Staff / June 16th, 2015


Emilia was on the cover of the Vogue May 2015 issue. Vogue had an interesting article about Emilia and a very pretty photoshoot. I have added the photoshoot outtakes an magazine scans to the gallery. You can view the video ‘Emilia Clarke Cover Shoot – Game of Thrones Star Channels Khaleesi’ above and you can read the entire article below.


In Vogue: Emilia Clarke
Emilia Clarke, Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, abandoned her dragons for the fantasy of couture in the May 2015 issue of Vogue.

When I first arrive at the greasy spoon in Hampstead where Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke (who plays the platinum-blonde warrior queen Daenerys Targaryen) and I are due to meet, I almost turn on my heel and walk out. There are only two people here, drinking lukewarm coffee under the strip lighting, and one of them looks as if he might be homeless. The other one, a tiny brunette in black jeans and a black leather jacket, has her legs up on the chair beside her and is twiddling her hair absent-mindedly while reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.

On closer inspection, there are a few clues that I have, in fact, found my cover girl: the Prada leopard-print loafers, the sequined green Alberta Ferretti overcoat on the back of her chair, the silver Yves Saint Laurent bangle, the matching Chanel red nails and lipstick. “Hi!” grins the actress best known to the tens of millions of Game of Thrones fans around the globe as the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.

If you aren’t one of the many who tuned in to the fourth and latest series of Game of Thrones, you might not know who Clarke, 28, is. If you are, you are undoubtedly a fan. HBO’s most popular show ever (which is saying something about a network that brought us The Wire, The Sopranos and Girls), Game of Thrones – based on George RR Martin’s epic series of fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire – is packed full of delicious amounts of lust, violence and intrigue. “When I first read the scripts, I was on holiday with my family,” recalls Clarke who, in the first series, appeared in scenes involving rape, full-frontal nudity and eating a horse’s heart. “I told my dad, you’re not going to be able to watch the first five episodes…”

In person, Clarke is less Mother of Dragons, more your best friend’s little sister. Exquisitely pretty and effervescently friendly, she talks nineteen to the dozen and looks like an animé character when she smiles, which is all the time. “We knew as soon as we saw her audition video on a three-inch laptop that we had found our girl,” remember Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and DB Weiss. “So when we went into the casting director’s office to meet her, it was more a question of ‘Please don’t be difficult or insane.’ Not only was Emilia not difficult or insane, she was adorable, grounded, relaxed and funny.” And to seal the deal, the then 23-year-old 5ft 2in unknown (who very much did not fit the casting description of “tall, blonde and willowy”) voluntarily danced the robot to a roomful of HBO executives.

Buckinghamshire-born Clarke – who, at the age of 10, announced to her parents her intention to become an actress – badly wanted the role. Since leaving the Drama Centre (she had failed to get into Rada) a year previously, she had had bit parts on the daytime soap Doctors and a made-for-television monster film called Triassic Attack, but was working in telesales to pay the rent. “Game of Thrones changed my life,” she says with wide-eyed sweetness. “I owe the show everything.”

The core attraction of Game of Thrones (presumably you can tell I’m a fan) is that, for all its fantasy weirdness, it is essentially a show about what it means to be human. And, just as in life, you never, ever know what is going to happen next. “We don’t either, half the time!” admits Clarke, who laughingly describes the scripts, when they arrive in advance of filming in June each year, as “like crack”.

This month, season five finally airs. Judging by the trailer, things are really hotting up in the Known World. Jonathan Pryce has joined the cast, the Iron Throne is standing empty, the White Walkers are coming and the race is on for absolute power. And Daenerys Targaryen, it seems, is very much centre stage?

“Maybe,” Clarke smirks enigmatically. “Maybe,” she says again, when I ask if she comes out of her isolation. Up until now, Daenerys has existed in her own separate realm, conquering the free cities of Astapor and Yunkai, raising her babies into fully fledged dragons (“A technical and unsexy kind of acting,” says Benioff, “emoting at what appears to be a large green stuffed pickle”) and biding her time. The only occasions, in fact, that Clarke ever got to hang out with fellow cast members (such as Lena Headey, Charles Dance, Peter Dinklage and Kit Harington) was at photoshoots and awards ceremonies. But the only morsel she will impart is that Dany, as she affectionately calls her character, “definitely has a few more friends”.

