Emilia Clarke says her professional inexperience going into Game of Thrones played a part in her willingness to perform so many nude scenes in the first season of the HBO series, and that she became more outspoken as the seasons progressed.
Clarke, who played the Dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen throughout the run of the HBO series, said, “I’m floating through this first season and I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea what any of this is.”
“I came to terms with that beforehand,” she told Shepard, “but then going in and doing it…I’d been on a film set twice before then, and I’m now 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.”
But Clarke added that her first-season insecurities would have existed with or without the nudity. “Regardless of there being nudity or not, I would have spent that first season thinking I’m not worthy of requiring anything, I’m not worthy of needing anything at all.”
In later seasons and in roles since, she said she had the confidence to express her misgivings, in part because of advice she got from co-star Jason Momoa. “It was definitely hard, which is why the scenes when I got to do them with Jason were wonderful,” she said, “because he was like, ‘No, sweetie, this isn’t okay.’ And I was like ‘Oh.’ “
“Now things are very, very different. I’m a lot more savvy with what I’m comfortable with, and what I am okay with doing,” she said. “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, ‘F*ck you.'”