Emilia Clarke turned down the lead role in Fifty Shades of Grey because she didn’t want to get naked onscreen again.
The British actress was among the stars considered to play Anastasia Steele in the 2015 adaptation of E.L. James’ erotic novel, with the film directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson.
However, Emilia has now shared that she rejected an offer to portray the leading lady as she was sick of being asked questions about disrobing for hit TV series Game of Thrones, in which she played Daenerys Targaryen.
“Well, Sam (Taylor-Johnson) 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 said during The Hollywood Reporter’s Drama Actress Roundtable, which also included Patricia Arquette, Michelle Williams, Christine Baranski, Danai Gurira and Niecy Nash. “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 t**s, for God’s sake. So, that coming up, I was like, ‘I can’t.'”
Emilia went on to explain that she also feared being “pigeonholed” in Hollywood.
“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,'” the 32-year-old commented.
Anastasia was ultimately played by Dakota Johnson, while the part of Christian Grey went to Jamie Dornan. The duo reprised their roles for the two follow-up films in the franchise; 2017’s Fifty Shades Darker and 2018’s Fifty Shades Freed.
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