Carice Anouk van Houten (born 5 September 1976) is a Dutch award-winning actress, best-known to English-speaking audiences for her roles in Repo Men, Valkyrie and Black Death (alongside Game of Thrones actors Sean Bean and Emun Elliott). She has won five Golden Calf (Dutch: Gouden Kalf) awards for acting. She starred in the award winning movie Undercover Kitty (Minoes). A very popular actress in the Netherlands, she starred in the lead role of Black Book, the most commercially successful Dutch film in history.
In Game of Thrones Van Houten is playing the role of Melisandre of Asshai. She was confirmed in the role on 19 July 2011. She is a new starring cast member for the second season. Van Houten discussed her role in an interview with Cyril Falisse from the Ferryman Critical on February 22, 2012. She said "I think I am only in episodes 1, 2, 4 and 10 or something. You are not going to see me that much but in season 3 that we are going to shoot this summer I'll come back with a vengeance." Regarding her role she said "I'm [Stannis'] right hand. I manipulate him. I take the decisions for him almost. I wouldn't say I'm a very sympathetic character. I have a great wig, great red hair. I hope I did it right."
Carice van Houten was originally asked to audition for the role of Cersei Lannister.  However, schedule conflicts prevented her from auditioning. She was subsequently asked to audition for the role of Melisandre and was cast in this role instead.  She later said, "it all turned out for the best, because Lena couldn't be a better Cersei." 
Van Houten made a parody appearance as Melisandre in a 2016 skit on Late Night with Seth Meyers.