Her on-screen character, Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones was meant to be a blend of Napoleon, Joan of Arc and Lawrence of Arabia—courageous heroes of the past. But when illness struck actress Emilia Clarke, she had to channel some of that strength and bravery into her real-life situation.
The world’s most-watched television series, Game of Thrones comes to a dramatic end after eight spectacular seasons. During its run from 2011 to 2019, it garnered critical acclaim, record-breaking viewership and attracted a fan base which spanned across the globe. One of the main highlights of the show was following the titular character (and fan-favorite) Daenerys Targaryen—a young woman of royal bloodline—in her journey from living in exile to claiming the fictional Iron Throne.
Daenerys is described as a strong, confident and courageous woman, and the same could be said of the talented actress who plays her— Emilia Clarke. She revealed that in 2011, just after filming the first season of Game of Thrones, she suffered her first brain aneurysm. With courage and tenacity, she silently made a recovery and continued playing her character right until the series finale. Years later, Clarke is finally ready to tell her survival story and how she made it through such difficult times.
INSPIRED BY HER FATHER’S WORK
Emilia Isobel Euphemia Rose Clarke was born in London in 1986. Her passion for acting began at a young age, due to the influence of her father who was a sound engineer for musical theatres. He worked on-set of famous musical productions such as “West Side Story” and “Chicago” in London’s West End, and he occasionally brought young Emilia to work. By the age of three, Emilia decided she wanted to be an actress, after catching glimpses of the glamour and excitement of backstage theatre life. Years later, she completed her education at the Drama Centre London and set sail for her career.
FROM A CALL CENTRE TO GAME OF THRONES
After graduating from drama school, Emilia made a promise to herself that for one year, she would only accept roles that truly interested her and her career. It was a difficult year as she was struggling to pay rent. She turned to the waitress in pubs, working parttime at a museum and working at call centers to make ends meet.
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