Actress Josephine Gillan lived as a prostitute but dreamed of becoming an actress. While HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones has taken just criticism for its portrayals of sexual violence, it seems to have given this woman a chance to break free from the business of selling her body.
“Game of Thrones saved me from a life of prostitution, and has made me a much stronger person,” Gillan explained. She made her acting debut as the novice prostitute Marei training in a brothel owned by Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen), also known as Littlefinger, in the show’s second season. Since that episode, she has appeared in six others, showing up in every season of the show, and she has even signed up for Season 7, which airs next year.
The actress was selling sex while making X-rated films under the alias Sophie O’Brien. This followed a difficult childhood ruined by sexual abuse, alcohol, and hard drugs. She reportedly attended 24 different primary schools, while her mother fled a violent relationship. At age 12, she was taken into foster care, but still ended up selling herself to survive.
Gillan recalled the circumstances of her hiring. “They were looking for young women with natural breasts and no tattoos, who didn’t mind being filmed naked, so I immediately sent in a picture. They wrote back that they wanted me and I was thrilled because it was an amazing opportunity to do some acting. But I had no idea how much it would change my life.”
While moving from explicit smut films to the soft core of this hit HBO show might not be considered a full redemption, it is certainly an improvement. In addition to Game of Thrones, Gillan appeared in two independent films and will star in a horror mystery to be filmed in Mexico later this summer.
Game of Thrones is famous for killing off its characters, even major heroic characters like Ned Stark (Sean Bean) and Robb Stark (Richard Madden), but the prostitute Marei is still around and kicking. She is most famous for the aerobic contortion of her body in a Season 4 scene featuring the “Red Viper” Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal).
Check out the photo of the actress doing her famous sex scene pose, with her clothes on.
Here’s a photo of her doing it again, this time with clothes on.