“Game of Thrones” has a reputation for explicitly showing nudity and medieval prostitution starting from day one. But for one struggling actress, the opportunity to play the role of a prostitute in the show saved her from being consumed by the industry in real life.
According to Page Six, actress Josephine Gillan made her debut is the series as Marei, a novice prostitute in Littlefiger’s brothel way back in season 2. While for most fans of the show she might be just another nameless face, her story is just as interesting as the show itself and inspiring.
While many of the actresses who played the prostitutes in the show were actresses or adult film stars, the 27-year old had the first-hand experience with the profession. Before her big break came with “Game of Thrones”, she was a struggling actress earning a living through prostitution.
Under the stage name Sophie O’Brien, Josephine Gillan sold X-rated films while at the same time offered her services for money. Like many others who were forced into this position, she had a traumatic childhood filled with abuse, alcoholism, and hard drugs. She transferred primary schools two dozen times as her mother fled an abusive relationship after which she was later fostered.
According to Gillian, the break saved her from this life and has made her a much stronger person. After a casting call went out for young women with natural breasts and no tattoos, who didn’t mind being filmed naked, she immediately sent a picture.
After they wrote back saying they wanted her, the actress says she was thrilled since it was an amazing opportunity to do some proper acting. She had no idea how much it would change her life and using her knowledge of the seedy industry, delivered an impressive performance on screen.
Now, she says that all of it is in the past. Her character having survived all the way to season 5, she now reveals that she has also signed up for ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 set to begin filming this year.
While the show has been criticized for its depiction of rape, violence, prostitution, and everything that is considered bad human behavior, Gillian says it’s all just make-believe. Watch the entertainment and enjoy and if you’re too much of a prude, don’t, she said.
The Daily Mail revealed that she is now looking for more conservative and conventional roles, although people still ask her whether she really does have sex on screen. She simply replies with “are dragon and zombies real?” implying that like the creatures, her “performance” in the brothels are all made up.
It is interesting that a show like ‘Game of Thrones’ saves lives considering that the main theme of the show revolves around war and death.
Hopefully more stories like those of Josephine Gillian will come out ad serve as a reminder that while some shows depict prostitution, they can also serve as an opportunity for others who are trapped by the profession in real life.
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