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  • Wed. Feb 21st, 2024
Emilia ClarkeEmilia Clarke

Emilia Isobel Euphemia Rose Clarke is a British actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones (2011–2019), for which she received nominations for four Primetime Emmy Awards.

Clarke studied at Drama Centre London, appearing in a number of stage productions. Her television debut was a guest appearance in the BBC One medical soap opera Doctors in 2009, at age 22. Clarke made her Broadway debut as Holly Golightly in the 2013 play Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and played Nina in a West End production of The Seagull that was suspended due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. Her film roles include Sarah Connor in the science fiction film Terminator Genisys (2015), Qi’ra in the Star Wars film Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), and the romance films Me Before You (2016) and Last Christmas (2019). She starred as G’iah in the Marvel Cinematic Universe miniseries Secret Invasion (2023).

Nick Name: Milly, Em, Dany
Years active: 2009–present
Born: October 23, 1986, 37 years old and 3 months, London, England
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Green
Height: 5 ft 2 in – 1.575 m
Measurements: 35-26-37 in – 89-66-94 cm
Bra Size: 32C US – 70C EU

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Ethnicity

She is of English, Indian, German, and Welsh descent.

Early life

Siblings – Emilia has 1 younger brother, who is studying politics

Emilia Isobel Euphemia Rose Clarke grew up in Oxfordshire. Her father, Peter Clarke, was a theatre sound engineer from Wolverhampton. Her mother, Jennifer, was a businesswoman and is the vice-president for marketing at a global management consultancy firm as of 2020. Clarke has Indian ancestry on her mother’s side of the family; her maternal grandmother was the child of a secret affair between Clarke’s great-grandmother and a man from the Indian subcontinent, and wore light make-up to conceal the darker complexion she had inherited from her father. She credits this background for her family’s having a “history of fighters”, stating, “The fact that [my grandmother] had to hide her skin colour, essentially, and try desperately to fit in with everyone else must’ve been incredibly difficult.” She stated that her grandmother “loved India more than she loved England” and as such, when she died, sixteen-year-old Clarke travelled to India to scatter her ashes. She has an older brother, Bennett, who works in the entertainment industry and was part of the camera department on Game of Thrones.

Clarke became interested in acting at age three after seeing a production of the musical Show Boat. When she was ten, her father took her to a West End audition for The Goodbye Girl, a musical by Neil Simon. Clarke was educated at Rye St Antony School in Headington and St Edward’s School, Oxford, which she left in 2005. In a 2016 interview with Time Out, she stated “I went to posh boarding schools, but I wasn’t the posh girl at the posh boarding schools.” She also stated that most of the people at her boarding school in Oxford were from Conservative backgrounds, which meant she and some of her friends often felt like outsiders. After graduation, Clarke unsuccessfully applied to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She worked and travelled before enrolling at Drama Centre London, where she graduated in 2009.

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Career

2000–2010: Beginnings

Clarke started to act in stage productions while attending school. She appeared in student productions of Twelfth Night and West Side Story while attending St Edward’s School. After taking a sabbatical year, she was accepted into Drama Centre London. Clarke also appeared the 2009 production of Sense, co-produced by theatre company Company of Angels and Drama Centre London.

One of her first film roles was in Drop the Dog, a University of London student short film. She graduated from drama school in 2009. She worked at various non-acting jobs after graduating while auditioning for roles. She starred in two commercials for the charity Samaritans, portraying a domestic abuse victim. Her first credited television role was a bit part in a 2009 episode of the British soap opera Doctors. Clarke was cast in her first professional film role, playing Savannah in the 2010 television film Triassic Attack. The film was released in November 2010 on the Syfy channel in the United States where it received negative reviews. Despite the film’s reviews, she was named a “UK Star of Tomorrow” by the film magazine Screen International.

2011–2019: Game of Thrones and worldwide recognition

Clarke was cast in her third professional role in 2010, as Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones. It is based on the fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. Daenerys is one of the last surviving members of House Targaryen who had ruled Westeros from the Iron Throne for nearly three hundred years prior to being ousted. Actress Tamzin Merchant was originally cast for the part of Daenerys. When the pilot episode was re-shot in early 2010, Merchant was replaced by Clarke. The show ran from April 2011 until May 2019, with Clarke portraying Daenerys throughout all eight seasons.

Clarke received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Daenerys, which traces an arc from frightened girl to powerful woman. Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe called her scenes “mesmerising”, adding that “Clarke doesn’t have a lot of emotional variety to work with as Daenerys, aside from fierce determination, and yet she is riveting.” Emily VanDerWerff for The A.V. Club commented on the difficulty of adapting such an evolution from page to screen, but concluded that Clarke “more than seal[s] the deal here.”

