Emilia Clarke: Game Of Thrones is about more than nudity
English actress Emilia Clarke is tired of questions about nude scenes and saying bye to HBO series
Even as the focus has shifted onto her Game Of Thrones co-star Kit Harington over their much-talked-about sex scene in the hit fantasy series' Season 7 finale, Emilia Clarke is still tired of getting asked about nudity.
The 32-year-old English actress, who plays the all-conquering Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen, has been the only main female cast member who has gone topless for several key scenes over the show's eight-year run.
When asked if she was glad that the spotlight was now on Harington's bare bum, she feels questions about nudity - male or female - are missing the point.
"I think (it) speaks much more to the society that we live in, that it keeps asking this question. (It is) the simple thing of the storyline requiring for that to happen," she said in a roundtable interview at the Corinthia Hotel in London last month.
Clarke was there to promote the eighth and final season of Game Of Thrones, which premieres on HBO (StarHub TV Ch 601/Singtel TV Ch 420) on April 15 at 9am, with a same-day encore at 10pm. It is also available on HBO Go and HBO On Demand.
She added: "Kit's arse, someone else's arse, my arse, it doesn't matter. It's not what the show is about, it's not what any bit of acting is about."
The steamy scene saw the subtle flirting between Daenerys and Harington's character Jon Snow finally consummated - with an incestuous twist, as their aunt-nephew relationship was revealed simultaneously.
That Clarke and Harington are close friends made the scene equally uncomfortable in real life.
She said: "It doesn't stop being weird. You put us in a room together and it is just non-stop giggling."
But going into Season 8, fans can expect the relationship between Jon and Daenerys to get more intense.
Clarke said: "It is the most important relationship that either of them has. I think it is a really, really defining thing for them both."
After reading the Season 8 script for the first time, she said she spent three hours walking aimlessly round London trying to process it.
Said Clarke: "Because it is the last one, you go in reading it with a different mindset than you would reading any other season.
"It might as well have been raining and I would have just walked in it, not knowing what to do. So yeah, it's a good one."
She added to laughter from the reporters: "Every part of this last season is a surprise. The end. If I say more, I am going to get told off."
Despite playing such an iconic role as Daenerys, Clarke said she has no concerns about being pigeon-holed.
Shortly after filming for the final season wrapped last July, she was cast as the lead actress opposite Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding in Paul Feig's romantic-comedy Last Christmas, which finished shooting last month.
Clarke, who has also starred in movies such as Terminator Genisys, Me Before You and Solo: A Star Wars Story, said: "I don't think I could always be seen as Daenerys. There are so many things that define her that are quite restrictive in a funny way. There is not a lot of looseness to her."
She added: "The other characters that I have played have been incredibly different. I, as a person, am incredibly different. So I'm not scared of getting defined in that way. But to always be known for her is a compliment."
Having been part of Game Of Thrones since the first season was filmed in 2010 and aired a year later, Clarke said that for the moment, she is taking a break from the small screen.
"It would be completely naive of me to say that I wouldn't want to do TV, because that is where a lot of the incredible writing, characters and directors are.
"But I have an absolute romanticism around cinema so I want to dip my toes in that," she said.
Comparing her first day on the Game Of Thrones set to her last almost a decade later, Clarke said there were equal amounts of fear, but who she was then and now could not be more different.
"My first day, I was petrified.
"I spent most of the first four or five seasons being just permanently scared of whether I was going to mess it up, whether someone was just suddenly going to come in and go, 'We've changed our mind'," she said.
"I was an absolute, just innocent, kid. I had no idea about the industry, I had no idea about myself or life... I had no idea about anything and then this show happened."
Recording her last scene was a deeply emotional experience, full of tears and something she would keep being reminded of in the future, said Clarke, who has a tattoo on her wrist depicting Daenerys' three dragons.
She added: "The most defining parts of my life have happened within the realms of (the show) and I have gone from being a kid to being a fully-fledged grown-up. So saying goodbye to the show is saying goodbye to that part of yourself."
"It is just like leaving home, leaving school, whatever significant thing that happens. But it has been a good ride."