Emilia Clarke still has to explain that being a feminist and being naked onscreen are not mutually exclusive.
"Like you suddenly wake up to it and you go, 'Wait a f---ing second, are you . . . are you treating me different because I've got a pair of t--s? Is that actually happening?' It took me a really long time to see that I do get treated differently. But I look around, and that's my daily life."
"She recognizes, of course, that this is a complicated stance to take as a woman who has no doubt benefited hugely from her, ahem, pair of t--s," writes Rolling Stone's Alex Morris, who it should be noted is a woman and a feminist and is playing devil's advocate a little bit here. "She was Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive in 2015 ('My mum bribed them'), and her role on Game of Thrones has been punctuated by momentous scenes in which she happened to be naked."
Clarke's response to this? "It doesn't stop me from being a feminist," she counters. "Like, guess what? Yes, I've got mascara on, and I also have a high IQ, so those two things can be one and the same." Which is a topic she's been talking about for years. Still, she's glad Daenerys Targaryen has progressed the way she has, rising from being controlled by men to being to being a leader of men — potentially all men in Westeros.
"Women have been great rulers. And then for that to be a character that I'm known to play? That's so f---ing lucky," Clarke said. "Anyone who seems to think that it's not needed need only look at the political environment we're all living in to be like, 'Oh, no, it's needed. It is needed.' "
She also discussed what she'd like to do once Game of Thrones is over.
"I would love to start a production company that was just full of nice, funny women," she said, where they'd talk to each other like "'Yeah, I've got a pair of tits, and aren't they lovely? Aren't they great? You do too! They're great, you're in the club!' "
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres Sunday, July 16 at 9/8c on HBO.