Lena Headey On Entering the Fray for ’300: Rise of an Empire’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 14th, 2013 at 10:44 am,

Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo in 300 Rise of an Empire Lena Headey On Entering the Fray for 300: Rise of an Empire

Noam Murro’s 300: Rise of an Empire is a sidequel, showing events that took place during roughly the same time as Zack Snyder’s original hit 300, but you probably wouldn’t be able to tell that based on the marketing so far. It’s being peddled as a sequel with suggestions that it will be about the Greeks taking vengeance on the Persians for the death of Leonidas and his army, but since the Battle of Thermopylae and the Battle of Artemisium were two fronts of a simultaneous effort to block the advance of the Persian army, this revenge motivation will likely only come in towards the end, if at all.

The shift of focus also raises questions about how large a part Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) is likely to play in 300: Rise of an Empire, since her story was already told, at least partially, in 300. Relegated to the task of attempting to coerce the Spartan council into sending reinforcements, Headey had a fairly limited amount of screen time in 300, and her appearance in 300: Rise of an Empire may be limited to barely more than a cameo.

Nonetheless, Headey opened up a little in an interview with Total Film about her enthusiasm for the more violent and physically taxing side of 300: Rise of an Empire, though it’s difficult to tell the extent to which she was involved in the film’s action sequences:

“The film, visually, follows on very much from the original. It’s something that’s so beloved for its physicality and visceral content. I had fun; I got to hold a sword… I love all that, I’m such a boy! They’re like, ‘Do you want to come to fight training? I’m like, ‘Yes!’”

The first trailer for 300: Rise of an Empire did feature Queen Gorgo giving inspirational speeches to the troops and providing some voice-over, but it’s likely that Headey’s role is being somewhat played up in the marketing due to her Game of Thrones stardom and a desire to appeal to fans of historical fantasy. It’s notable that she only mentions holding a sword, not properly wielding one, and that she frames the invitation to fight training as an option rather than a necessity.

Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo in 300 Lena Headey On Entering the Fray for 300: Rise of an Empire

Leading the charge against the Persians is Animal Kingdom star Sullivan Stapleton as Themistocles, whose dialogue so far has been limited to yelling “Aaaaah!” and jumping on people, but who will hopefully be fleshed out a little more in the movie.

Themistocles will be defending Greece against the Persian king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his Carian ally Artemesia (Eva Green), whose prowess in the art of battle reportedly led Xerxes to proclaim, “My men have become women, and my women men.” Stapleton has also said that Artemesia is “a force to be reckoned with,” and that she will be doing a lot of Xerxes dirty work, so it looks like she and Xerxes will be sharing the antagonist throne this time around.

Are you hoping that Headey will have a substantial role in 300: Rise of an Empire, or are you more interested in the new characters being introduced?


300: Rise of an Empire opens in U.S. theaters on March 7th, 2014.

Source: Total Film

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  1. One movie that I will not be missing,I’ve been waiting for the follow on too 300 for a long time,should be good can’t wait

  2. While I sort of doubt this will measure up to the original, I’m optimistic about it. It’s especially exciting when you consider how surprisingly entertaining its predecessor was.

    As to Queen Gorgo, I’m glad she’ll be in the film in some capacity, but I’m also glad that new characters will have their chance to shine.

  3. I absolutely want to see more of Lena Headey’s character in this movie. She was great in the first, her character possessed a strength and loyalty to her husband and to her people. She fought for what she believed was right and sacrificed her body and her pride in an attempt to convince the counsel to send in reinforcements for her husband. Lena Headey is very beautiful and such a great actress!!

  4. The first movie was visually interesting, other than that it was cheesy, mindless action with way too much slowmo.

    • Those are exactly the reasons I just couldn’t finish watching it. I’d heard it was great, finally had chance to watch and didn’t think much of it other than how great it looked visually.

      Maybe this one will be good.

    • Alas, the problems with historical movies. You already know the plot and outcome. Overall, I enjoy historical movies. One of my favorites was Kingdom of Heaven.

    • What did you expect from Zack Snyder? The guy is known for his slow motion scenes. What is great about the movie is how closely identical it is to the graphic novel even parts of the movie was shot scene by scene from it.

  5. let it be

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  7. I’ll give this a watch on Netflix when available.

  8. Lena Headey is a great actress (especially in The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and played a key motivator for her hubby and King in 300. She’ll provide a useful link to the first movie and is gorgeous to boot! Let’s hope the movie is as visually arresting as Lena is. ;-)

    Plus Sullivan Stapleton was great in the Aussie crime flick Animal Kingdom – one of the finest movies to come out of that great country – check it out if you haven’t already seen it!

  9. What I’m excited about this movie is the inclusion of Artemissia III. I love me some real, historical badass woman being brought to silver screen.

  10. Lena is great!! As queen she is awesome!