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‘Rita’: Lena Headey Joins as Lead of Showtime Series in ‘Game of Thrones’ Follow-Up

Alongside an upcoming voice role in Netflix's "Dark Crystal" prequel, the Emmy nominee is lining up the next phase of her TV career.

Lena Headey75th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 07 Jan 2018

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With one of the biggest TV shows in recent history firmly in the rearview mirror, one of its stars is quickly amassing a number of new roles.

Lena Headey will star in an upcoming Showtime pilot “Rita,” the network announced on Thursday. The former “Game of Thrones” star will play the title role, a woman whose dramedy-adjacent struggles inside and outside the classroom where she works form the basis of the series.

Thursday’s announcement describes the character Rita as “a headstrong, unconventional teacher and single mother who takes on every kind of authority – as well as her family – in a messy and unfiltered way.”

This new series comes from creator Christian Torpe, based on his Danish series of the same name. That version of the show, which starred Mille Dinesen in the title role, was Torpe’s TV follow-up after being at the helm of now-defunct Spike’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Mist.”

It’s part of a busy announcement week for Headey, after Wednesday’s reveal that she’ll be joining an ever-expanding list of high-profile performers voicing Gelflings in the Netflix prequel series “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.” In her most recent studio film appearance, Headey starred alongside Dwayne Johnson in Stephen Merchant’s film “Fighting with My Family.” Next up is the immigration drama “The Flood,” which co-stars fellow “Thrones” alum Iain Glen.

This casting in “Rita” coincides with Headey’s final year of eligibility for Emmy recognition for her role as Cersei Lannister on “Game of Thrones.” Despite being sidelined for most of the show’s mammoth final season, she’s still a leading contender in the Best Supporting Actress in a Drama category.

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