Stumbling naked through a dreary strip in Dubrovnik while 500 people hurl insults (and food) at you may not sound like most people's idea of a good time, but Rebecca Van Cleave says it was "amazing." "It was one of the scariest, most wonderful, most gratifying experiences I could have imagined," the actress tells Entertainment Weekly, describing how she felt playing a role in one of the most-talked-about scenes from the Game of Thrones season finale. Van Cleave was the nude body double whose body appeared in Cersei Lannister's "Walk of Shame," beating out more than 1,000 other actresses to fill in for Cersei's usual portrayer, Lena Headey. "We needed somebody who could do the Walk of Shame physically, somebody who could match Lena's integrity, intensity, and sensibility," David Nutter, director of the finale, tells the magazine.
And Van Cleave proved to be a "godsend," he says. One of the most challenging tasks: matching up her body movements with the emotional explosion taking place on Headey's face (she wore a skin-colored shift while filming). But Headey—who chose not to use her own body for "several reasons" and who had nothing to do with choosing her double, Entertainment Weekly notes—was right by Van Cleave's side for the shoot, which took three days. "Lena was so good about walking beside me and guiding me into what Cersei was thinking," Van Cleave says. Perhaps the most surprising revelation from the American actress: She's never done a nude scene before. "It was actually the most comfortable casting I've ever had, considering." (One bored writer may not have been impressed with the Walk of Shame.)