The Sarah Connor Chronicles
“I'm ambitious, but I don't necessarily equate success with being a huge Hollywood star. The dream is to have both a long career and a normal life.” Lena Headey
British actress Lena Headey is popular among TV viewers for her portrayal of the title character on FOX’s science fiction television series based on the character from the "Terminator" movies, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (2008-Present). On the big screen, she is notable for appearing in such films as “The Remains of the Day” (1993), “The Jungle Book “(1994), "Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway" (1997), “Onegin” (1999), “Possession” (2002), “The Brothers Grimm” (2005), “The Cave” (2005), and “300” (2006). She will next be seen in the upcoming films "Tell-Tale" and "Laid to Rest."
This 5' 5½'' seductive, charming English actress was one of Maxim magazine’s “Hot 100 of 2007.” She was engaged to Johnny Cicco and dated actor Jason Flemyng (born on September 25, 1966) from 1994 to 2001 and reportedly has his name in Thai tattooed on her arm. She is now married to musician Peter Paul Loughran.
“We've all had that moment where you look into someone's eyes and there's some kind of recognition there, whether you act on it or not.” Lena Headey
Childhood and Family:
On October 3, 1973, Lena Headey (last name is pronounced HEE-dee) was born in Bermuda where her British police officer father was stationed. Returning to England, she spent her formative years mainly in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. She would later move to London in her teens.
A shy tomboy with one younger brother, Headey attended Shelley High and graduated from the English Rose School of Acting, in London, in 1994.
Headey, who was engaged to Johnny Cicco and dated her "Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book" (1994) co-star actor Jason Flemyng, married musician Peter Paul Loughran on May 19, 2007. The couple now lives in Laurel Canyon, California, with their two dogs: Wizard and Angela Lansbury.
Headey is close friends with actress Piper Perabo. In her free time, she boxes and practices Yoga. She is vegetarian.
“I'm kind of a binger when it comes to staying in shape, one good month, one bad month. So I took up boxing in clubs in south London. I found a tiny gym over a pub and I fell in love with it. A former boxer runs it and he's teaching me to spar. I wear a head protector and a chest protector. It demands stamina and strength and it's really incredibly noble as a sport. I haven't gone to the bouts yet, but I'd like to.” Lena Headey
“I was 17 when I got my first job. I had not gone to drama school. I was lucky and just fell into it. I was asked to audition for a film when I was 17 and did that.” Lena Headey
Getting her first taste of acting while studying at Yorkshire’s Shelley College, Lena Headey, who originally intended to be a hairdresser, got her first break at the age of 17 when she was spotted performing in a show at the Royal National Theatre. She was picked for a role opposite Jeremy Irons in the 1992 film “Waterland.” In her film debut, directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal and based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Graham Swift, Headey played the sexually precocious schoolgirl who fell for Irons' character.
The following year, Headey was cast with Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins in the Merchant Ivory production "The Remains of the Day" (1993), which was adapted from the 1989 novel by Japanese-British author Kazuo Ishiguro, and played a passive teenager engaged to a much older man in the BBC TV-movie inspired by Alice Thomas Ellis' novel, "The Summer House" (1993; aka “Clothes in the Wardrobe”), directed by Waris Hussein and starring Julie Walters.
Headey made her American TV debut on ABC's "MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday" (1994). That same year, she also portrayed the virginal heroine Katherine 'Kitty' Brydon in Disney's live-action remake of "Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book," with Jason Scott Lee as Mowgli, Cary Elwes as his main adversary, and Sam Neill as her father.
In the mid 1990s, Headey was cast as a troubled prostitute (Samantha Morton played her lover) in the British miniseries "Band of Gold" and in the BBC-2 drama "Loved Up," featuring Ian Hart. Two years later, she portrayed Sally Seton, the best friend of the young Clarissa (played by Natascha McElhone), in "Mrs. Dalloway" (1997; Vanessa Redgrave starred in the title role), which was adapted from the novel by Virginia Woolf. She was then seen as Robert Carlyle's idealistic girlfriend in Antonia Bird's thriller "Face" (1997).
Headey spent the rest of the decade playing Guinevere in the NBC miniseries about the legendary wizard, "Merlin" (1998; Sam Neill portrayed the title role), and starring in the romantic comedy "Twice Upon a Yesterday” (1998), opposite Penélope Cruz. She also had a pivotal role as Liv Tyler's spirited sister Olga in Martha Fiennes' directorial debut, "Onegin" (1999; also starring Ralph Fiennes), based on Alexander Pushkin's novel in verse “Eugene Onegin.”
Entering the new millennium, Headey acted with Ian Hart, Stellan Skarsgård, and Charlotte Rampling in Hans Petter Moland's drama "Aberdeen" (2000), which was screened at the Karlovy Vary and Edinburgh Film Festivals. It won her a Best Actress Award at the Brussels European Film Festival and nominated her for a Best Actress Award at the Chlotrudis Awards. On working with Stellan Skarsgard in “Aberdeen" (2000), Headey commented, “A picture that had a tiny release is still one of my favorite experiences.”
Meanwhile, Headey was also cast as a college student in the dark comedy feature "Gossip" (2000), where she co-starred with Joshua Jackson, James Marsden, Norman Reedus, and Kate Hudson.
Headey subsequently co-starred in the British comedy caper "The Parole Officer" (2001; starring Steve Coogan), acted in "Ripley's Game" (2002), and had a featured role in "Possession" (2002). She also appeared in the music video for "Bellissimo" by Bristol band Ilya that was directed by the Guard Brothers (January 2004) and was cast in Terry Gilliam's "The Brothers Grimm" (2005) with Matt Damon and Heath Ledger.
When asked if “The Brothers Grimm” was a difficult shoot, Headey admitted, “Yes it was. I have to say when I left that job, I didn't know if I wanted to be in this business. It really made me feel like that.”
Recently, she co-starred in the romantic comedy "Imagine Me & You" (2006) and starred as Queen Gorgo, a heroic Spartan woman, in Zack Snyder's battle epic "300" (2007), an adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel. Her performance in the latter film earned her nominations at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress), MTV Movie Awards (for Breakthrough Performance), and Teen Choice Awards (for Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure).
Headey now stars on FOX’s science fiction television series based on the character from the "Terminator" movies, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." The show first aired on January 13, 2008, and was the highest-rated new series of the 2007-08 television season. It was renewed for a second season, which began on September 8, 2008. Her work in the show earned her a Saturn Award nomination for Best Actress on Television in 2008.
Headey has completed her newest film project, "Tell-Tale," a thriller helmed by Michael Cuesta in which she co-stars with Josh Lucas and Brian Cox. She will soon wrap up "Laid to Rest," an upcoming horror film by writer/director Robert Hall.
“You can't take anything for granted for a second, otherwise you trip up. More than anything, I believe life is all about timing. I know certainly every situation in my life has been like ‘why now?’ and it's a test or a beautiful moment. That's why life is so gorgeous.” Lena Headey
Brussels European Film Festival: Best Actress, “Aberdeen,” 2001