Emilia Isobel Euphemia Rose Clarke (born 23 October 1986 in London, England) is an English actress.
Clarke was born in London and grew up in Berkshire with her parents and younger brother. Her father is a theatre sound engineer, and her mother a businesswoman. Clarke's interest in acting began at the age of three after seeing the musical Show Boat, on which her father was working at the time. She was educated at St Edward's School, Oxford from 2000 to 2005 and at Rye St Antony School. She then studied at Drama Centre London, graduating in 2009.
Clarke's early work includes two plays at St. Edwards, ten plays at Drama Centre London, the 2009 Company of Angels production of Sense, and a 2009 commercial for the Samaritans. Her first television roles were Saskia Mayer in a 2009 episode of Doctors and Savannah in Syfy's 2010 film Triassic Attack. Screen International magazine named her as one of the "UK Stars of Tomorrow".
In 2010, Clarke was cast as Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO series Game of Thrones, which is based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. She was cast after fellow British actress Tamzin Merchant was replaced for undisclosed reasons. The show debuted in April 2011 to universally positive reviews and was quickly picked up by the network for a second season. Clarke won the 2011 EWwy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her role as Daenerys. In 2013, she was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards. She was also voted the most desirable woman in the world by Askmen readers in 2014.
In 2012, Clarke appeared in Spike Island, a film named after the location of The Stone Roses' seminal 1990 gig. From March to April 2013, Clarke played Holly Golightly in a Broadway production of Breakfast at Tiffany's. In May, it was announced that she had joined the feature film Garden of Last Days. In July 2015, Clarke played Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys — speaking of which, she is not related to Jason Clarke. In 2016, she appeared in the romantic drama Me Before You, in 2017, she starred in the psychological thriller Voice from the Stone, and in 2018 she starred in Solo as Han's First Love, Qi'ra.
Her notable roles include:
- Game of Thrones (2011 — 2019) as Daenerys Targaryen
- Terminator Genisys (2015) as Sarah Connor
- Me Before You (2016) as Louisa Clark
- Solo (2017) as Qi'ra
- Last Christmas (2019) as Katarina "Kate"
Tropes Relating to Her Career:
- The Cast Showoff: David Benioff attributes Emilia with often being "too fucking funny!" off set. Shame Dany's comedic scenes in GOT are few to none. But Coldplay made sure to employ Clarke's comedic chops by having her sing a reggae song about Daenerys.
- Creator Backlash: Terminator Genisys, her refusal to reprise the role of Sarah Connor is a reason why she hates this movie. Even before she had filmed it, she thought she was naive to accept the role of Sarah so early in her career.
- Dawson Casting: Her babyface and stature have put this trope into effect for many of her best-known roles. In Me Before You, where she would've been pushing 30, she plays 26-year-old Louisa. 3 years later, in Last Christmas, she's still playing a character younger than 27 and, possibly, even younger than Louisa, although it isn't specified. Solo provides one of the most extreme examples; Qi'ra is only 18 at the start, then 21 after the Time Skip, yet Clarke was nearly 31 during filming.
- Dyeing for Your Art: She's a brunette. And had to wear a huge blonde wig under the scorching Morocco sun for her most famous role.
- Fake American: As Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys. She can also do a good Valley Girl voice on command.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Often her most striking feature in photographs. Her "eyebrow acting" reaches near-Emma Watson levels.
- Funny Character, Boring Actor: Inverted. Daenerys is a very serious, humourless queen. Emilia is known for being very funny and goofy out of character. Me Before You is closer to her real personality.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Her on-screen love interests tend to tower over her, as most of them tend to stand 6 feet and above while she's only 5'2. Examples are Jason Momoa (6'4) and Michiel Huisman (6') in Game of Thrones, and Jai Courtney (6'1) in Terminator Genisys. Her Me Before You co-star Sam Clafin also came close at 5'11.
- Image Source: For the following tropes, mostly as Daenerys.
- Ms. Fanservice: Her various nude scenes on Game of Thrones, plus a brief fanservice-y scene in Terminator Genisys.
- Playing Against Type: As a dorky Cute Clumsy Girl in Me Before You.
- Star-Making Role: As Daenerys Targaryen, of course. Before landing the role she was pretty much unknown as a film school grad with only a few roles under her belt. The role catapulted her to becoming one of the most recognizable faces in television.
- What Could Have Been: