Marvel Star Opens up About Her “Sad” Time Working On Hit Show

in Marvel, Movies & TV

G'iah and Talos in 'Captain Marvel'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Although she’s only just made her franchise debut, MCU newcomer Emilia Clarke is already making waves in the fandom thanks to her role in the new Disney+ spy-thriller series, Secret Invasion—something she sorely needed after starring in HBO’s fantasy epic, Game of Thrones.

Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) 'Game of Thrones'
Credit: HBO

Emilia Clarke has been a familiar face in the pop culture sphere since her breakout role in HBO’s Game of Thrones, where she depicted the power-hungry Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons. Her performance, and the George R.R. Martin-inspired series in general, garnered massive critical praise, all up until its disastrous finale aired in 2019, which divided the fanbase and threatened to shatter Game of Thrones’ legacy.

However, time heals all wounds, and the Game of Thrones franchise is getting a fresh new start thanks to HBO’s House of the Dragon, which aired its premiere season to rave reviews last August. But for Emilia Clarke, the aftershock of her tumultuous time on the show has yet to fully fade away.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

In the aftermath of her eight-season run on the hit fantasy series, Clarke recently reflected on her experience while speaking with the Los Angeles Times. The Daenerys actor got honest about filming Game of Thrones as a young woman, which also overlapped with her two aneurysms, as well as the loss of her father. Recalling her days on the show, Clarke described them as being “sad” and “confusing,” which left a stain on her otherwise remarkable experience:

There were times when I was really sad on that show, just simply because I was a young woman in her 20s. All of that happening while ‘Game of Thrones’ was happening, it sometimes could be very confusing.

Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) 'Game of Thrones'
Credit: HBO

It’s also important to note that during this time, Clarke was navigating her first significant television role, acting alongside powerhouse performers like Jason Momoa, Peter Dinklage, and Lena Headey. With this sudden wave of fame, on top of her health issues and understandable grief, this mix doesn’t exactly seem like the right formula for fond memories. But ultimately, Clarke is glad for the experience, adding, “it’s not a shabby role to be associated with.”

Now that she’s an older and wiser industry veteran, Clarke told the outlet that she’s making more intentional choices about what projects she pursues, prioritizing opportunities to work with directors she admires. This led her to the Marvel camp for Secret Invasion, where she plays the morally-dubious Skrull G’iah alongside an all-star cast.

Secret Invasion Emilia Clarke
Credit: Marvel Studios

In the interview, Clarke had nothing but positive things to say about her experience filming the Disney+ Secret Invasion show, which she admitted to being happily “nerdy” about. When asked to join the superhero franchise, Clarke leapt at the chance, citing the opportunity to work alongside the “ridiculous” cast:

The cast is ridiculous. Olivia Colman, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Don Cheadle. I was like, ‘where do I sign?’

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury looking to the sky in 'Secret Invasion'
Credit: Marvel Studios

She also praised the show for being a more mature, grounded take on Marvel’s otherwise formulaic approach to movies and TV shows, praising Secret Invasion for asking “the audience with a moral quandary and a very timely question about refugees and about whether violence and war has an understandable reason for being or whether it doesn’t.”

It’s no secret that the new series is one of Marvel’s most overtly political projects to date, which clearly excited Clarke when she agreed to sign on as G’iah, a Skrull refugee who finds herself involved with an extremist organization hoping to claim Earth as their own. But after becoming disillusioned with the group’s charismatic leader, Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir), she rebels, joining her father, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in the fight to stop this global conspiracy.

Emilia Clarke's G'iah talking to Ben Mendelsohn's Talos
Credit: Marvel Studios

Clarke admitted that she needed a breather after her long tenure on Game of Thrones, as she “needed different characters” and “different experiences,” wanting to “try and do as many different things as possible” after the fantasy series wrapped in 2019. And different, Marvel certainly is.

So far, it looks like Clarke is having a blast with her new MCU role, and based on her enthusiasm, hopefully studio execs will keep her in mind for more projects beyond Secret Invasion.

What do you think of Emilia Clarke’s Secret Invasion role? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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