While recollecting her experience of Game Of Thrones on the podcast ‘Armchair Expert’, which is hosted by Dax Sheperd, actress Emilia Clarke revealed that she had to do nude scenes even when she had a No-Nudity clause in her contract.
Why She Agreed To Do Nude Scenes
Game Of Thrones was Emilia Clarke’s first major project. She was a 21 years old drama student who didn’t know the workings of TV shows and movies. She said-
“I took the job and then they sent 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.”
She was okay with nude scenes when such scenes were required for story progression. However, most of the shows on HBO tend to have an excess of such sexually explicit scenes that only serve to titillate the audience.
There were times when her co-actor Jason Mamoa (who played her husband Khal Drogo) had to step in and ask the crew, “Can we get some F*cking robes, she’s shivering?”.
He helped her in determining what was okay and what was not.
“The Sheets Stay On”
She confessed that she used to fight with people over the issue of nudity. She states-
“I’ve had fights onset before where I’m like, ‘No, the sheet stays up’, and they’re like, ‘You don’t wanna disappoint your Game of Thrones fans’.”
When her character became more popular, her influence increased. So, after season 3 she refused to do any nude scenes. However, she was told that she’d be disappointing her fans.
This is in reference to her sex scenes with Daario Naharis (played by Michael Huisman) in seasons 4 and 5. The scenes usually depicted the aftermath of their sessions with both of them reclining on the bed. So, her insistence that the sheets ‘stay on’, covering her breasts, is not unreasonable.
The Scene In Question And Why She Agreed
Clarke was asked to do a nude scene again in season 6. In the scene, her character Daenerys appears unscathed after burning down the temple of ‘Dosh Khaleen’ along with the arrogant Khals who wanted to enslave her.
To keep everyone happy on the show, and because the scene was not debasing she complied with the show’s demands.
She said, “It was just a wonderful, strong moment I wanted to own. It’s not a sexy scene, she’s not naked for no reason, it’s not gratuitous. She’s naked because she’s just destroyed her enemies in this almighty blaze after they underestimated her”
Although she agreed to it, this scene was not needed as it was quite inaccurate. George R.R. Martin, the writer of ‘A Song Of Ice And Fire’ series on which the show is based has clarified that the dragon birth scene was a special event and that Daenerys is not immune to fire.
It’s also worth mentioning that in the books her hair burns down too. However, a bald head would have made the visuals less appealing, so in the show, Daenerys’s hair remains intact.
Emilia Clarke was also offered the part of ‘Anastasia Steele’ in the movie ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’. However, Emilia was already tired of people constantly bringing up her nude scenes and the movie required her to be naked in a lot of scenes.
The movie also revolved around BDSM, a practice most people consider taboo. She didn’t want to be type-casted into a particular role and recognized as the girl who bared her skin, so she refused the offer.
Sex-Symbol And Male Gaze
She is an established actor yet all anyone ever jokes about is the number of times they saw her naked on screen. In an interview with Harper Magazine, she said-
“I’m starting to get really annoyed about this stuff now because people say, ‘Oh, yeah, all the porn sites went down when Game of Thrones came back on’.“
“<actress name> Hot Pics”, this search title would show up in the browser history of a lot of individuals who don’t see any other aspect of female actors.
It’s an actor’s job to convince the audience that they’re someone else but so often actors are just reduced to the role of being a sex-symbol. By refusing to do unneeded sex scenes she was trying to escape her status as one. The other actresses on the show have been objectified as much as Emilia.
In the podcast, she mentioned that the nude scenes are more difficult for women as the crew is 80% male. Also, it’s mostly the female actors whose private parts end up in the popular section of various porn sites. Anyone would feel vulnerable in this situation.
There are a lot of things about Game Of Thrones that have enraged the audience over the years and this just adds fuel to the fire.
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