[SOUND] Let's begin. [SOUND] [MUSIC] There are many occasions where there were people in my life that told me I couldn't do certain things because I was a girl. When people say I can't do things I'm like well I'm going to do it. Here's a story for you. [MUSIC] To be a woman today It means not being afraid to say what you think, to go for things that you want. To step outside of the expectations that people put on you. Sometimes you have to just look in the mirror and be like, you are a bad ****. It's just who I am. [MUSIC] When I first sort of started out in acting, I was sort of told you didn't go to drama school, so therefore you can't be an actor. Don't even think about it. I was like, I'm not having anybody put me in a box. [UNKNOWN] In any shape or form, and so then I was an actor. [SOUND] [MUSIC] Yeah, growing up I definitely didn't really appreciate my hair for what it was, it was different from all my friends. I never saw myself like represented. It took for me to go to the Caribbean where my family are from and just realizing that my hair is part of my heritage, it's part of who I am. [MUSIC] I take real pride in the fact that I get to wear my hair naturally in a lot of the roles that I play, and I often And [UNKNOWN], I'm really grateful to my mom for giving me this hair, so. [MUSIC] My mom taught me that you deserve everything. No one should ever stop you. She has just shown so much like Drive, and determination. And she has turned her life around in a way that is so inspiring to me. Yeah, she is a superwoman. Every time I do anything, she's like, Babe, I'm so proud of you. That's why I do it. Just to hear those words. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] I have had a love affair with yoga for about a decade now. I love it so much. It's been a real gift to my life. It just makes you think about the body, it makes you thinks the mind, your emotions. It's like this perfect little package. And I really wanted to learn more about it, so I trained To become a yoga teacher. Coming up onto the fingertips, or to a block, you can bring the floor closer to you. Making sure the knee is over the ankle. There's always such great energy in the room, and people are so like open and compassionate and willing. Like we're all there together on this journey and this shared space, and sharing this energy. And so showing youself Kindness and compassion and truthfulness. By the end of it, I'm just so proud of everybody. [MUSIC]. Namaste everyone. And that's all I can say.
Before Game of Thrones launched Nathalie Emmanuel into the global spotlight (she plays Daenerys' right-hand, Missandei), people told her that she didn’t have what it takes to be an actor.
“When I first started out in acting, I was sort of told, 'You didn’t go to drama school, therefore you can’t be an actor,” she says in episode three of InStyle and Reebok’s Badass Women video series. The negative energy has never kept Emmanuel down. “I was like I’m not having anybody put me in a box in any way, shape, or form — and so then I was an actor.”
The actress, who confirmed she will appear in the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, scheduled to air next year, says she has noticed a palpable shift among the women in her life since the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. “To be a woman today it means not being afraid to say what you think, to go for things that you want, to step outside of the expectations that people put on you,” the actress says. “And sometimes you have to just look in the mirror and be like, ‘You are a badass.’”
To hear more about Emmanuel’s acting journey, her inspirations, her hair, and the one activity that’s kept her centered for over a decade, check out the video above and excerpts below.
Fearless drive: Just as the women of Game of Thrones tend to prevail when they’re at their most fearless and strong, Emmanuel will not let anyone keep her down. “When people say I can’t do things I say, ‘Well, I’m gonna do it.'”
Hair-story: "Growing up, I definitely didn't really appreciate my hair for what it was," Emmanuel says, adding that it took a trip to the Caribbean where her family is from for her to realize her hair's importance to her story. "My hair is part of my heritage. It's part of who I am," the actress says. She also notes that she insists on wearing her hair natural for many of her roles now.
Role model mama: The woman who’s been most influential to Emmanuel is her mother. “My mom taught me that you deserve everything, no one should ever stop you …” the actress says. Her determination and drive to succeed stems from her mother’s lessons. “She has just shown so much drive and determination and she has turned her life around in a way that is so inspiring to me,” Emmanuel says. “She is a superhero.”
Namaste: “I have had a love-affair with yoga for about a decade now,” the actress says. In fact, she has trained to become a yoga instructor. “There’s always such great energy in the room,” she notes about her teaching experience. For Emmanuel, it’s all about the positive energy to re-center and go out into the world, on and off-screen, and succeed.