I’m with Ruth Wilson (who wouldn’t want to be?). Not long ago, the outspoken Luther and The Affair actress said she didn’t think Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke had much choice about her onscreen nudity:
“I saw the very first episode of Game of Thrones and I was like, ‘Whoa!’ I just felt for Emilia (Clarke) because she was just naked, topless the whole way through. I thought, that’s her first job. I wonder how much choice she felt like she had.”
While Wilson may not have realized Clarke already had a couple of small onscreen roles under her belt when she began playing Daenerys Targaryen, it would seem the sentiment behind the presumption was likely correct. With the success of the HBO series, Clarke has clearly become a valuable actress, and with that, she’s gained the power to say “No” to nudity and sex (in fact Clarke now has an official body double who’s rumored to be getting her own part). On top of that, the actress seems to be comfortable making her true feelings about gratuitous nudity and sex scenes in general known:
“Sex scenes should be more subtle. I’m British, so I cringe at that sort of thing anyway — I can’t stand it.
I don’t want to have sex thrown in my face and I’ve always thought the suggestion is so much more titillating than the act itself. Most sex scenes you see in films or on TV are gratuitous and they’re usually just to attract an audience.”
Whatever our feelings on Game of Thrones’ sexposition (IT’S OF THE TIMES! IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT DON’T WATCH IT!), seeing one of the series’ biggest stars take a stand for herself is admirable. Now, I’d really like to see that translate into movement for change. Couldn’t the casting process be progressive enough to offer — at the very least for actors playing substantial roles — a nude double from the outset? Was a body double an immediate option for Lena Headey, who came into the role of Cersei as an established star? How about for Natalie Dormer? All three of these actresses are public advocates of women’s rights, and this seems like a perfect moment to push forward a little change. No actor should feel like she has to agree to be nude onscreen as an unspoken required step on her way to becoming an established actress. While I can’t blame Clarke for seeing the opportunity for a major role and doing what she felt she had to do, I’d love to see her help take the next step toward turning that sort of accepted casting routine around.