Emilia Clarke says she had a tough time filming the nude scenes on HBO’s Emmy-winning fantasy drama Game of Thrones.
Clarke, who played Queen Daenerys on the Game of Thrones, which ended its eight-season run in May, recently went on actor Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert and described the nude scenes in the first season as “terrifying”. The British actress was 23 when she worked on the show which has often been criticised for its excessive sexual violence.
“I took the job and then they send me the scripts and I was reading them, and I was like, ‘Oh, there’s the catch!’ But I’d come fresh from drama school and I approached it as a job: if it’s in the script then it’s clearly needed. This is what this is and I’m going to make sense of it and that’s what I’m going to do and everything’s going to be cool.”
But things weren’t cool. She added, “I’ve never been on a film set like this before. I’d been on a film set twice before then, and I’m now on a film set completely naked with all of these people, and I don’t know what I’m meant to do, and I don’t know what’s expected of me, and I don’t know what you want, and I don’t know what I want. Regardless of there being nudity or not, I would have spent that first season thinking I’m not worthy of requiring anything. I’m not worthy of needing anything at all.”
In the podcast, she credited Jason Momoa, who played Khal Drogo, as her protector on set. In one scene, where Drogo “virtually rapes” Daenerys on their wedding night, Clarke recalled how the Aquaman actor made the shoot comfortable for her. “He was crying more than I was,” said Clarke, who’s starring opposite Henry Golding in next week’s Last Christmas.
She added, “Because Jason had experience — he was an experienced actor who had done a bunch of stuff before coming on to this — he was like, ‘Sweetie, this is how it’s meant to be, this is how it’s not meant to be, and I’m going to make sure that that’s the [expletive] gaze.’ He was always like, ‘Can we get her a [expletive] robe? She’s shivering!’ … He was so kind and considerate and cared about me as a human being.”
Clarke, 33, said that the pressure to do nudity continued in her post- Queen Daenerys projects, but she’s now more skillful in dealing with such requests. “I’m a lot savvier with what I’m comfortable with, and what I am okay with doing…I’ve had fights on set before where I’m like, ‘No, the sheet stays up,’ and they’re like, ‘You don’t wanna disappoint your Game of Thrones fans.’ And I’m like, ‘[Expletive] you.’”