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Welcome to Enchanting Emilia Clarke, formerly Emilia Clarke Central (2012-2016), a fansite decided to the actress most known as Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones since 2011. She has also stared in Terminator Genisys, Me Before You, Voice From the Stone, and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Emilia's become one of Hollywood's A-listers as well as representing Dolce & Gabbana's The One perfume. That's not to mention being beloved by fans and celebrities internationally for her funny, quirky, humble, and genuine personality. She's truly Enchanting.
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Even the Mother of Dragons gets sick. A slightly congested Emilia Clarke mentions she’s getting over the flu as we talk on the phone days after the Academy Awards. Apparently, going to the Oscars and hitting up Beyonce’s private after party didn’t help with her recovery. (“I basically cried at her,” she gushes over the experience.) But what’s one night of feeling ill on the red carpet when you’ve spent months filming battle scenes in wintery Northern Ireland in the most grueling conditions? If Khaleesi could make it to Winterfell alive, then Clarke could survive the climax of awards season with the flu.

Throughout Clarke’s nearly decade-long tenure as queen Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones, we’ve seen her walk through fire unburnt, devour a horse heart, and fly on the back of dragons. But in the fantasy juggernaut’s eighth and final season, which premieres April 14, Dany will find herself in completely new territory: at Winterfell with the Starks, on the brink of a war against the undead.

“She starts feeling pretty cocksure and confident, and then stuff happens,” Clarke tells BAZAAR.com of Dany’s arrival North and her first encounter with Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), which HBO teased in early promos.

Clarke’s casting as the platinum-haired heir to the Iron Throne was first announced in 2010. She’s grown a lot since then; Season 1 Emilia and Season 8 Emilia are “two incredibly different women,” Clarke says.

As she moves on from the Thrones world, she already has other projects lined up, like the holiday rom-com Last Christmas (co-written by Emma Thompson) opposite Henry Golding. She previously hit the big screen in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, 2016’s Me Before You, and 2014’s Terminator Genisys. Clarke also landed a covetable role in the beauty sphere, as the face of Dolce & Gabbana’s The Only One fragrance, available now. In the ads, she’s a charming Italian chanteuse who breaks into song over dinner in Rome—a far cry from Khaleesi.

But nothing can compare to her experience on GoT, for better or worse. “Game of Thrones is probably the hardest shooting I’ll do, because it is so physical and you’re in a corset!” she emphasizes. “You’ve got the physical places of where you are, the weather is so extreme, and the hours are really long and there’s so much tension in each character towards the end. There’s so much tension in the room, and you’re concentrating so hard. It’s strenuous.”

After a long day on set, Clarke’s self-care routine ends with the ultimate release: “Taking off your goddamn bra and getting into your pajamas.” She’s also religious about removing her makeup (“You’ve put a lot on by the end of the day”), then cleansing and moisturizing every night. And once she’s in her PJs with a hot water bottle, it’s over for y’all.

Clarke’s journey on Game of Thrones culminated in a similar conclusion. “I think ending it was just the mother of all releases,” she says over the phone. “It was just the metaphorical undoing of the bra, except it’s like a 10-year experience.”

Here, Clarke tells BAZAAR.com about repping Dolce & Gabbana’s new scent, saying goodbye to Khaleesi, and promoting gender equality.

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Just when all my childhood dreams seemed to have come true, I nearly lost my mind and then my life. I’ve never told this story publicly, but now it’s time.

It was the beginning of 2011. I had just finished filming the first season of “Game of Thrones,” a new HBO series based on George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels. With almost no professional experience behind me, I’d been given the role of Daenerys Targaryen, also known as Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Lady of Dragonstone, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons. As a young princess, Daenerys is sold in marriage to a musclebound Dothraki warlord named Khal Drogo. It’s a long story—eight seasons long—but suffice to say that she grows in stature and in strength. She becomes a figure of power and self-possession. Before long, young girls would dress in platinum wigs and flowing robes to be Daenerys Targaryen for Halloween.

The show’s creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, have said that my character is a blend of Napoleon, Joan of Arc, and Lawrence of Arabia. And yet, in the weeks after we finished shooting the first season, despite all the looming excitement of a publicity campaign and the series première, I hardly felt like a conquering spirit. I was terrified. Terrified of the attention, terrified of a business I barely understood, terrified of trying to make good on the faith that the creators of “Thrones” had put in me. I felt, in every way, exposed. In the very first episode, I appeared naked, and, from that first press junket onward, I always got the same question: some variation of “You play such a strong woman, and yet you take off your clothes. Why?” In my head, I’d respond, “How many men do I need to kill to prove myself?”

To relieve the stress, I worked out with a trainer. I was a television actor now, after all, and that is what television actors do. We work out. On the morning of February 11, 2011, I was getting dressed in the locker room of a gym in Crouch End, North London, when I started to feel a bad headache coming on. I was so fatigued that I could barely put on my sneakers. When I started my workout, I had to force myself through the first few exercises.

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Spend any time with Emilia Clarke, and it’s easy to see that she’s not like the character she plays on TV. “The big difference between me and Dani [is] my sense of humor, in that I have one,” Clarke laughed. “I mean, that lady ain’t cracking jokes!”
“That lady” is Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, rightful heir to the Iron Throne, rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, and Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, among other titles. She commands an air force of dragons, walks through fire, and is a serious contender to win the “Game of Thrones.”

The final season of the series, which begins next week on HBO, is the biggest TV show on Earth. It’s famous for killing off its lead characters, but (so far) Clarke’s has survived.
Correspondent Tracy Smith said, “Even though you are one of the obviously most powerful characters in the show, I don’t think audiences would be surprised if they killed you?”
“Well, this is the incredible writing, the incredible storytelling on the show,” Clarke said. “And in that way that life can be shocking and frightening and confusing, this show doesn’t shy away from that for the sake of storytelling. It embraces that.”
“So, without giving anything away, when you read that final script, what happens to Daenerys, what was your reaction?”
“It’s sort of almost impossible to answer that question.”
“Without giving something away?”
“Uh-huh. I have so much to say about that!”
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Gallery link: Photos taken from Far Far Away

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