“Now things are very different, and I am a lot more savvy with what I am comfortable with and what I’m okay with doing,” she said.
However, the British actress said she faced pressure to get naked on GoT.
“I have had fights on set before when I am like, ‘No, sheet stays up.’ And they are like ‘You don’t want to disappoint your Game of Thrones fans.’ And I’m like ‘F— you.’ “
Clarke said she had no idea how much she’d need to bare prior to reading the script for the first season, which she said ended up requiring “a f— ton of nudity.”
“Obviously I took the job and they sent me the scripts,” she said. “I was reading them, and I was like ‘Oh, there’s the catch. Okay, all right then.’ But I came fresh from drama school, and I was like, ‘Approach this like a job. If it’s in the script, it’s clearly needed, then this is what this is, and I’m going to make sense of it, and this is my job, and that’s what I’m going to do, and everything is going to be cool.’ “
“So, I kind of came to terms with that beforehand,” she continued. “Going into doing it, I was in such another world of like, I’m floating through this first season. I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea what any of this is, I have never been on a film set like this before. I’ve been on a film set twice before then, and now I’m on a film set completely naked and I don’t know what to do and I don’t know what’s expected of me.”
Clarke became more comfortable with the nude scenes thanks to costar Jason Momoa, who played her husband Khal Drogo in the first season.
“It was definitely hard, which is why the scenes when I got to do them with Jason were wonderful,” she recalled. “Because he was like, ‘No, sweetie, this isn’t okay.’ And I was like ‘Oh.’ “
HBO did not return PEOPLE’s request for comment.
However, she did not have any nude scenes between seasons 3 and 6, she confirmed to Entertainment Weekly in 2016. And when she did show nudity for season 6, she said it was on a very closed set, unlike in the past.
“Taking off my clothes is not the easiest thing, but with the magic of the effects, I don’t have to do a season 1 and go on a cliff and do it,” she told EW. “I’m in control of it.”
In 2017, Clarke defended the show’s decision to include female and nudity — including a moment in season 4 where Daenerys commanded lieutenant Daario to get naked.
” ‘Take off your clothes,’ ” Clarke quoted Daenerys in an interview with Elle. “It’s brilliant. I actually went up to [co-creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss] and thanked them. I was like, ‘That’s a scene I’ve been waiting for!’
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She continued: “I get a lot of crap for having done nude scenes and sex scenes. That, in itself, is so antifeminist. Women hating on other women is just the problem. That’s upsetting, so it’s kind of wonderful to have a scene where I was like, ‘There you go!’”
Clarke previously said she should be able to appear naked onscreen without it discrediting her support of women’s rights.
“It doesn’t stop me from being a feminist,” she told Rolling Stone that same year. “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.”