Natalie Dormer has a keen eye for what her characters should look like.
The new mum has twice challenged filmmakers over hairstyles, and believes her input made the characters she played more believable.
The first time was out of necessity, because she had dyed her hair brunette to try out as Anne Boleyn in The Tudors, only to discover the writers had decided Henry VIII’s wife should be blonde.
“I was so dedicated to study and loving my history when I got the role, I just dyed my hair brunette a couple of months before shooting because I wanted to get used to it,” she told the After That’s Life podcast.
“I just naturally assumed that it’s Anne Boleyn, who was called Dark Mistress… because she had quite sallow skin and dark hair and I went ahead and dyed my hair brown,” the Game of Thrones explained.
When she learned this Boleyn would be blonde, she attempted to take her hair back to its natural colour with disastrous results: “You invariably look a complete mess and go orange!,” she said.
So Dormer met with a network producer at Showtime – the cable channel behind the hit historical series – and pleaded her case.
“I gave him a monologue of being authentic and historically accurate to the real woman and talking about who Anne Boleyn was… and at the end he was like, ‘Well if it’s that important to you, then of course you can play her brunette’,” she recalled.
Dormer also fought for her character’s look when she was cast as Cressida in The Hunger Games years later, while director Francis Lawrence was considering asking her to shave her head completely, sharing: “I said to him, ‘I’m not just saying this because I don’t want to shave all my hair off, I think one side would look pretty frickin’ cool’, and it did.”