Gemma Whelan: ‘My biggest disappointment? The fans’ reaction at the end of Game Of Thrones

The actor on huffing and puffing, overcoming anorexia and running red lights on her bike

Born in Leeds, Whelan, 38,began her career in comedy in 2010, and won the Funny Women Variety Award the same year. In 2017, she gained critical acclaim for her portrayal of Karen Matthews in The Moorside. From 2012 to 2019, she played Yara Greyjoy in Game Of Thrones. She appears in the new ITV drama White House Farm. She is married to the comedian Gerry Howell and lives in London.

When were you happiest?

When I was 15, I went to a rugby match at Twickenham with my dad and we went back to his friend Hugh’s house and Hugh made me a perfect cup of tea. I just remember feeling really happy because it was such a brilliant day and I loved being with my dad.
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