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'Game of Thrones' star Emilia Clarke spoke up about her experience grappling with copious sex scenes in the show.

What Emilia Clarke really thought of her ‘GoT’ sex scenes

Game of Thrones is a fantasy lover’s wet dream – in more ways than one. With the series’ gritty depiction of high-fantasy life we’re exposed to violent fighting scenes, convoluted politics, and explicit depravity. 

Of course, when it comes to GoT’s depravity, it pulls a lot of watchers who want to watch something steamy. HBO allowed GoT to get graphic with their sex scenes depicted on screen, which means lots of nudity & intimacy. 

We may love Game of Thrones sex scenes, but how do the ones filming them feel about it? GoT star Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) spoke up about her experience grappling with the copious amount of sex in GoT. As you may imagine, being naked and faking sex on-screen isn’t always a good time – in fact, it can be rather unpleasant. 

Scary beginnings

Portraying a character forced to face sex head-on, Emilia Clarke was thrown into Game of Thrones with the expectation of filming nude & sex scenes put on her. Despite having discomfort & reservations about the process, Clarke felt like it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“I took the job and then they sent me the scripts and I was reading them, and I was like, ‘Oh, there’s the catch!” she explained in Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert. At the time, Clarke was relatively new to the acting scene, which made her anxious to start her career and roll with the punches.

“I’d come fresh from drama school and I approached it as a job: if it’s in the script then it’s clearly needed. This is what this is and I’m going to make sense of it and that’s what I’m going to do and everything’s going to be cool.

“I’ve never been on a film set like this before. 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.”

Compassionate co-stars

Getting used to a role in a new show is hard enough without the added discomfort of filming nude scenes. Clarke expressed how she felt hesitant to ask for what she needed, saying, “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.” 

Despite what Emilia Clarke anticipated, she wasn’t in it alone. She said she experienced “imposter syndrome times a million”, but had co-star Jason Momoa by her side to help her out. Momoa’s character, Khal Drogo, is Daenerys’s husband, which meant they shared numerous sex scenes.

The marriage, however, is far from loving, as Khal Drogo rapes her on their wedding night. While this would evidently be difficult for Clarke, she explained how it was rough for Momoa too, saying, “He was crying more than I was.” 

Clarke expressed her gratitude for Momoa’s experience & compassion during these challenging moments on set:

“It’s only now that I realise how fortunate I was with that, because that could have gone many, many, many different ways,” Clarke said. “Because Jason had experience – he was an experienced actor who had done a bunch of stuff before coming on to this – he was like, ‘Sweetie, this is how it’s meant to be, this is how it’s not meant to be, and I’m going to make sure that that’s the fucking gaze.’ 

According to Clarke, Jason Momoa also showed her respect and was conscientious about her needs. “He was always like, ‘Can we get her a fucking robe? She’s shivering!’ . . . He was so kind and considerate and cared about me as a human being.”

Taming gratuity & taking control

After her many years playing Daenerys on Game of Thrones, Clarke said that she’s now “a lot more savvy” about determining her comfort levels when it comes to nudity & sex scenes. “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, ‘Fuck you.’”

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Clarke expressed her stance on sex & nudity in TV, saying, “There are so many shows centred around this very true fact that people reproduce. People fuck for pleasure – it’s part of life.”

Clarke also took to Instagram to emphasize that she’s “perfectly fine with” scenes involving nudity if it moves the story forwards or adds insight to the characters. She wrote: 

“Sometimes explicit scenes are required and make sense for the characters/story, as they do in Westeros. If it’s gratuitous for gratuitous sake, then I will discuss with a director on how to make it more subtle. In either case, like a good Mother of Dragons, I’m always in control.”

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