On a Nov. 18 podcast episode of Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, guest Emilia Clarke got seriously candid about her time as Daenerys Targaryen. Clarke was pressured to get naked on the Game of Thrones set she revealed to host Shepard— and was told she would “disappoint” her fans if she didn’t take her clothes off.
This seriously upsetting tidbit came up as Clarke, Shepard, and co-host Monica Padman were discussing the logistics of onscreen nudity — an issue most GoT cast members are familiar with, to be fair. But, as fans know, Clarke’s nudity was early, often, and at times gratuitous. Clarke herself was a 24-year-old actress with little previous experience and reflected on what she’s learned since those early days.
“I’m a lot more savvy [now] with what I’m comfortable with, and what I am okay with doing,” she tells Shepard and Padman. “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, ‘F*** you.'”
On top of Clarke’s discomfort with certain nude scenes, she had to deal with reactions from everyone else, many of which were judgmental, objectifying, or downright cruel.
“The reason why I don’t Google myself,” Clarke confides, “was because after I did Season 1, I just saw the articles about how fat my ass was, why would a girl do this…and I’m like, ‘you know what? I’m a kid, man! Cut me some goddamn slack.”
There was a silver lining to Clarke’s early nude scenes, though: the fact that she had Jason Momoa as a scene partner. “It’s only now that I realize how fortunate I was with that,” Clarke reflects on the show. “Because that could have gone in many, many, many, many different ways.”
Clarke recalls Momoa looking out for her on set, and making sure her boundaries were respected: “He was an experienced actor who had done a bunch of stuff before coming on to this,” she explains. “He was like, “Sweetie, this is how it’s meant to be and this is how it’s not meant to be and I’m going to make sure that that’s the f*cking case… [he] was always like, ‘Can we get our f*cking robe? Can we get our goddamn robe? She’s shivering.'”
Consider this your daily reminder of how lucky Lisa Bonet is— but also, that Clarke shouldn’t have to count herself “fortunate” to have a decent, respectful human being as a scene partner. Then again, considering that tug-of-war with the sheet she’s describing, we’re not surprised that she does.