Clarke said by being cast as Daenerys, she had avoided the “typical bonnet duty that you have to go through as a young British actress”. In 2017, she reportedly became one of the highest-paid actors on television, earning between £1.2 and £2 million per episode of Game of Thrones. In 2019, she said she had been uncomfortable acting nude in her first experience at age 23 of a large film set, but had since become “a lot more savvy” about what level of nudity is needed for a scene. Clarke received multiple award nominations and wins for her role of Daenerys. After the first season, Clarke won Best Supporting Actress in a Drama at the 2011 EWwy Awards. She was also nominated three times for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2013, 2015, and 2016. At the 2019 Emmys, she was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, her first nomination in the category.

In addition to the television show, she lent her voice and likeness to the 2014 video game of the same name. She also made a cameo appearance during Kit Harington‘s monologue on Saturday Night Live in April 2019. She said in a November 2019 NPR interview that if she “were to get stereotyped as the mother of dragons, I could ask for worse. It’s really quite wonderful.” In a 2021 interview with theSkimm, Clarke stated that she would change the way her character died.

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2012–2021: Varied roles, franchise films, and publishing

Clarke’s first film role was in the short film Shackled (2012). The film was featured in the 2020 Amazon Prime Video horror anthology series Murder Manual. The same year, she starred alongside Elliott Tittensor in the comedy film Spike Island. It details a group of friends who try to get to the namesake island of The Stone Roses 1990 concert. The movie was originally distributed only in the United Kingdom but was subsequently picked up by Level 33 Entertainment for North American distribution in March 2015. From March to April 2013, she played Holly Golightly in a Broadway production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a role requiring her to perform a nude scene. The production, along with her performance, received mixed reviews from critics. Later that year, she also starred in the black comedy-crime drama film Dom Hemingway alongside Jude Law.

In May 2013 Clarke was cast in a film adaptation of the novel The Garden of Last DaysJames Franco was set to direct and star in the film however he left the project two weeks before filming after creative differences with the film distributor Millennium Entertainment. In an 2019 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Clarke said she was offered the role of Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) in Fifty Shades of Grey. She said she turned down the part because of the nudity required.

In 2013, she was cast as Sarah Connor in the science fiction action film Terminator Genisys (2015). The film, which also stars Arnold SchwarzeneggerJai Courtney, and Jason Clarke, received unfavourable reviews from critics but was a box office success, grossing over $440 million worldwide. Clarke was nominated for Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer Movie Star – Female and Best International Actress at the 2016 Jupiter Awards for her performance.

She starred as the female lead, opposite Sam Claflin, in the film adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name, Me Before You. The film which was released on 3 June 2016 and directed by Thea Sharrock, received mixed critical reviews. The film was a box office success with worldwide revenues of $200 million. For her role as Louisa “Lou” Clark, she shared nominations with Sam Claflin for the Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Liplock and the MTV Television Tearjerker Award. In 2017, she played the lead as Nurse Verena in the supernatural psychological thriller film Voice from the Stone. The film was released in April 2017 for a limited theatre run, followed by video on demand and digital HD.

She was cast as the female lead in Solo: A Star Wars Story in November 2016. The movie, which was directed by Ron Howard and premiered in May 2018, details the origins of Star Wars characters Han Solo and Chewbacca. Clarke played Qi’ra, Han’s childhood friend and love interest. The film received favourable critical reviews despite being the second-lowest grossing Star Wars film. The film was released worldwide on 25 May 2018. Her performance received positive critical reviews with many calling her one of the standouts of the film. Clarke, along with Jack Huston, was cast in 2016 as leads in the film Above Suspicion (2019). The film is based on a thriller novel by Joe Sharkey and directed by Phillip Noyce, and was announced at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. The film received generally favourable reviews with Clarke’s performance being highly praised by critics. It also had a turbulent release which left it vulnerable to piracy. In late 2019, Clarke starred opposite Henry Golding in the romantic comedy Last Christmas. The film was written by Emma Thompson and directed by Paul Feig. In a January 2020 interview with Bustle magazine, Clarke stated she was inspired by Will Ferrell‘s character in the 2003 comedy film Elf. Despite its unfavourable reviews, critics praised Clarke’s performance, and the film went on to become a box office success grossing over $121 million worldwide.

