Since hitting our screens in 2011, Game Of Thrones has become one of the most watched and talked about shows on TV. At the heart of the action is British-born actress Emilia Clarke, who has cemented herself as one of the show’s biggest stars with her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen aka Mother of Dragons. And with series six due to air in April, who better to fill us in on what’s in store than the lady herself?
You know I can’t reveal anything, 29-year-old Emilia laughs. I can tell you that it is going to be an epic season and you are going to have some of the biggest moments that have ever been shown on television. Other seasons have been more centred around building up the story and evolving the characters and storylines. This season is relentless. It’s just go, go, go!Since joining the show five years ago, Emilia’s career has gone from strength to strength with several high-profile roles including taking over the iconic role of Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys and a stint as Holly Golightly in a Broadway adaption of Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
Emilia is also about to take on a starring role in the much anticipated film adaption of JoJo Moyeshit novel Me Before You. Starring alongside The Hunger Games star Sam Claflin, she will play Louisa Clark, a small town girl who falls in love with the recently paralysed man she is taking care of. Despite being linked last year to her Game Of Thrones co-star Kit Harington (who’s actually dating co-star, Rose Leslie), Emilia insists she’s firmly single, admitting that her busy schedule can make it hard for her to meet someone. Here, Emilia talks about finding a man, her lifechanging role on Game Of Thrones and reveals why she loves playing strong-minded women.
How does it feel to be a central player in one of the best-loved shows in television history?
Sometimes it is difficult to for me to believe how lucky I have been. This series has given me the kind of role that every actress dreams of getting. I never imagined while I was working at this terrible call centre that I would get a part on Game Of Thrones, much less get to play a major character. Even when I was told that I was going to play Daenerys, I had no idea it would turn out to be so important. I was just happy to be able to earn a living doing what I love.
Apart from the work itself, what do you look forward to when you go back onto the set and get to put on the blonde wig and costumes again?
It’s a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I think it compares to the feeling you have when you return to school after the summer holidays and you get to wear the uniform again and see all your friends who you have missed while you have been away. And of course I have to wonder whether my dragons are going to devour me one day!
What’s a typical day like for you working on Game Of Thrones?
It varies a lot depending on whether we are doing more intimate scenes or we need to do green screen for the dragons. Usually I’m up very early in the morning and I spend two and a half hours in hair and makeup before I’m ready to go on set. Most of the time is spent getting the hair right the wig is very big and it takes a lot of work. I’m very happy when I get to take it off because it is so hot and heavy.
How has your life changed since starting on the show?
I feel I have matured faster because playing Dany has forced me to think more seriously about my own life. It’s been exciting for me to get to evolve along with my character.
You and Peter Dinklage were both nominated for Emmy Awards this year
It was such a great honour and I’m so happy for Peter [who won for Best Supporting Actor In A Dramatic Series]. He’s such a charming and wonderful man and it was so great to finally get to work with him. He has such a superb sense of humour and everyone loves being around him on the set because he’s so funny and clever.
Do you enjoy playing such a determined and strong-willed character?
I was very shy and awkward as a teenager but I always had an inner sense of determination. I aspire to play strong women because that’s how women are in real life, even though that’s not always portrayed in film or TV.
You must get lots of fan mail from people you have inspired
Yes, that’s a wonderful part of my job. I enjoy being able to reach people through my work and maybe help give them confidence and empower them to achieve their dreams. Self-confidence and self-belief are very important issues for young women and I’m very proud that I have had the chance to play a woman who has transformed herself from a girl with low self-esteem into a much more powerful and confident young woman. She’s a great example to young women, I think. You’re playing quite a different character in your upcoming film Me Before You, aren’t you? I’m playing a more goofy, awkward woman. My character [Louisa Clark] is kind of clumsy and insecure at times, more like the person my family and friends see in real life. But thanks to playing Dany, I have become much bolder, at least I hope so!
Do you find it hard to have a love life while juggling such a busy schedule?
[Romantic relationships] are absolutely impossible. I’m soppy and I do like to believe that when the right person comes along, it will work, because you want to make it work. Everyone else seems to manage it!Game of Thrones an interview with Emilia Clarke – INSP News Service Ltf
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