Emilia Clarke

Last updated on 20 July 2017

Emilia Isabelle Euphemia Rose Clarke (born 23 October 1986) is an English actress. Born in London and brought up in Berkshire, Clarke first gained an interest in acting as a child after seeing the musical Show Boat, on which her father was working as a sound engineer. She was educated at Rye St Antony School, Headington and graduated from secondary school at St. Edward's in Oxford, where she appeared in two plays, before studying at the Drama Centre London, where she graduated from in 2009, and appeared in ten different stage productions. Some of her earliest work following graduation included a role in a play by the Company of Angels, two commercials for Samaritans, and a University of London students' short film. Her television debut came with a guest appearance in an episode of the British soap opera Doctors and she was named as one of the UK Stars of Tomorrow by Screen International magazine for her role in Syfy's film Triassic Attack (2010).

Clarke rose to prominence in 2011 for her breakthrough role as Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO series Game of Thrones, a performance that has gained her both critical and popular acclaim. She has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2013, 2015–2016), four Screen Actors Guild Awards (2012, 2014–2016), and two Critics Choice Television Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2013, 2016), among other numerous accolades. In 2017, Clarke became one of the highest paid actors on television for earnings of £2 million per episode of Game of Thrones.

Clarke made her Broadway debut as Holly Golightly in a production of Breakfast at Tiffany's in March 2013. In 2015, she was named Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive. She is also known for her starring roles as Sarah Connor in the science fiction film Terminator Genisys (2015) and as Louisa Clark in the romance film Me Before You (2016). In November 2016 she was cast as the female lead in the upcoming Star Wars Han Solo anthology film.

Emilia Clarke 2013 (Straighten Colors 2).jpg
Emilia Clarke 2013 (Straighten Colors 2).jpg

Early life

Emilia Isabelle Euphemia Rose Clarke[2] was born on 23 October 1986[3][4] in London, and grew up in Berkshire.[5][6][7] Her father was a theatre sound engineer.[8] Her mother is Jennifer "Jenny" Clarke,[9] the director of The Anima Foundation.[10] She has an older brother.[11] Clarke's interest in acting began at the age of three after seeing the musical Show Boat on which her father was working.[5] She was educated at Rye St Antony School and at St Edward's School, Oxford (graduated 2005).[12] She attended Drama Centre London, and graduated in 2009.[13]


Early career

Clarke's early work includes two plays at St. Edwards,[12] ten plays at Drama Centre London, the 2009 Company of Angels production of Sense,[13] and two 2009 commercials for Samaritans.[14] One of her first film roles was for a University of London students' short film.[15] Her first television roles were Saskia Mayer in a 2009 episode of the British soap opera Doctors and Savannah in Syfy's 2010 film Triassic Attack. Screen International magazine named her as one of the "UK Stars of Tomorrow".[16]

Breakthrough (2010–present)

In 2010 Clarke was cast as Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones, based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. She was cast after fellow British actress Tamzin Merchant was replaced for undisclosed reasons.[17] In an interview, Clarke stated that she did the funky chicken and robot dance during her audition.[18] The show debuted in April 2011 to positive reviews and was quickly picked up by the network for a second season.[19] Clarke won the 2011 EWwy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her role as Daenerys.[20] In 2013, Clarke was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards.[21] She was nominated again in the category in 2015 and 2016.[22]

Clarke's received widespread praise for her performance. Her acting, as she closed Daenerys's arc initiated in the first episode from a frightened girl to an empowered woman, was praised. Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe called her scenes "mesmerizing", adding that "Clarke doesn't have a lot of emotional variety to work with as Daenerys, aside from fierce determination, and yet she is riveting."[23] Todd VanDerWerff for The A.V. Club commented on the difficulty of adapting such an evolution from page to screen, but concluded that "Clarke [...] more than seal[s] the deal here.[24] In 2017, Clarke became one of the highest paid actors on television, earning £2 million per episode of Game of Thrones.[25][26]

Emilia Clarke (9350878198).jpg
Clarke speaking at Comic-Con International in 2013