Clarke starred as Nina in the West End production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, directed by Jamie Lloyd, which began previews on 11 March 2020 at the Playhouse Theatre. The production was suspended on 16 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The play was Clarke’s first West End production. It resumed two years later in July 2022 and was broadcast internationally via National Theatre Live. In 2021, Clarke published the first in a series of comic books titled M.O.M.: Mother of Madness that she co-wrote with Marguerite Bennett.

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2022–present

In 2022, Clarke was cast in the animation film The Amazing Maurice. The film, which is an adaptation of The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett, was released in the United Kingdom on 16 December 2022 and in the United States on 3 February 2023. In January 2023, Clarke starred in and executive produced The Pod Generation. The film had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and was directed by Sophie Barthes.

Clarke was cast as the lead in the English language adaptation of the 2015 Korean romantic comedy The Beauty Inside. As of October 2019, the film was yet to begin production. It was announced in May 2019 that Clarke is set to play the English poet Elizabeth Barrett in the film Let Me Count the Ways, which The Wife director Björn Runge is set to direct.

In April 2021, Clarke joined the cast of Secret Invasion for Disney+, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The show premiered on 21 June 2023. In October 2021, Clarke was cast to portray Jean Kerr, wife of Joseph McCarthy, in a biopic titled McCarthy. In October 2022, it was announced that Clarke is set to play Irish author Constance Lloyd in director Sophie Hyde’s film, An Ideal Wife.

Other ventures

Advertising and endorsements

In 2015, luxury goods company Dior signed Clarke to be the face of the Rose des Vents jewellery collection. In 2018, Dolce & Gabbana announced she would be the brand ambassador for the fragrance “The Only One”. She starred in an advertisement, which was directed by Matteo Garrone for the perfume. Cosmetics company Clinique announced Clarke as their first global ambassador in early 2020.

Philanthropy

Clarke has lent her support to various charitable organisations. In September 2011, she joined the SMA UK Trust Team as their celebrity ambassador. The SMA Trust raises funds for research into spinal muscular atrophy. In August 2017, she became a patron of Open Door, a nonprofit that aims to help young people gain access to drama school auditions. She auctioned a chance to watch an episode of Game of Thrones with her at the 2018 Sean Penn Charity Gala, which raised over $120,000 benefiting the J/P HRO & Disaster Relief Organizations. In February 2018, she introduced the award recipients at London’s Centrepoint Awards, which celebrates the courage shown by homeless young people.

In April 2018, she was named the sole ambassador to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). As the RCN’s ambassador, Clarke pledged to use her voice to fight for greater investment in nursing and to challenge misconceptions. Clarke also pledged to join nurses and healthcare workers to tackle the issues affecting the profession, including a falling number in training and shortages in the current workforce.

Clarke was also one of the numerous UK-based actresses to lend her voice to the Time’s Up initiative, aimed at exposing sexual harassment and abuse, and creating a society free of gender-based discrimination in the workplace. In August 2018, Clarke, as well as Gemma ArtertonLena HeadeyTom HiddlestonFelicity JonesWunmi MosakuFlorence PughGemma Chan, and Catherine Tate, featured in the short film titled Leading Lady Parts which took aim at the film industry’s issue of gender inequality during the casting process.

In 2019, upon revealing the brain aneurysms she suffered in 2011 and 2013, Clarke launched her own charity named SameYou. The organisation aims to broaden neurorehabilitation access for young people after a brain injury or stroke. On 26 September 2019, she co-hosted a YouTube live stream with Irish YouTuber Jacksepticeye that raised over £200,000 for SameYou. After the conclusion of the final season of Game of Thrones, a fundraiser called “Justice for Daenerys” was started in which fans of the series raised over £83,000 for her charity. According to the fundraiser creator, the purpose was to collectively show their appreciation for both Clarke and the character of Daenerys Targaryen. In 2020, Clarke was presented with the Public Leadership in Neurology award by the American Brain Foundation for her efforts in raising awareness about neurorehabilitation.

In April 2020, Clarke began a fundraiser to help raise funds for her charity’s COVID-19 fund. The fundraiser, which aimed to raise £250,000, would support both the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and the University College Hospital in London. The organisation’s new initiative aims to make a larger portion of beds available to coronavirus patients by providing a virtual rehabilitation clinic for people recovering from brain injuries and strokes. In a further response to the coronavirus pandemic, Clarke announced the launch of an Instagram series of poetry readings. The readings derive from a collection called The Poetry Pharmacy: Tried-and-True Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind and Soul. She began the series by reading a poem about loneliness, which she dedicated to her charity SameYou and announced that other performers would be joining the initiative, stating that every performer would dedicate their reading to a charity of their choosing.

