The 33-year-old actor, best known for her performance as Margaery Tyrell in the fantasy drama, has told the Radio Times that the nature of television means that both genders are likely to be subject to scrutiny. “My personal experience has been to work on phenomenal jobs in which the men are objectified as much as the women,” she said.
“Actors suffer from it, too,” Dormer added. “Wasn’t there a thing about Aidan Turner in Poldark? It’s a visual medium, so to a certain extent you get judged on the way you look.”
Dormer’s comments add to an already crowded conversation about objectification in TV and film. In June, Jurassic World actor Chris Pratt declared that, in order to “even things out”, men should be objectified as much as women. Meanwhile, The Following star Kevin Bacon last week shared a mock public service announcement entitled Free the Bacon, in which he called for male actors to disrobe more frequently.
Game Of Thrones has come in for sustained criticism over its treatment of women, with some fans abandoning the show over its frequent rape scenes. Dormer, however, has defended the way the show depicts sex.
“I think sex and romance is a huge part of human motivation,” she said in an interview with the Telegraph. “So long as it’s informing the story then I don’t see what the problem is. Obviously no one likes gratuitous sex or gratuitous misogyny, the same way people shouldn’t like gratuitous violence.
“But I think Thrones is quite good in that way,” she added. “The violence is quite naturalistic. It’s not hyper-stylised. It’s not glamorised. And the sex is quite real and dirty as well. It’s about those raw, visceral qualities of human life that make good drama.”
While Game Of Thrones’s sixth season doesn’t air until spring 2016, Dormer returns to UK screens next week, playing the title role in The Scandalous Lady W, a one-off factual drama about a 18th-century sex scandal.
The Scandalous Lady W airs on 17 August on BBC2.