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Emilia Clarke Opens Up About Being Pressured To Do Nude Scenes So As Not To ‘Disappoint’ Her ‘Game Of Thrones’ Fans

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It may seem like Hollywood has been making great strides when it comes to protecting women from on-the-job sexual exploitation, but to hear Emilia Clarke talk about it, there’s still a long, long way to go.

The actress, who played Daenerys Targaryen on HBO’s iconic Game of Thrones, recently opened up about her experiences filming the show’s infamous nude scenes.

Speaking with actor Dax Shepherd on his podcast “Armchair Expert,” Clarke spoke about how the sex scenes have impacted her career—specifically, how often she’s been pressured to deliver nudity on set.

As she relayed to Shepherd:

“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, ‘Fu*k you’.”

Clarke also talked about being so excited about the gig on Game of Thrones that she accepted the role without having known that nudity was required.

“…obviously I took the job. And then they sent me the pilot, they sent me the scripts, and I was reading them and it was like, ‘Oh, there’s the catch! Ooh okay, alright then’.”

The experience was particularly jarring because Clarke was fresh out of drama school and a relative newcomer to the film and television world.

“I’d been on a film set twice before then and now I’m on a film set completely naked with all these people.”

Clarke went on to say that it took quite a bit of work to become more comfortable with the nudity required for her job, and that it was costar Jason Momoa who was pivotal in teaching her to advocate for herself.

“It was definitely hard, which is why the scenes, when I got to do them with Jason were wonderful because he was like, ‘No, sweetie, this is not okay’ and I was like, ‘Oh’.”

On Twitter, fans of Clarke and Game of Thrones were definitely shocked to hear her stories.

Clarke also spoke of Momoa standing up for her on set, shouting to the crew between takes, “Could we get her a fuc*ing robe? Could we get her a goddamn robe? She’s shivering!”

And she credited Momoa with helping her develop the confidence to perform her later nude scenes on her own terms.

Of her final Game of Thrones nude scene, she told Shepherd:

“I was like ‘I’m owning this, this is mine, they’ve asked me to do it, and you know what, I’m fuc*ing game’.”

And folks online were definitely here for Momoa’s advocacy for his fellow actor.

Clarke’s latest work, the holiday-themed romcom Last Christmas, directed by Bridesmaids helmer Paul Feig, is in theaters now—and nudity free, thank you very much.


Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, video producer and performer originally from Michigan, and is one of those people who says he "lived in London for a while" even though it was only six weeks for study abroad. He made Ellen DeGeneres laugh once so you should probably follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Medium, where he does a lot of yelling under the name @JohntheCraptist.