Emilia Clarke Explains Why She Turned Down Fifty Shades of Grey

Emilia Clarke became a household name playing Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons on Game of Thrones.

But she almost added another name to her resumé: Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey. During a roundtable actress discussion with the Hollywood Reporter, Clarke revealed the reason why she turned down the role that eventually went to Dakota Johnson—and it may be surprising to some.

“Well, Sam [Taylor-Johnson, the director] is a magician. I love her, and I thought her vision was beautiful. But the last time that I was naked on camera on [Game of Thrones] was a long time ago, and yet it is the only question that I ever get asked because I am a woman,” she explained. “And it’s annoying as hell, and I’m sick and tired of it because I did it for the character—I didn’t do it so some guy could check out my tits, for God’s sake. So, that coming up, I was like, ‘I can’t.'”

“I did a minimal amount, and I’m pigeonholed for life, so me saying yes to that, where the entire thing is about sensuality and sex and being naked and all of that stuff, I was just like, “No way am I going to voluntarily walk into that situation and then never be able to look someone in the eye and be like, ‘No, you can’t keep asking me this question.'”

Another reason behind her decision is not wanting to be tied down to one project for too long, which is understandable given her multi-year commitment to Game of Thrones. “One thing I would not like to do is something that would have a sequel,” she said “Something that could have, like, ‘And then two and then three and then four.’ I’d like to not do one of those for a minute.”

Whatever project Clarke chooses next, we can’t wait to see it.

Abby Gardner is a contributing writer at Glamour. You can follow her pop culture musings on Twitter @abbygardner or in her weekly newsletter, We Have Notes.

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