One of the latest in an illustrious line of British actresses to graduate from the English Rose School of Acting into the realm of full-bodied contemporary roles, Lena Headey first came to the attention of audiences in 1992, when she played the younger version of [[Performer~P34545~Jeremy Irons~jeremyirons]]' wife in [[Feature~V53580~Waterland~waterland]]. Hailing from Yorkshire, where she was born in 1976, Headey originally intended to be a hairdresser. Fate intervened, however, when her performance in a one-off show in the company of six school friends at the National Theatre caught the interest of a casting agent, who contacted her drama teacher and subsequently cast Headey in [[Feature~V53580~Waterland~waterland]].
Headey's turn as a sexually adventurous schoolgirl in the film led to her being cast as a sexually adventurous maid in Merchant Ivory's [[Feature~V122235~The Remains of the Day~theremainsoftheday]] in 1993. More period adventure followed that same year in [[Feature~V131136~The Summer House~thesummerhouse]], in which Headey played a quiet young lass being forced into a 1950s marriage with an insufferable mama's boy. After another stint as a corseted virgin in [[Feature~V108490~The Jungle Book~rudyardkiplingsthejunglebook]] (1994), Headey finally got to take part in the latter half of the 20th century in the BBC miniseries [[Feature~V135033~Loved Up~lovedup]] (1995), in which she played an Ecstasy-saturated raver. That same year, she took part in another BBC mini, Band of Gold, in which she further distanced herself from her period past by portraying a lesbian prostitute. Over the next several years, Headey would appear in several projects like Posession, The Brothers Grimm, and The Red Baron, as well as TV series like Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Game of Thrones.
The actress returned to period drama in [[Performer~P92158~Marleen Gorris~marleengorris]]' adaptation of Virginia Woolf's [[Feature~V158679~Mrs. Dalloway~mrsdalloway]] (1997), which cast her as the younger version of the title character's best friend. More contemporary work subsequently came her way in [[Performer~P198617~Antonia Bird~antoniabird]]'s [[Feature~V158638~Face~face]] (also 1997), a crime thriller in which she played the social worker girlfriend of [[Performer~P11052~Robert Carlyle~robertcarlyle]]'s political idealist-turned-gangster. She also starred in the romantic fantasy [[Feature~V162491~The Man with Rain in His Shoes~twiceuponayesterday]] (1998) as one of the love interests (along with [[Performer~P186999~Penelope Cruz~penélopecruz]]) of an out-of-work Scottish actor ([[Performer~P31851~Douglas Henshall~douglashenshall]]).
After supporting turns in the lavish made-for-TV [[Feature~V161962~Merlin~merlin]] (1998) and [[Feature~V181364~Onegin~onegin]] (1999), the latter of which featured her as [[Performer~P198152~Liv Tyler~livtyler]]'s sister, Headey crossed over into the realm of Hollywood teen-oriented offerings with [[Feature~V184530~Gossip~gossip]] (2000), a college-set drama that cast her as one of three students who start a nasty rumor about two of their classmates ([[Performer~P263367~Kate Hudson~katehudson]] and [[Performer~P34834~Joshua Jackson~joshuajackson]]). Although the film was a bomb, Headey's career looked bright with a number of projects on the horizon. Included amongst them was [[Feature~V210816~Aberdeen~aberdeen]] (2000), a road movie set in Norway and Scotland that also starred [[Performer~P30769~Ian Hart~ianhart]], [[Performer~P58664~Charlotte Rampling~charlotterampling]], and [[Performer~P66068~Stellan Skarsgård~stellanskarsgård]]. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi