Emilia Clarke: Cate Blanchett’s Elizabeth Was My Inspiration for Daenerys

Emilia Clarke, known for her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, has attributed her success to Cate Blanchett. Speaking at Wrap’s seventh annual Power Women Breakfast, Clarke talked about why she wasn’t a shoo-in for the role and how one of greatest actresses of modern era inspired her to play the beloved mother of dragons.

“The role of Khaleesi is tall and willowy and blonde, I’m short and round and brown. Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth was something I watched a lot in preparation for season one. And the fact that it’s rooted in reality, to know I was able to replica a real, strong female leader. I was trying to draw comparison from as many strong women as I could. I was so lucky because there was such a journey in the first season. So I could have it be the put-upon abused naïve child that she was in the beginning and then through each different epic turn of events throughout that first season I was able to harness each strength that came with those events and realise the steeliness I could inhabit as an actress.”

Blanchett isn’t the only person behind Clarke’s success. She also spoke about how her mother inspired to be the woman she is today.

“I was brought up by a very strong mum. So I was brought up not being told there was a difference between men and women. I never questioned that. (However) I can see the cracks, and it’s surprising and shocking and saddening that that is the case, that women are perceived differently, that people perceive there is a difference in how men and women should be treated, just simply in the way that it is. It seems to not be discussed. You just begin to see that you, as a girl, are treated differently, even when you’re playing the Mother of Dragons.”

Clarke also spoke about her previous comments on show’s nudity and how she “can’t stand sex scenes” for which she received heavy backlash and that her statement was taken out of context.

“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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