After portraying Daenerys Targaryen for almost a decade, Emilia Clarke is entering a new era. Although her Game of Thrones character will continue to be iconic for years to come, her upcoming roles in films such as Last Christmas and Above Suspicion will certainly seek to brush off the Mother of Dragons.
Years ago, the actress was famously considered for another huge adaptation of a series of novels. Before Dakota Johnson took on Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey, Emilia Clarke had been in talks to join the franchise. As she moves forward in her career, the actress has got candid about why Fifty Shades wasn’t the right move for her at the time. In her words:
The last time that I was naked on camera on [Game of Thrones] 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 tits, for God’s sake.
The downside of playing a character as loved as Daenerys is it’s going to be tough for her to shake her off. It hasn’t helped that the Game of Thrones character is quite well known for her nude scenes early on in the series. Emilia Clarke agreed to bare it all in service of Dany and the show, but it seems like it backfired a bit when it constantly became the center of conversation.
Her beautiful blues are up here! After Game of Thrones Season 3, the Mother of Dragons eased up on showing skin, but when another role revolved around nudity and sex presented itself, Clarke didn’t want much of anything do with it. She continued to The Hollywood Reporter with this:
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, 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.'
It wasn’t only this that led Emilia Clarke to pass on Fifty Shade of Grey though. With the longevity of her Game of Thrones character, the actress is simply uninterested in doing movies with sequels attached for a while. She had previously said that she didn’t think she’d be able to take the “enormity” of the E.L. James’ series in her lap, though she was impressed by Sam-Taylor Johnson’s vision. Even after the movies’ success, the actress has no regrets about not taking it on.
Emilia Clarke wasn’t the only star to skip out on Fifty Shades of Grey and be content about it. Charlie Hunnam was also close contender for Christian Grey, but he cited his decision against it to him being a germaphobe and having scheduling conflicts, even though the actor knows full well he missed out on a fortune by turning down the role.
In the end, it was meant to be for Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson. The pair came out on the other side of the franchise thankful and with exciting careers ahead of them.