The Actress Who Played Leaf In Game Of Thrones Is Gorgeous In Real Life

Game of Thrones may have ended in May 2019, but people are still talking about the groundbreaking show and how it changed TV. The series finale, which garnered 19.3 million viewers, was the most-watched program in HBO's history, according to Forbes. Even with all the debate about the direction of the final season, viewers tuned in to find out the fate of their favorite characters.

The series ended with some major plot twists. Cersei (Lena Headey) died, the Iron Throne literally melted, and the person who took the throne shocked everyone: all-seeing Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright), with Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) as his Hand.

With the show over, fans have reinvested their time researching intricate plot points and characters. As followers have delved deeper into the saga through its books and the TV series, fascinating discoveries have been made. One revelation is that the actress who plays Leaf, the leader of the Children of the Forest, is absolutely stunning in real life.

Kae Alexander spent more than nine hours in the makeup and prosthetics chair to transform into Leaf. (GoT won multiple Emmy Awards for makeup, by the way.) "If I were to do a full body prosthetic, I would get picked up at midnight and then I'll on set by 10 a.m." she told Business Insider. "I didn't realize it was gonna result in nine-and-a-half hours of makeup!"

What's even more shocking is how beautiful she is outside of character. Take a look for yourself.

Kae Alexander was the second actress to play Leaf

British actress Kae Alexander was actually the second person to play Leaf in Game of Thrones. According to ScreenRant, when the character debuted in Season 4, Leaf was played by young actress Octavia Selena Alexandru (pictured above). When Leaf returned to the screen in Season 6, Kae Alexander was behind all that makeup.

Per ScreenRant, it's speculated that the casting change was made merely because the directors wanted an older actress to portray Leaf in later episodes. Not only was she older, but the character also had a dramatically different look when she returned to the series. In early episodes, the Children of the Forest were small and had faces like regular children, but when they returned in Season 6, the Children were far more "distinguishable," ScreenRant reported. Leaf's role in the series was also expanded in Season 6 — another reason the directors may have recast with an older and more experienced actress.

Alexander isn't the only Game of Thrones star who looks drastically different than her character. Check out our gallery of more Game of Thrones stars that are gorgeous in real life.

Kae Alexander promotes diversity on the stage & screen

Kae Alexander, the gorgeous actress who portrays Leaf in Games of Thrones, hasn't slowed down since her career-making role in the fantasy series. She appeared on FleabagBad Education, and Stephen Spielberg's Ready Player One. She called the latter "a magical experience," telling Ham & High that Spielberg is her "childhood hero, every story I watched growing up was made by him."

The actress, who was born in Japan and moved to the U.K. when she was 10, has also done a good amount of theater. She credits her success to "sheer hard work that has allowed me to get into the right rooms and read the right scripts" (per Ham & High). As an Asian actress, she said she prefers getting American scripts. "They are more ahead in terms of diversity. It's how it should be and it makes a difference."

She recalled a moving experience that solidified the need for diversity to her. She was cast in an open-air theater production as Wendy in Peter Pan. "My friend told me a little Asian girl in the audience was looking at you intently and it made me cry," she told Ham & High. "My aim is to see beyond colour in the future but for now we need to look at the way we tell stories — that starts with school productions and early storytelling."

Kae Alexander feels empowered by #MeToo movement

Kae Alexander believes positive changes are underway within the entertainment industry, bolstered, in part, by the #MeToo movement. "We [women] are speaking up –- I think it's exciting," she told Culture Whisper in 2018. "...I feel less intimidated because of the conversations that we're having on social media and in the press. Speaking up has created a tribe –- we're less isolated."

Alexander feels like TV has been "taking risks," and helped the entire industry understand that audiences want more. Her turn in the Netflix miniseries Collateral is a great example of multidimensional character development, particularly for women. Alexander stars as Linh Xuan Huy, "an illegal immigrant living in London on a fraudulent student visa, and the only witness to the apparently random shooting of a pizza delivery man," per Culture Whisper. She says the female characters in the series "have their own lives ... It makes you realise how little it [the complex portrayal of women] is seen on screen."

Though she was barely recognizable in Game of Thrones, we're certainly looking forward to seeing more of Alexander's diverse work.