In 2012, Clarke appeared in Spike Island, a film named after the location of The Stone Roses's seminal 1990 gig.[27] From March to April 2013, Clarke played Holly Golightly in a Broadway production of Breakfast at Tiffany's.[28] That year, she also starred in Dom Hemingway alongside Jude Law. Critical reaction to the film was mostly positive, though it was a commercial failure.[29][30]

In May 2014, it was announced that she had joined the feature film Garden of Last Days alongside James Franco,[31] but the movie was scrapped two weeks before production was due to begin. Clarke was offered the role of Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey but turned down the part because of the nudity required.[32] She played Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys (2015), opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jai Courtney, and Jason Clarke.[33] The film grossed over $400 million worldwide, but received generally unfavorable reviews from critics,[34] despite this she did receive nominations for awards like the Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer Movie Star - Female and Germany's Jupiter Award for Best International Actress.

In 2016, Clarke starred as the female lead, opposite Sam Claflin, in the movie adaption of the best selling book (of the same name), Me Before You, released on 3 June 2016.[35] The film was a commercial success, grossing over $200 million worldwide and is Clarke's highest-rated film on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.[36][37] For her role as Louisa Clarke, she shared nominations with Sam Claflin for the Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Liplock and the MTV Television Tearjerker Award.

She played the lead as Nurse Verena, in the film Voice from the Stone which was released on April 2017 in limited release, video on demand and digital HD.[38][39]

Upcoming projects

Clarke is also set to be attached to the films The Guns of August opposite Helena Bonham Carter,[40] Set It Up opposite Glen Powell,[41] and Above Suspicion opposite Jack Huston.[42] In November 2016, Clarke was cast as the female lead in the Star Wars untitled Han Solo film.[43] In January 2017, Clarke was cast as the lead in the film adaption of The Beauty Inside.[44]

Personal life

In 2012, she dated Seth MacFarlane. The two broke up after approximately six months but remain friends.[45] As of October 2015, Clarke resides in Hampstead, London.[46] In 2016, she purchased a house in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.[47] She was voted the most desirable woman in the world by AskMen readers in 2014.[48] She was named Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive in 2015.[49] On International Women's Day 2017, she published a well-received op-ed on HuffPost UK regarding modern feminism and encouraging gender equality. [50]

In June 2017, she appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, and revealed in the interview that she lost her father to cancer on 10 July 2016.[51]



Title Year Role Director Notes Ref.
Drop the Dog 2009 Julie Unknown Short film
Spike Island 2012 Sally Harris Mat Whitecross [52]
Shackled 2012 Malu Nour Wazzi Short film [53]
Dom Hemingway 2013 Evelyn Hemingway Richard Shepard [54]
Terminator Genisys 2015 Sarah Connor Alan Taylor [55]
Me Before You 2016 Louisa "Lou" Clark Thea Sharrock [56]
Voice from the Stone 2017 Verena Eric D. Howell [57]
Above Suspicion Films that have not yet been released Susan Smith Phillip Noyce Filming [58]
Untitled Han Solo film Films that have not yet been released 2018 TBA Ron Howard
Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
The Beauty Inside Films that have not yet been released Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released


Title Year Role Network Notes Ref.
Doctors 2009 Saskia Mayer BBC One Episode: "Empty Nest" [60]
Triassic Attack 2010 Savannah Roundtree Syfy Film [61]
Game of Thrones 2011–present Daenerys Targaryen HBO Main role [62]
Futurama 2013 Marianne (voice) Comedy Central Episode: "Stench and Stenchibility" [63]
Robot Chicken 2016 Bridget (voice) Adult Swim Episode: "Joel Hurwitz Returns" [64]
Animals. 2017 Lumpy (voice) HBO Episode: "Rats." [65]
Thunderbirds Are Go 2017 Doyle (voice) ITV Episode: TBA [66]

Video games

Title Year Voice role Ref.
Game of Thrones 2015 Daenerys Targaryen [67]


Title Year Role Venue Ref.
Breakfast at Tiffany's 2013 Holly Golightly Cort Theatre [68]

Works and accolades

According to the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, Clarke's most critically acclaimed films are Dom Hemingway (2014) and Me Before You (2016).[37]

Clarke has been nominated three times for a Primetime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Game of Thrones.[69]


