Now, the Game of Thrones star, who’s better known these days as the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, in the hit HBO series, has revealed that she turned down the lead role in Fifty Shades of Grey because she didn’t want to be “pigeonholed” for the rest of her career.
Whether it’s raising awareness of brain aneurysms with a real-life survival story, or speaking up about the ‘shocking’ gender pay gap in the film industry, Emilia Clarke is no stranger to speaking her mind.
In a roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter, the actress recounted that she was in initial talks to star as Anastasia Steele in the series, but eventually declined the role because of controversy around a brief nude scene she had filmed for an earlier season of GoT.
“Well, Sam Taylor-Johnson, the director is a magician. I love her, and I thought her vision was beautiful,” the actress began. “But the last time that I was naked on camera 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 t*ts, for God’s sake.”
Emilia went on to explain that while she believed the brief on-screen nudity that she had filmed for GoT had drawn attention away from her other work, she felt that she couldn’t accept the lead part in iFifty Shades/I, which follows the story of a college senior and her BDSM relationship with a billionaire, and not expect to be asked about it in the future.
“I was like, ‘I can’t.’ 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,” she continued.
“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’.”
Well said, Emilia!