Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon calls controversial rape scene ‘worst day of my career’

·1-min read
'HBO did not want to be too overly influenced by criticism but they did absorb and take it in and it did influence them'
'HBO did not want to be too overly influenced by criticism but they did absorb and take it in and it did influence them'

Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon has described the “horrible” day spent filming the show’s controversial rape scene.

Although the hit HBO series is known for its graphic depictions of violence, a season five scene during which Ramsay Bolton (played by Rheon) rapes Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) provoked an immediate backlash from audiences.

Speaking to Metro, the 35-year-old called the filming experience “the worst day of my career”.

Rheon said: “That was horrible. Nobody wanted to be there. Nobody wants to do that, but if it’s telling a story then you have to tell it truthfully."

“They didn’t sensationalise it or anything," he said. “It was very, very hard watching. It’s a horrible thing that happens, unfortunately, and it shouldn’t be. It was the worst day of my career.”

<p>Rheon is best known for his portrayal as 'Game of Thrones’ villain Ramsay Bolton</p>Getty

Rheon is best known for his portrayal as 'Game of Thrones’ villain Ramsay Bolton

Getty

After the episode aired in 2015, petitions were set up soon after, encouraging people to stop watching the show because of the depiction. The showrunners eventually responded to the pressure and announced that the forthcoming season six would tone down the sexual violence following the outcry.

In 2016, the Welsh actor had voiced his justification for the infamous scene in an interview with The Independent.

He said: “I understand why the reaction’s there because people have watched this girl grow up and they love her.

"But at the same time there was such an intense backlash about it, and it isn't the worst thing that's happened on Game of Thrones. You know, burning a child... nobody seems to go mad about that.”

Rheon also revealed that he “didn’t sleep a wink the night before [filming], when usually I’m quite good at detaching from Ramsay”.

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