Khaleesi’s got noth­ing Emilia on

She plays the slave-free­ing, king­dom-con­quer­ing fem­i­nist queen on Game of Thrones. But just wait ’til you meet Emilia Clarke in real life.

Glamour (South Africa) - - All About You -

Over the past five sea­sons of Game of Thrones ( GOT) we’ve come to know Emilia Clarke by her fe­ro­cious drive, her flame-breath­ing dragon ba­bies, and her many names: Daen­erys Tar­garyen, Khaleesi of the Dothraki, Mother of Dragons. A por­trait of woman power, Khaleesi piv­ots from ma­ter­nal sweet­ness to en­emy-oblit­er­a­tor in sec­onds, and the show is a cul­tural gi­ant, with Emilia at its cen­tre. Fans call her “Queen of Badass­ness”, which amuses Emilia be­cause she feigns that badass aura for cam­eras. “I’ve spent a lot of time try­ing to be like, ‘I can han­dle any­thing,’” she says, “but the core of me is mush.”

That vul­ner­a­bil­ity has been with her since she was a girl in the English coun­try­side. The daugh­ter of a busi­nes­sexec mom and sound-de­signer dad, she did theatre and never fit­ted in with the pop­u­lar kids. She found her foot­ing at the Drama Cen­tre in Lon­don and did two jobs af­ter grad­u­at­ing – a soap opera and a TV movie – be­fore land­ing GOT.

To­day, at 29, she also has the movie Me Be­fore You (based on the best­selling, tear-jerk­ing novel) to her name. Here she talks about her in­se­cu­ri­ties, and the highs and lows of play­ing the most pow­er­ful woman – no, hu­man – on TV. GLAMOUR You went to act­ing school. Do you think great act­ing can be taught? Emilia They taught me to in­vest in my­self, feel vul­ner­a­ble and com­mit to a char­ac­ter. But it was an up­hill strug­gle. You’ve said act­ing is a tough job. If I had kids and they asked, “Do you want (me) to be an ac­tor?” I would say, “If there’s any­thing else you can imag­ine do­ing, do that,” be­cause there’s so much heartache, fail­ure and ug­li­ness that doesn’t get on the front of the magazine. cer­tain dudes where I’m like, “You’ve seen my tits.” Awk­ward! You’ve spent much of your 20s play­ing Khaleesi. Are there ways you’ve re­alised your own power while play­ing her? Within the space of time be­tween them say­ing, “You’ve got the part of Khaleesi” and now, I lost my power. I found it, then lost it, then found it again. As a young adult, you spend your 20s fig­ur­ing out who you are and what you want to do; it’s a scary time. There are days when I feel like the less ver­sion of my­self. How do those days af­fect film­ing? Can you act supremely con­fi­dent with­out be­ing supremely con­fi­dent your­self? For sure. I know I’m go­ing to put the wig on and go out there and let her re­fill me. You men­tioned nu­dity in GOT. Why, in a show full of women’s breasts, butts and the oc­ca­sional vagina, did we never see your hus­band Khal Drogo’s pe­nis? I did, but it was cov­ered in a pink fluffy sock! Show­ing it would make peo­ple feel bad. It’s too fab­u­lous. No, I don’t know why. But you do get to see Michiel Huis­man’s (Khaleesi’s love in­ter­est in sea­sons four and five) per­fect bot­tom. An­other crit­i­cism con­cerns the show’s de­pic­tions of rape. Af­ter Khaleesi is raped by Khal Drogo, many peo­ple came away with the un­set­tling im­pres­sion that al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter, she falls in love with her rapist. Well, there’s Daen­erys and Khal

“I’ve spent a lot of time try­ing to be like, ‘I can han­dle any­thing’, but the core of me is mush.”

Your char­ac­ter in Me Be­fore You is very dif­fer­ent from Khaleesi. Louisa is meek, and it takes time for her wit and drive to show. Did that part of her in­ter­est you? Oh yes, I was ob­sessed with My Fair Lady grow­ing up. As an ac­tress, you want to show a char­ac­ter’s growth. It’s ful­fill­ing. And I’m very close to Louisa as a per­son. At school, I was un­cer­tain and un­sure. So there was sin­cer­ity there that I was des­per­ate to play, be­cause with Daen­erys, I’ve spent my act­ing ca­reer putting ar­mour on. Khaleesi’s got her dragons for power and strength. Who do you rely on most? My fam­ily. My drama school friends – some of them aren’t act­ing any more. The gor­geous thing about hav­ing friends who aren’t in the entertainment world is that they say things like, “You’re let­ting im­por­tant mo­ments pass you by. Don’t be cool about it.” Stop. Ap­pre­ci­ate this. With a fran­chise as pop­u­lar as Game of Thrones, it must be no sur­prise to you that there is plenty of fan fic­tion. If you were writ­ing some your­self, what sto­ry­line would you like to see un­fold? I want to see Daen­erys and her three dragons share the throne, and eat goat that they’ve bar­be­qued. And I’d bring back all the pretty boys, get them to take their trousers down, and be like, “I’m now the queen of ev­ery­thing! I’d like close-ups of all their penises, please.”

“As an ac­tress, you want to be able to show a char­ac­ter’s growth.”

2016 As Louisa Clark in 2016 In Miu Miu at the Van­ity Fair Os­car party. 2016 In Er­dem at the sea­son six pre­miere.

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