  1. ^ Mayer, Erin (25 March 2014). "10 Short, Badass Actors Who Prove That Height is Only a Number". Bustle. BDG Media Inc. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017. At only 5'2", the Game of Thrones actress (and our one true Khaleesi) proves that you don't need to be tall to be fierce. Daenerys Targaryen is one shortie we'd definitely want on our side in any fight, with or without the dragons.
  2. ^ "Emilia Isabelle Euphemia Rose CLARKE - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  3. ^ Clarke, Emilia (20 May 2016). "@LANNISTERSPRIDE [my lucky number is] 23!! Ironically enough because it's my birthday.". Me Before You verified Twitter page. Archived from the original on 17 July 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2016. (For archive, scroll down to Clarke reply)
  4. ^ Some sources give 1 May 1987, including However, "Clarke, Emilia Isabelle E.R." is listed as a 1986 birth at "England & Wales births 1837–2006". FindMyPast.co.uk. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke: I feel just like Khaleesi in real life". Now. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Emilia Clarke Celebrates 28th Birthday on 'Game of Thrones' Set – See Epic Cake!". tooFab. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Actor Bio: Emilia Clarke". Game of Thrones: Cast and Crew. HBO. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  8. ^ "In Vogue: Emilia Clarke". Vogue. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  9. ^ Kaplan, Don (10 April 2015). "Dragon lady Emilia Clarke heats up a career with 'Thrones'". NY Daily News. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Jennifer CLARKE - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Emilia Clarke Interview". 27 October 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  12. ^ a b "OSE to star in new HBO drama". St Edward's School. 14 February 2011. Archived from the original on 19 February 2011.
  13. ^ a b "Spotlight: Emilia Clarke". Spotlight. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  14. ^ Lisa's Story (YouTube). Samaritans. 16 November 2009.
  15. ^ "Video of Emilia Clarke in Student Movie". sitmovie.com.
  16. ^ "UK Stars of Tomorrow 2010". Screen Daily. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
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  18. ^ Kevin, Patrick (20 March 2014). "Did the Funky Chicken land Emilia Clarke her 'Game of Thrones' role?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  19. ^ "HBO Re-commissions 'Game of Thrones'". IFTN. 19 April 2011.
  20. ^ "EWwy Awards 2011: Meet Your Winners!". Entertainment Weekly. 19 September 2011.
  21. ^ "Emmy Nominees Full List: Breaking Bad, Homeland, Downton Abbey Dominate 2013 Awards". The Huffington Post. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  22. ^ Hipes, Patrick (16 July 2015). "Emmy Nominations 2015 – Full List". Deadline.com. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  23. ^ Gilbert, Matthew (March 28, 2013). "Fantasy gets real on ‘Game of Thrones’". The Boston Globe. John W. Henry. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  24. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd. "A Golden Crown" (for experts)". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  25. ^ Parker, Mike (April 25, 2017). "Game Of Thrones season 7: Stars set to earn £2 Million per episode". Daily Express. Archived from the original on April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  26. ^ Hooton, Christopher (April 25, 2017). "Game of Thrones season 7: Actors 'set to earn £2million per episode', making them highest-paid ever". The Independent. Archived from the original on April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  27. ^ "Lesley Manville and Emilia Clarke Travel to 'Spike Island' With The Stone Roses". Thefilmstage.com. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  28. ^ "Breakfast at Tiffany's Coming to Broadway with Emilia Clarke". Broadway Tour. BroadwayTour.net. 13 October 2012.
  29. ^ "Dom Hemingway Movie Reviews, Pictures – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  30. ^ "Dom Hemingway (2013) – Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  31. ^ Loading... (2 May 2013). "Games of Thrones Star Emilia Clarke Cast in New Film Garden of Last Days Alongside James Franco". Entertainmentwise. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  32. ^ "'Game of Thrones' Star Emilia Clarke Turned Down 'Fifty Shades of Grey'". The Huffington Post. 25 March 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  33. ^ "'Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke Set For 'Terminator' In Sarah Connor Role". Deadline.com. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  34. ^ Terminator Genisys, retrieved 27 April 2017
  35. ^ "Trailer Reveal: Me Before You Movie". 3 February 2015.
