Emilia Clarke was born in London, England, in 1987. She developed an interest in acting at a young age, and after graduating from secondary school attended the renowned Drama Centre London. After landing various small roles on television, Clarke's big break came in 2011 when she was cast in the role of Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO hit series Game of Thrones. Since then she has appeared on Broadway and has been cast in lead roles in several films.
An Early Interest in Acting
Emilia Clarke was born in London, England, on May 1, 1987. Raised in the countryside of Oxfordshire, her interest in acting began at an early age, when her mother took her to a production of the classic musical Show Boat, on which her father was working as a sound engineer. Accompanying her father on future trips to the theater would only deepen her fascination.
Clarke was educated at Rye St. Antony and St. Edwards in Oxford, during which time she appeared in productions of West Side Story and Twelfth Night. Rounding out her love of performance, she also learned to sing and play the guitar. Following her graduation from secondary school, she was accepted at the esteemed Central Saint Martins Drama Centre London, which counts actors such as Michael Fassbender, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy among its more famous alumni. While pursuing her studies, Clarke appeared in numerous stage productions at the school.
Becoming the Mother of Dragons
After completing her studies at the Drama Centre in 2009, Clarke set to work building her career, landing her first television role in the BBC dramatic series Doctors and appearing in several commercials. A more significant role came the following year, in the made-for-TV horror/sci-fi movie Triassic Attack (2010). But despite this early television work, Clarke was holding several day jobs to make ends meet. Her big break finally came when she received a call from her agent asking her if she could audition for the new HBO series Game of Thrones. Clarke immediately called in sick to the catering company she was scheduled to work for, and after a successful audition was cast in the role of Daenerys Targaryen, would-be queen and Mother of Dragons, a role originally held by Tamzin Merchant, who left the show after filming the unaired pilot for undisclosed reasons.
Based on the series of novels by George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones was an immediate and massive hit and has run for five wildly successful seasons to date, with its cast and crew earning countless awards along the way. For her role in the show, Clarke has received several Emmy and Screen Actors Guild nominations and in 2011 won Entertainment Weekly’s EWwy Award.
Beyond Game of Thrones
Clarke’s newfound fame quickly led to other projects, including a starring role in the 2012 indie music drama Spike Island. In 2013 she made her first appearance on Broadway, cast as Holly Golightly in a stage production of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and starred opposite Jude Law in the British comedy Dom Hemingway. After turning down the lead in 50 Shades of Grey—stating that she didn’t want to be pigeonholed in “nudity” roles—Clarke was cast as Sarah Connor opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Genisys, the 2015 installment of the Terminator saga. Two new films and the sixth season of Game of Thrones are slated for a 2016 release.
The Gossip Column
The frequent subject of various gossip columns and tabloids, Emilia Clarke has been romantically linked to Seth MacFarlane, whom she dated for several months, and is rumored to have been involved with actors Cory Michael Smith (her co-star in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), James Franco and, most recently, Jai Courtney.
We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!