The world is basically Emilia Clarke‘s oyster right now. The Game of Thrones star is coming off eight years as Daenerys Targaryen, mother of dragons, and now she has the ability to say “no” to projects.
During a roundtable interview for The Hollywood Reporter with Niecy Nash, Christine Baranski, Patricia Arquette and Danai Gurira, Clarke opened up about not wanting to do projects with sequels—and the topic of Fifty Shades of Grey came up.
“Well, Sam [Taylor-Johnson, the director] is a magician. I love her, and I thought her vision was beautiful,” Clarke said about the film series. “But the last time that I was naked on camera on [Game of Thrones] was a long time ago, and yet it is the only question that I ever get asked because I am a woman. And it’s annoying as hell and I’m sick and tired of it because I did it for the character — I didn’t do it so some guy could check out my tits, for God’s sake.
“So, that coming up, I was like, ‘I can’t,'” she said about Fifty Shades. “I did a minimal amount and I’m pigeonholed for life, so me saying yes to that, where the entire thing is about sensuality and sex and being naked and all of that stuff, I was just like, ‘No way am I going to voluntarily walk into that situation and then never be able to look someone in the eye and be like, ‘No, you can’t keep asking me this question.'”
During the THR interview, Clarke touched upon sharing her story about suffering two brain injuries. She said the experience of surviving that did in fact inform how she approached Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones.
“I’ve been lying about this for a number of years. Every time anyone was like, ‘Where do you get your strength?’ I’m like, ‘Heavens, I have no idea.’ But [my character] and I grew together and, it’s corny as hell, but she saved my life. The main thing that happens after you’ve had a brain injury — paralysis and all of that aside — is that you have fatigue, which sounds like a fancy way of saying you’re tired, but it’s debilitating to the point of demoralizing,” Clarke said. “And you can’t look someone in the eye because it brings up shame. Most people don’t have the mother of dragons’ shoes to walk in to help them get out of it, and those are the people I speak to now. But for me, the show must go on, so you get back in those shoes and Khaleesi’s killing all the masters, speaking to 300 people in a language that’s not real and having sex with Kit Harington [who plays Jon Snow].”
“It literally forced me awake again and to look someone in the eye because I had to. It’s been an unbelievable blessing. And I’m so lucky to have my cognitive skills — there is a bit of my brain that’s died and we don’t know what it is, but it’s probably my taste in men,” she said with a laugh.
Read the whole interview over on THR.
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