, fellow Game of Thrones actress), who came up with a line from the chorus, I thought ‘let’s just make London a woman’, and it just came out.”
The sultry video was stars her friend Oona.
She said: “I loved it. It was quite a struggle because Oona had to go and film something so we thought we had two weeks and we had, like, three days to organise it. I barely slept.”
The short was directed by another friend, John Drever.
Natalia said: “He directed me last year in a film called Superbob, which will come out in October – and it’s f*****g brilliant, it’s hilarious.
“We had loads of ideas coming around, all involving Oona but not with a f*****g direction, and that’s why you hire a director.”
She added: “I wanted to have that double-edged thing about what London can be – she’s a sexy woman, she’s a violent woman but she’s also a mum.”
Molotov Jukebox perform on the Game of Thrones Throncast
Her close friendship with Oona Chaplin – granddaughter of Charlie – was born while filming Game of Thrones in Belfast.
Natalia said: “I flew in and I went down to see Richie Madden, who is the guy who plays Robb Stark, who is a f*****g dude, and he said ‘Nat, you’ve got to meet this woman. You and her are going to hit it off.”
“As soon as I saw her, she was just immediately part of my life.
“With Oona, it was so strong. Immediately when we got back to London that weekend, we hung out together.”
Living on a houseboat allows Natalia to see lots of London. She had lived all over the capital before she moved onto its waterways, but prefers being able to move around.
She said: “I move every two weeks. I love it. I have lived in so many areas of London and after I have lived somewhere for a year, I get really bored by it or annoyed by it and I get itchy feet.
“This boat does all of that, because you buy one boat and you move it around.”
South east London has some of Natalia’s favourite spots, too, and she regularly visits an artist friend in New Cross
She said: “There is a wicked patty place. Mate, one of the best patties you can get in London is outside New Cross station. You turn left and there is a little shack with a dude. It doesn’t even really look like a shop. It is clear just him with some patties, and it is amazing.
She added: “I have got a little soft spot for Brockley as well. Brockley is quite cool.”
Molotov Jukebox’s album Carnival Flower is out now. The band plays City of London Festival on July 13. Go to colf.org
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