Natalie Dormer: “I swore I would never get into a corset again”

The Game of Thrones star explains why she has gone back to period drama in the upcoming BBC2 film The Scandalous Lady W

Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer recently decided to say no to corsets – but changed her mind when she read the script for her latest project The Scandalous Lady W, a BBC2 period drama in which she plays an adulterous society woman. 


“I had sworn that I wasn’t going to get back into a corset for a while because I was fed up,” the Hunger Games and Tudors actress revealed at a screening of the 90-minute film in London today.

“Eighteen months ago I was Natalie Dormer always in a corset. But it had to be a strong story to warrant me wanting to get back into a corset.”

In The Scandalous Lady W, which is due to air on BBC2 next month, she stars as Lady Seymour Worsley who shocked polite society when she eloped with her best friend Captain George Bisset, played by Cilla star Aneurin Barnard.

Bisset was the subject of a court case brought by Lady Seymour’s cuckolded husband Sir Richard Worsley which scandalised fashionable society at the time.

Sir Richard, portrayed by Endeavour star Shaun Evans, demanded compensation for what he claimed was a stolen possession – his wife – which had been defiled. 

Dormer said of the role: “I found the historical context extraordinary. The real historical fact is so extraordinary and intoxicating.  A woman couldn’t inherit her own property or own her own property until 1870 with the Married Woman’s [Property] Act.

“It was only 145 years ago. And most women who go round the street tweeting and ordering on their Net a Porter app have no idea how minute the time is that we have had equality.”

But landing the part was a close run thing and Dormer admitted today that initially she thought she wouldn’t have time to do it.

“There was a scheduling conflict that made it look very much like I couldn’t do it,” she said.


“As an actor you sometimes get these roles where it physically pains you that someone else is going to play the role and I found her extraordinary. And the BBC were very good and moved the dates so I could do it.”