Emilia Clarke knew from the start that she wanted the role of Louisa Clark in the upcoming movie based on Jojo Moyes’ bestselling novel, Me Before You. The Game of Thrones actress told Total Film magazine that she first read the script while filming Terminator Genisys.
“I read it and it just… literally from the first chapter, I was like, ‘This is me! Oh my God, I’ve got to do it!’ Genuinely, never in my life, have I wanted a part more than this.”
In the film, the 29-year-old stars as a woman who loses her job in a café. Despite lacking the qualifications, her family’s dire financial state compels her to take the job of caring for the quadriplegic Will Traynor, played by Sam Claflin. Will had everything a man could wish for until that tragic day. Romance blossoms between the two, but the threat of Will’s situation remains.
Emilia sees similarities between her character in Me Before You and Bridget Jones, the infamous character played by Renee Zellweger in a series of films. Just like Bridget, Emilia thinks that Lou “doesn’t quite think much of herself, doesn’t think before she speaks, doesn’t think before she acts, tends to fall and knock things over.”
The British actress can relate to her character too because of the clumsy side that they share. In June last year, she fractured her hip after tripping while running.
Viewers will see a different Emilia in Me Before You. The actress herself considered the filming “fun” because it allowed her to smile more and simply have a good time. Lou’s effervescence is a far cry from her roles as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones and Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys.
Emilia isn’t the only one who thought the film was unusual. After portraying characters like Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games and Philip Swift in the Pirates of the Carribean: On Stronger Tides, it was challenging for Sam to play someone with no movement below his neck. The actor, who recently welcomed the birth of his daughter with wife Laura Haddock, had to express Will’s emotions using facial movements alone.
Nonetheless, the two’s chemistry trumps the challenges on set as they were reportedly fond of engaging in friendly bragging games. Their games mainly revolve around whose character would win in a battle, and Emilia claims that it’s Daenerys because dragons defeat everything.
Me Before You has a cast filled with British stars. Apart from the lead characters, Doctor Who‘s Jenna Coleman stars as Lou’s sister, Harry Potter‘s Matthew Lewis as Lou’s boyfriend, and even Game of Thrones’ Charles Dance as Will’s father.
While fans of Me Before You can’t wait to see Emilia take on Lou’s cheerful character, some people continue to throw sexism charges against Game of Thrones.
Emilia made it clear to Entertainment Weekly that these criticisms irk her. For her, the series portrays women in various ways.
“There are women depicted as sexual tools, women who have zero rights, women who are queens but only to a man, and then there are women who are literally unstoppable and as powerful as you can possibly imagine.”
The presence of strong female characters in Game of Thrones is the reason why sexism allegations pain her.
“So it pains me to hear people taking Thrones out of context with anti-feminist spin – because you can’t do that about this show. It shows the range that happens to women, and ultimately shows women are not only equal, but have a lot of strength.”
[Image via Ian Gavan/Getty Images]