Movies & TV / News

Emilia Clarke On Her Game of Thrones Nude Scenes, Being Pressured to Do It on Other Sets

November 19, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Emilia Clarke

Emilia Clarke appeared on the Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard and discussed her time on Game of Thrones, particularly the amount of nude scenes she had to do. As Daenerys, Clarke was required to do a lot of nude scenes early in the show when the character was sold to Jason Momoa’s Khal Drogo. Clarke’s nude scene work cut down to nothing after the first couple of seasons, and the actress discussed what it was like having to do so many and how she eventually became more assertive about her comfort line, both on Thrones and on other film sets where she was pressured to do nude work.

Highlights from the discussion are below per JoBlo, as well as the full podcast:

On first learning about the amount of nudity she was in for: “Season one was what it was. There was a f**k-ton of nudity. They sent me the scripts, and I was like, ‘Oh, there’s the catch.’ But I’d come fresh from drama school and was like, ‘Approach this as a job, if it’s in the script, then it’s clearly needed,’ so I kind of came to terms with that before hand.”

On being hit with imposter syndrome during production of the first season: “I was in such like a, oh my god, other world, I’m floating through this first season, I have no idea what I’m doing, I have no idea what any of this is. I’ve never been on a film set like this before, I’d been on a film set twice before then, and now I’m 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 whether they’d been nudity, I’d have spent that first season thinking, ‘I’m not worthy of requiring anything, I’m not worthy of needing anything at all.'”

On doing the nude scenes in season one: “It was definitely hard, which is why the scenes when I got to do them with Jason [Momoa] were wonderful, because he was like, ‘No sweetie, this isn’t okay!’…It’s only now that I realize how fortunate I was with that, because that could have gone many, many, many different ways. Because Jason had experience, he had done a bunch of stuff before coming on to this, he was like, ‘Sweetie, this is how it’s meant to be and this is how it’s not meant to be, and I’m going to make sure that’s the way it goes. He was so kind and considerate and cared about me as a human being. He took care of me, he really did. In an environment where I didn’t know I needed to be taken care of.”

On not feeling pressured to do nudity anymore: “[I’m] a lot more savvy about what I’m comfortable with and what I’m 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 want to disappoint your Game of Thrones fans,’ and I’m like, ‘f**k you.'”

On her final nude scene for the show in season six: “[My attitude was] I’m owning this, this is mine, they’ve asked me to do it, and I am f**king game.'”