Gemma Whelan ate chicken "all day" while filming 'Game of Thrones' - despite being a vegetarian.

Gemma Whelan

Gemma Whelan

The 36-year-old actress, who plays Yara Greyjoy in the HBO fantasy series, assumed she would be able to request a meat substitute for her character to consume, but soon realised the "calibre" of the show so chowed down on the products which resulted in a huge "protein hit".

She said: "I'm a vegetarian. My brother, Theon [Alfie Allen], kills two boys and comes back thinking he's a hero. In the script, it says my character is eating meat.

"I thought I'd just tell them on the day that I don't eat meat and we could bring in a meat substitute.

"I didn't know the calibre of the show at the time and the set guy made a whole vat of chicken, so I ate chicken all day.

"I just told myself I was going method. The protein hit was quite something."

Gemma joined the 'Game of Thrones' cast in 2012 and while she has been a bit-part character for her stint on the show, Yara is set to become a major player in the forthcoming series seven - just as the brunette star was told her alter-ego would be before she even auditioned.

She added to the Belfast Telegraph newspaper: "I don't mind playing a little part in a big series, but to become a main character is great.

"When the casting breakdown was given out, before I even auditioned, it said I have a much greater role in later seasons.

"Of course, you never believe what you read, and things change, but everything I was told would happen has happened."

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