HBO is just weeks away from unveiling their latest big budget series, the astoundingly epic “Game of Thrones,” and one of the biggest stars of the drama isn’t even a household name… yet.
Meet Emilia Clarke, AccessHollywood.com’s newest Rising Star, a young English woman, who, fresh out of drama school, landed the part of a lifetime.
“This is, by far, the biggest thing I’ve ever done,” the strikingly beautiful blue-eyed brunette told Access recently about taking on the role of Daenerys Targaryen, a dethroned princess, whose been forced to flee with her spoiled and ruthless brother to the other side of the world, hoping one day, to find the forces they need to regain their regal titles.
“I was only out of drama school for about a year and this happened, so it was kind of just a bit of whirlwind, really. It all kind of happened at once,” she added.
Emilia had just two, tiny roles on her resume, before winning over the producers (D.B. Weiss and David Benioff) of the George R. R. Martin book series for its leap to television.
“The first thing that I was in was a BBC thing called ‘Doctors.’ I was a guest in that,” the early 20-something explained. “And then I did a little thing for the SyFy channel — [‘Triassic Attack’]. I suppose all of that kind of prepared me for ‘Game of Thrones.’”
Perhaps, but to hear her producers tell it, it was more about the great depth Emilia conveyed in a video audition clip the size of a small photograph that convinced them she was the young woman who could play a dethroned princess, sold off as a virgin bride, who hopes of becoming a warrior queen.
“Her character takes a very broad journey — emotionally and geographically. She starts out very meek, but she turns into something very different by the end of the show. And I’m seeing her read one of the scenes from near the end of the show and through a window this big, she managed to project like Joan of Arc and Lawrence of Arabia,” D.B. told Access. “We looked at hundreds of people in windows that big and she was the only one who gave us that gravitas and that intensity.”
Emilia said she found herself growing right alongside her character as they filmed each subsequent episode of the series, which was shot in Malta and Belfast, and features the actress in some very revealing scenes.
“This whole project for me is kind of me growing just so quickly from kind of a very young girl and finding my feet in this whole business and that’s the same with Daenerys,” Emilia said. “She starts off so young and then she just grows as a woman and I think that’s something that everyone can relate to.”
It’s been rewarding too for Emilia’s nearest and dearest who are thrilled to see her succeed so early on in her career.
“They’re just so crazy proud,” she said of her family’s reaction to her quick success. “My mum is just insane. More than anything they’re just so overjoyed that I get to do the thing that I love, all the time, and that’s how I’m going to earn my living, just doing this amazing thing where I get to wake up every day and just like, live my dream of what I wanted to [do] since I was about 3 years old. So, I think they’re just really pleased.”
Check out a sneak peek of “Game of Thrones” on Sunday, April 3, when HBO airs 15-minutes of the series, beginning at 9 PM, just before Episode 3 of “Mildred Pierce.”
Season 1 of “Game of Thrones,” which also stars Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Lena Heady, Mark Addy and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, premieres on April 17.