The role of Anastasia eventually went to Dakota Johnson.

Emilia Clarke

Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke is no stranger to onscreen nudity from playing Daenerys Targaryen on the hit HBO show. But she’s “sick and tired” of being asked about it, which caused her to turn down the lead role in 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey.

Clarke revealed she was offered the part of Anastasia Steele, the lead protagonist in the erotic thriller, while taking part in The Hollywood Reporter‘s Drama Actress roundtable. The 32-year-old actress praised Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson, but ultimately opted to turn down the role over the excessive nude scenes.

“Well, Sam [Taylor-Johnson, the director] 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,” Clarke said of turning down the part.

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“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-ts, for God’s sake,” she added.


“So, that coming up, I was like, ‘I can’t.’ 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.”

Dakota Johnson ultimately won the role of Anastasia Steele, and the film went on to earn $166 million domestically and $571 million worldwide. She also headlined the sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.

The thought of doing sequels alone added to Clarke’s decision to turn down the role, too.

“One thing I would not like to do is something that would have a sequel,” Clarke said. “Something that could have, like, ‘And then two and then three and then four.’ I’d like to not do one of those for a minute.”

Game of Thrones just concluded its eighth and final season last week, with a series-high 19.3 million people tuning in for the finale, which broke HBO’s record for the most-watched telecast in the network’s history.

The finale season averaged over 44 million viewers per episode.

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