Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman
The New Paper
Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015
Whip up the topic of nudity and you can be sure it will raise Jessica Henwick's hackles.
It might seem ironic, especially since the British actress - whose housewife mum is a Chinese-Singaporean - stars in the fifth season of acclaimed TV series Game Of Thrones, which is well-known for its many flesh-baring scenes.
Henwick, who plays whip-wielding Nymeria Sand, does not undress for her role.
But in a recent episode, US actress Rosabell Laurenti Sellers who plays Nymeria's sister, Tyene, went topless.
In one scene, Nymeria, Tyene and their sister Obara (Keisha Castle-Hughes) are thrown into the dungeons with Bronn (Jerome Flynn) following a battle in which Tyene nicks him.
In their prison cell facing Bronn's, Tyene cleverly seduces him by stripping to get his heart pumping so that the poison from her dagger would work faster.
Given the provocative nature of Game Of Thrones, was Henwick worried she may have to bare all for her role too?
"If they had come to me with a scene where they say nudity was necessary, I might have done it. My character isn't the type to get naked unless it's for a very specific reason," the 22-year-old told regional media yesterday when she was in town to promote the show.
The season finale of Season Five will air on June 15 at 9am on HBO (StarHub Ch 601).
Henwick remained cool but questioning her choice to strip for the camera - or not - did not sit well with her.
"This question aggravates me as a female actress. If I were a guy sitting here, would you be asking me about getting naked? It irritates me. But obviously, I'm on a show that is famous for sex and violence so I get it, don't worry," the London-based starlet said matter-of-factly.
Henwick, who reportedly has a no-nudity clause in her contract, added that it is a "bridge she might or might not cross in the future".
She also said she pitied her co-star Sellers when filming the scene in which she strips.
"We were in Belfast and it was so cold we could see our breath. I felt really bad for her because she kept having to strip off and be naked take after take after take. We did more takes than we usually did because it was important to get her actual intention across. But it was all really casual and relaxed," she recalled.
The chirpy lass endured a 20-hour flight from the UK and met with friends for a meal which included seafood, chilli crab and a fresh coconut drink at a hawker centre.
She was last in Singapore in 2010, when Marina Bay Sands and Gardens By The Bay were still not open and was looking forward to exploring the sights.
Henwick, who is rumoured to be acting in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens film, shot to fame thanks to her femme fatale role in Game Of Thrones, after parts in English TV dramas like Spirit Warriors and Silk.
She admitted her heritage has both helped and hindered her career.
"Being an Asian in England is hard, there are a lot of misrepresentations and under-representations, but I feel like I'm a part of the movement that's happening to help things and hopefully is a step in the right direction," said Henwick, who is proud of her background.
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