How much do you know about the British TV heartthrob Emilia Clarke? Basking in the fame of Game of Thrones, it’s not been an easy ride for her to stardom. We give you the 6 things you never knew about Queen Daenerys Targaryen.
She was in the theatre at a young age
Clarke was seemingly born to be an actor, considering that her father worked in the theater community in London as a sound engineer. As a child, she was enthralled, falling in love with the theater.
Clarke once said that her father used to remind her that actors rarely make any money. Though her father only had the best intentions, audiences across the world are lucky Clarke kept excelling at acting until she succeeded, eventually attending the prestigious Drama Centre London.
She switched multiple jobs before getting her big break
She had to take up different jobs just to make sure her bills were paid. When the call came from HBO for the famous role that would change her life forever, she was working six jobs, one among them being a real estate agent during the summers while she studied at university.
Realizing the importance of this particular audition, she had actually called in sick at her catering job so she could attend. Her efforts were clearly worth it, as she booked the role of a lifetime, becoming one of the most celebrated young actresses in the industry.
She had backpacked through India
Thanks to the storyline, Clarke had the chance to travel to several exotic filming locations over the years, including Croatia, Malta, Ireland, Iceland, and Spain, since Thrones is known for its international production and use of naturally beautiful filming locations.
Clarke was already a world traveler at a young age in real life. At just 16, she embarked on a backpacking trip through Northern India, continuing into Tibet, having made the journey to scatter the ashes of her Delhi-born grandmother.
She turned down the lead role for 50 Shades of Grey
After her fame on GoT, Clarke was heaped with film offers. Reportedly, Clarke was offered the lead role of Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey, the first in a trilogy that took the world by storm when the original book series hit shelves in 2011. A film adaptation was in the works and makers wanted to cast Clarke. Ultimately, Clarke turned the role down, and it famously went to Dakota Johnson, who starred alongside British actor Jamie Dornan for the entirety of the series.
Since then, Clarke revealed her reason behind turning down the role stating that Fifty Shades could have gained her even more exposure as an actor, but it wasn’t the ‘right’ kind of exposure she wanted. Given her history of nude scenes on both screen and stage, Clarke didn’t want to be labeled as any specific type of performer. She still has “no regrets” whatsoever about turning down this infamous role.
She lost her dear ones to Cancer and Brexit
2016 was quite a difficult year for the young star, between political struggles and family tragedies. In the aftermath of Brexit, she lost a family member shortly after the vote, which shook her personally and professionally.
Clarke’s father had suffered from cancer for years and succumbed to his illness in July of 2016, but heartbreakingly, she couldn’t be there during his final days. This was devastating for Clarke, but just three weeks later, she was due back on the set of Thrones.
She almost died on the set of Game of Thrones
Clarke, who began filming Thrones at the age of 24, suffered a debilitating brain aneurysm during a session with her personal trainer. Only a third of patients survive the specific type of bleed that she suffered. She underwent a minimally invasive form of brain surgery only to know that she had a smaller aneurysm elsewhere in her brain that could also burst.
Shaky, exhausted, and partially reliant on morphine, Clarke bravely went back to work and continued filming Thrones until 2013. Then the second aneurysm burst, requiring a much more invasive surgery that left her with an incredibly difficult recovery. She is a hundred percent okay now.