Taking on the role of a particular character sometimes causes actors to portray scenarios or views that they do not personally agree with.
Iwan Rheon, who plays Ramsay Bolton on the popular television series Game of Thrones, knows this well. In a recent interview with Metro, Rheon described his discomfort during the season 5 episode Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken in which his character rapes Sansa Stark during the night of their wedding.
He elaborated upon his disdain for the scene, stating:
They didn’t sensationalise it or anything. 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. Chopping someone’s finger off you don’t really see it, and when you’re doing like a close up, it’s a piece of plastic. We’re just acting, it’s not real. Then something like that where you’re in the actual reality of the situation is very difficult to deal with. It was a horrible, horrible day.
Sophie Turner who portrays Stark also described how such difficult scenes influenced her own values.
Initially, I didn’t feel there was anything that stayed with me from all the things Sansa went through. But though I think it hasn’t affected me emotionally, I did start thinking about the domestic abuse and rape, and it spurred this little part of me that might be an activist.
Although such content can be dark and unsavory, the cast and crew of Game of Thrones believe that stories should be told truthfully, despite the discomfort the subject matter may bring.