In September 2020, she joined Emma ThompsonSanjeev Bhaskar, and Robert Lindsay in a virtual reading of the play Private Lives by English playwright Noël Coward. It was announced that all funds raised from the performance would be used as a crisis grant to support those in the theatre industry who were struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Personal life and public image

Clarke lives in the London Borough of Islington. She also owned a house in the Venice Beach neighbourhood of Los Angeles, which she purchased in 2016 and sold in December 2020.

In a 2013 interview with Allure, Clarke stated that her mother had rules when she was growing up: “Don’t do drugs, don’t have sex, and don’t touch your eyebrows.” She stated that she was bullied as a child for “having ridiculous eyebrows”.

In an essay she wrote for The New Yorker in 2019, Clarke revealed that she had suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm in February 2011. She underwent urgent endovascular coiling surgery and subsequently suffered from aphasia, at one point being unable to say her own name. She had a second aneurysm surgically treated in 2013.

Clarke was voted the most desirable woman in the world by AskMen readers in 2014. In 2015, she was named Esquires Sexiest Woman Alive and was also recognised with the GQ Woman of the Year Award. Clarke appeared on FHM‘s 100 Sexiest Women in the World list in 2015, 2016, and 2017. She was also included on Glamour‘s list of Best Dressed Women in 2017.

Once filming wrapped on the final season of Game of Thrones, Clarke, as a tribute to her role as Daenerys Targaryen, celebrated her time on the show with a wrist tattoo featuring a trio of flying dragons.

First Film

She got her first movie in 2012, titled Spike Island for her role as Sally.

First TV Show

British television soap opera, Doctors, which was started in 2000. She appeared in this show in 2009 in just 1 episode titled “Empty Nest.”

Quote

She once said on Lena Dunham‘s popular HBO series –

“I’D GIVE MY RIGHT ARM TO BE, LIKE, A RANDOM EXTRA ON GIRLS, JUST TO WALK PAST ONE OF THE SCENARIOS.”

Emilia Clarke Favorite Things

Candy – Pick’n’ Mix

TV Show – Girls (2012-Present)

Beauty Products – Tom Ford Lipstick, Dolce and Gabbana Secret Eyes

Designer – Simone Rocha, Chanel

Boot – Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane

Bag – Bottega Veneta bag

Chair – Martin Visser

Jacket – Chanel

Perfume – Le Labo Santal 33

Jeans – Levi

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Emilia Clarke Facts

Her interest in acting developed when she was three.

In March 2013, Clarke told GQ magazine that she was not recognized when she was out, despite the huge fan following of the show – Game of Thrones.

She has a dog, named Roxy.

To play Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones, Emilia was not the first choice. Instead, it was actress Tamzin Merchant. But, after the pilot was filmed, Emilia was finalized.

She would have been a singer, or architect or a graphics designer if she were not an actress.

Her birthdate is often wrongly reported online (on Wikipedia, IMDb, etc.) as May 1, 1987.

She has worked at an ice-cream shop in Oxford, while she was still a graduate student.

In the Independent Critics list of 100 Most beautiful faces of 2012, she was named no. 1.

She can also be seen at no. 88 in the AskMen Most Desirable Women list of 2012.

In 2010, she appeared in a TV movie Triassic Attack as Savannah.

She was named Sexiest Woman Alive by Esquire magazine in 2015.

She is sometimes called as Dany due to her role as Daenerys Targaryen in the TV series “Game of Thrones.”

She can also sing and play instruments like piano, flute, guitar.

Clarke is good at horseback riding, tennis, running, skiing, sailing, rowing, ice skating, and even swimming.

Emilia was offered the role of Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) in the movie Fifty Shades of Grey (2015). But, she turned it down as it included numerous nude scenes.

She has faced an aneurysm twice. The first one happened in 2011 and the second one in 2013.

Emilia has faced the problem of bullying during her school time due to her eyebrows.

Emilia loves to travel and has been to India, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and South Africa.

She was credited as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” list curated by Time magazine in 2019.

In 2019, she started her own charity SameYou which works for young people to give them neurorehabilitation access if they face a brain stroke. For her efforts in the field, she was honored with the Public Leadership in Neurology Award by the American Brain Foundation in 2020.

She suffered 2 brain hemorrhages in 2011 and 2013. Because of this, quite a bit of her brain is in unusable condition.

During the 2023 Deauville American Film Festival, Emilia was honored with the “Nouvel Hollywood” award.

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