“Season five finds Dany in a very hard place,” say Benioff and Weiss. “Her children are either in juvenile detention or MIA, and she’s learning the hard way that conquering and ruling aren’t the same thing. And that’s all we have to say about that.” Filming for Clarke (whose average day starts at 3am with two hours of hair and make-up) took place over six months in Spain, Croatia, Iceland and Northern Ireland, with plenty of exhausting travelling to and from other jobs in between. Because while she goes from strength to strength in Game of Thrones (earning a Best Supporting Actress Emmy nomination in 2013), Clarke’s Hollywood currency is rising. This summer will see her starring as Sarah Connor alongside Jai Courtney and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Genisys, the fifth film in the multimillion-dollar franchise. “She’s a real badass,” smiles Clarke.

To take on the role of Sarah Connor, Clarke trained up to six hours a day. Although she’s too diplomatic to spell it out, she gives the impression that filming was a fairly gruelling experience. “Finishing Terminator was like falling off a rollercoaster,” she admits. “It was such a beast and they demanded a lot from me. At the time I was asking myself, ‘What sort of career do I want and what should I be doing to get that career?’ And then I went back to Game of Thrones and it was like coming home. Just the smell of the hotel in Belfast made me feel safe. I told myself, forget the big game plan; all I want is to do jobs that make me happy.”

Clarke possesses an inner steel which makes her a good match for the tough, female leads she craves. “I’ve always had a hunger and a determination, ever since I was a little girl,” she says. “A lot of that, I think, comes from my mum. She is vice-president of marketing for a global management consultancy and has always worked very, very hard. I got my work ethic from her, for sure. She was taking a marketing meeting a few hours after she’d given birth to my baby brother.”

Add to Clarke’s matriarchal mix a father who, by virtue of his own successful career as a theatrical-sound engineer, had the know-how to guide her through the pitfalls of a precarious industry. “When I told my dad I wanted to be an actress, he replied that there was only one line I needed to learn,” she remembers. “‘Do you want fries with that?'”

Fortunately her father didn’t need to worry about his daughter’s unemployment. Clarke hasn’t had a holiday in five years. While her friends from St Edward’s School (“Teddies”) in Oxford are starting to settle down, she is doing anything but. Currently single (“Of course I am! I’ve got no spare time…”), the former girlfriend of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is in no hurry to do anything but earn her acting stripes. Rather than go home and rest when she had days off from filming series five of Game of Thrones, Clarke went and filmed an Italian arthouse movie, Voice from the Stone, in Rome. And before filming starts on season six in June, she and Hunger Games actor Sam Claflin will star in the adaptation of Jojo Moyes’s bestselling novel Me Before You.

Tomorrow Clarke leaves for Los Angeles, where the cast of Game of Thrones have been nominated for an ensemble in a drama series award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards (they lose out to Downton Abbey). For Clarke, a diehard Audrey Hepburn fan who “loves all things girly and dressing up”, red-carpet dressing is a dream. Although she has to be realistic: “I will often fall in love with a dress on the catwalk – I love Chanel, Prada and Alberta Ferretti especially – and then I have to give myself a good talking to,” laughs the pint-sized starlet. “Hmm, if you cut it in half, it might not look so great!”

For Clarke, being reunited with her on-screen family is the best thing about awards ceremonies. And, besides, nothing could ever be as frightening as the first time. “My first ever Screen Actors Guild Awards were in 2011, just before series one of Game of Thrones aired,” she says. “I approached the bank of photographers that looked like it was about two miles long, and I thought to myself, ‘Oh my god, what do I do? Come on! You can do this. Just stand and smile.’ So I walked in front of them, and I stood and smiled, and then all of them put their cameras down and shouted ‘Who are you?'” The mere recollection makes her helpless with mortified laughter. “So, let’s face it, from there things could only get better really, couldn’t they?”

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