Emilia Clarke - Game of Thrones LEAD
Credit: Courtesy HBO

Emilia Clarke went from an unknown actress to a household name, thanks to the success of Game of Thrones, but she doesn’t regret those nude scenes she’s been doing since Day One. In fact, the 30-year-old feels empowered by them.

“It doesn’t stop me from being a feminist,” she told Rolling Stone. “Like, guess what? Yes, I’ve got mascara on, and I also have a high IQ, so those two things can be one and the same.”

Emilia Clarke - Game of Thrones Embed
Credit: Courtesy HBO

Preach, Khaleesi. And while she’s on the subject, Clarke realized that sexism is way more prevalent than she once believed. “I feel so naïve for saying it, but it’s like dealing with racism,” she said. “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.”

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Because of this realization, she doesn’t underestimate the power that she has in playing a strong female character. “Women have been great rulers. And then for that to be a character than 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,’” she said.

And as Game of Thrones wraps up, Clarke also dished up some bad news. Despite the potential spinoffs and new series, the eighth season will be the last time we’ll see her in George R. R. Martin’s universe. “I mean, I have no doubt there’ll be prequels and sequels and who knows what else. But I am doing one more season. And then that’ll be it,” she said.

We’ll have to enjoy our moments with Khaleesi while they last.