Game of Thrones actress Josephine Gillan has revealed that, in a bizarre twist, her role as a courtesan in the hit HBO series saved her from a life of prostitution.
Gillan told the Daily Mail that it was while working as a prostitute and adult film actress she first spotted the ad for the role of Petyr Baelish's courtesan Marei.
"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. I was thrilled because it was an amazing opportunity to do some proper acting. But I had no idea how much it would change my life."
Since her initial appearance as Marei, Gillan has had a recurring role in the series, popping up in each season, and even making an appearance in last night's episode, "The Broken Man."
It was this role that helped the 27-year-old escape the troubled world she had grown up in. After attending 24 different primary schools as her mother ran from an abusive relationship, Josephine was taken into care at the age of 12 and that's when the horror truly started.
"They put me in a household where I was groomed by a family friend, who gave me cannabis and alcohol when I was 12 and got me hooked on cocaine when I was 14. He raped me two years later and then pimped me out to his friends."
After a tumultuous upbringing Gillan was left feeling inadequate, and after breaking off an engagement, ended up working as a prostitute to make a living.
However, after being cast in Game of Thrones Gillan's life took a turn, and years later the star's life could not be more different. Since filming of Game of Thrones Season 6 finished, Josephine has appeared in two independent films, and will soon travel to Mexico to star in an upcoming horror mystery. She also confirmed to the Daily Mail that in addition to her appearance in last night's episode, she'll be back for Season 7 next year.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO with Episode 8, "No One" on Sunday, June 12.