  36. ^ "Me Before You (2016) – Box Office Mojo". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  37. ^ a b "Emilia Clarke". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  38. ^ "Exclusive: Emilia Clarke Is a Long Way From Westeros in First Look at 'Voice From the Stone'". etonline.com.
  39. ^ "Emilia Clarke set to lead in Voice From The Stone". Variety.com.
  40. ^ "Emilia Clarke Joins WWI Drama 'The Guns of August' Opposite Helena Bonham Carter". upandcomers.net. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  41. ^ Kroll, Justin (27 April 2016). "Glen Powell to Star With Emilia Clarke in 'The Set Up'". Variety. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  42. ^ "Emilia Clarke & Jack Huston in Talks For Beyond Suspicion Adaptation". Contactmusic.com. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  43. ^ Carbone, Gina (18 November 2016). "Emilia Clarke Joins Han Solo Movie as Female Lead". Moviefone. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  44. ^ Ford, Rebecca (27 January 2017). "Emilia Clarke to Star in 'The Beauty Inside' for Fox 2000, Temple Hill". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  45. ^ "Emilia Clarke Finally Opens Up About Dating Seth MacFarlane". E! Online. Retrieved 2016-08-12.
  46. ^ Markovitz, Benjamin (13 October 2015). "The Gorgeous Balance of Emilia Clarke, Sexiest Woman Alive 2015". Esquire. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  47. ^ "Emilia Clarke Purchases Venice Beach Mansion". Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  48. ^ "Emilia Clarke Voted Most Desirable Woman". Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  49. ^ "The Gorgeous Balance of Emilia Clarke, Sexiest Woman Alive 2015". Esquire. 13 October 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  50. ^ "The New Sexy". HuffPost UK.
  51. ^ "Emilia Clarke Tells All". Rolling Stone.
  52. ^ "Spike Island (2012) – Cast e personaggi". Movieplayer.it. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  53. ^ "Shackled". Filmshortage.com. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  54. ^ McNally, Kelby (March 25, 2014). "EXCLUSIVE: Emilia Clarke gushes over Jude Law as she speaks about Dom Hemingway role". Express.co.uk. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  55. ^ Hibberd, James (December 13, 2013). "'Game of Thrones' star Emilia Clarke cast as Sarah Connor in 'Terminator' reboot". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  56. ^ Fleming, Mike (September 2, 2014). "‘GOT’s Emilia Clarke, ‘Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin To Star In MGM’s ‘Me Before You’". Deadline. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  57. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (June 16, 2014). "Emilia Clarke to Star in Indie Psychological Thriller 'Voice From the Stone'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  58. ^ Galuppo, Mia (3 May 2016). "Cannes: Emilia Clarke, Jack Huston to Star in Thriller 'Above Suspicion'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  59. ^ "EMILIA CLARKE JOINS THE HAN SOLO STAND-ALONE FILM". StarWars.com. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  60. ^ "WATCH: Emilia Clarke’s First Appearance on TV". BBC America. 1 April 2015. Archived from the original on November 20, 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  61. ^ "Emilia Clarke Was In Syfy’s ‘Triassic’ Before ‘Game Of Thrones’ (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. 31 August 2013. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  62. ^ "Game of Thrones: Cast". HBO. Archived from the original on 1 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  63. ^ "Futurama: “Stench and Stenchibility”". The A.V. Club. 28 August 2013. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  64. ^ "‘Game Of Thrones’ Star Emilia Clarke Shares Secret On Overcoming The Downsides Of Fame". Movienewsguide.com. 16 June 2016. Archived from the original on August 12, 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  65. ^ Nguyen, Hanh (1 March 2017). "‘Animals’ Trailer: Season 2 Throws Down With Emilia Clarke, Judy Greer, Rupaul and Dan Harmon". IndieWire. Archived from the original on March 1, 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  66. ^ Westbrook, Caroline (18 July 2017). "David Tennant and Emilia Clarke have signed up for Thunderbirds Are Go". Metro. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  67. ^ Futter, Mike (20 November 2014). "[Exclusive] Meet The Exiled Son Of Game Of Thrones' House Forrester". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on September 1, 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  68. ^ Brantley, Ben (20 March 2013). "More Waifish Than Wild, the Ingénue Returns". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 1, 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  69. ^ "Game of Thrones". Emmys.com. Retrieved 20 November 2016.

External links

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