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Emilia Clarke wanted something different with 'Me Before You'

The "Game of Thrones" actress talks being funny and, of course, nudity.

Emilia Clarke is a woman in demand. Since appearing on screens as Daenerys Targaryen in “Game of Thrones,” she’s been a something of a hit with fans and a veritable internet sensation. But the 29-year-old doesn’t want to be typecast as an actress who’s known for stripping off. It’s one of the reasons she decided to accept the part of caretaker Lou Clark in romantic comedy “Me Before You,” alongside Sam Claflin, who plays the wheelchair-bound Will Traynor.

How did you feel doing comedy?
It's a change of pace after doing action stuff like “Terminator Genisys” or some drama like “Game of Thrones.” I liked the role of Lou, a young free spirit who observes life with great humor. Besides that contrast with the wardrobe — so colorful and relaxed — it allowed me to be seen as an actress in another facet. It is a simple love story, but to the heart.

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How alike are you with Lou?
A lot — in her warmth and sensitivity. I always try to be cheerful and include that dose of humor in life. After I read the script, I said, "I have to do this."

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In “Me Before You” they say you are a kind of Julia Roberts from “Pretty Woman.” What are your feelings about this?
I've heard several comparisons with “Pretty Woman,” “Cinderella,” Bridget Jones and even “Mary Poppins.” But I can only say that Lou is somewhat similar but different. She is incredibly close to what I am, and more distant from Daenerys.

What part of the film did you feel freer in?
In real life I make many gestures, expressions, laugh loudly and do not usually dress up a lot, so I felt more free and natural. In “Me Before You” I make all kinds of faces, without noticing if I looked beautiful or ugly. That did not matter.

You’ve got a lot of projects on the way. Are you looking for something special?
I'm trying to express my creativity and strength as an actress. I try not to have a plan and force a specific project. Things arise and I take them if I think they’ll bring me something else. That’s how it’s been with “Game of Thrones,” with which I’ve learned a lot. That's my ultimate goal, considering the scope of my career: simply to do as many different things as possible. I just want to push myself in all directions.

You once said "no more nudes." Does it bother you?
I do not regret what I've done, but I do not want to be labeled for that. In fact in the new season of “Game of Thrones” I did another one. The one before that was in season three. That was a long time ago. Now I’m proud and strong. I feel genuinely happy to have said "yes" to make that scene. I'm not against nudity, but it must be well-justified.

 
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