Born in London in 1986, Emilia Clarke is a British actress who is best known for starring as the ‘Mother of Dragons’ Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s Game of Thrones. Away from the fantasy world of Westeros, she has become a well-known actress worldwide, with Time Magazine naming Clarke as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Growing up in Oxfordshire, Clarke was introduced to the stage from an early age, with her father working as a sound engineer, watching a production of Show Boat when she was three years old. Sparking an interest in performing, Clarke spent her childhood growing up in the theatre, starring in productions at St Edward’s School in Oxford, where she was educated. When it came to applying for drama school, Clarke was not immediately successful. Rejected from RADA, LAMDA and Guildhall, she was eventually accepted into Drama Centre London. While in drama school, Clarke appeared in a production of Sense with American theatre company, Company of Angels, later graduating from Drama Centre London in 2009.
Clarke’s breakthrough role came in 2011, when she was cast in the HBO series Game of Thrones as Daenerys Targaryen, quickly becoming an overnight success. Appearing in all eight seasons from 2011-2019, she received three Emmy nominations for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series, as well as a Saturn Award for best actress in television.
In 2013, Clarke made her Broadway debut in a revival of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the Cort Theatre for a limited run from 20th March to 21st April 2013. She starred as Holly Golightly, alongside Cory Michael Smith and George Wendt.
As well as her Game of Thrones fame, Clarke has starred in a number of leading roles for the silvers creen including the 2016 film adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You as Louisa and 2018 Solo: A Star Wars Story as Qi’ra, and the 2019 movie Last Christmas, inspired by Wham’s festive hit.
In 2020, Clarke will make her West End debut as Nina in Anya Reiss’ adaptation of The Seagull as part of Jamie Lloyd’s latest season at the Playhouse Theatre. The Seagull will run at the Playhouse Theatre from 11th March to 30th May 2020.