Being the Mother of Dragons is a full time job, as is being one of the most sought-after young stars in film and TV today. On Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke makes conquering cities and being the ultimate boss of the Known World look as easy as riding a dragon. But just like her character, Clarke has often found herself on the receiving end of sexism in the industry.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Clarke tried to broach the subject of sexism in Hollywood but wound up falling short by making a tone-deaf comparison to racism. She said:
"I feel so naive for saying it, but it's like dealing with racism. You're aware of it, and you're aware of it, but one day, you go, 'Oh, my God, it's everywhere!' Like you suddenly wake up to it and you go, 'Wait a fucking second, are you . . . are you treating me different because I've got a pair of tits? 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."
"Naive" is putting it mildly, as racism and sexism — while both forms of prejudice and discrimination — are fundamentally different concepts, and the former is something with which Clarke, a white woman, has no first-hand experience. Still, she is trying to draw attention to an important issue facing all women in Hollywood and those trying to break in to the industry. She highlights the unfairness toward women, citing the well-known fact that female characters tend to have significantly fewer lines of dialogue than their male counterparts, as well as the fact that women often have to arrive to set for hair and makeup hours earlier than men, to say nothing of the gender pay gap.
Of course, none of this is to diminish the awe-inspiring pop culture icon that is Daenerys Targaryen. Clarke knows that she's privileged to have the opportunity to play such an empowering female character, and she recognizes that seeing strong women on screen is more important now than ever:
"Women have been great rulers. And then for that to be a character that I'm known to play? That's so fucking lucky. 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."
If you haven't seen it yet, check out our trailer breakdown for Game of Thrones Season 7 below, and be sure to catch the season premiere on July 16, 2017 only on HBO.
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(Source: Rolling Stone)