Actress Emilia Clarke, who became famous for her role as Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO series Game of Thrones, revealed in an interview the one question that she hates being asked about her role, reports the Express.
Her character is also known as the “mother of dragons” and is a very powerful leader in the show. The part has earned Clarke three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
However, Clarke condemned the description of her character as “strong” when used in relation to her being a woman, as revealed in an interview with Variety at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
Referring to both her roles as Daenerys in Game of Thrones and as Qi’ra in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Clarke highlighted the inherent sexism in asking the question of how it feels to play a strong female lead in a show or film. She went on to discuss how the term “strong woman” implies that there can also be “weak” female lead roles.
“Take the ‘strong’ out of it. Find another adjective, dammit. I’m just playing women…If it’s not strong, what is it? Are you telling me there’s another option, that there’s a weak option? You think a lead in a movie is going to be a ‘weak’ woman?”
The actress also offered alternative ways for journalists to phrase the question.
“How does it feel to play a female lead in a big blockbuster movie?” she suggested. “Or, how does it feel to play someone with power in that position? I mean the list goes on.”
She also expressed her frustration with the double standard, stating that a man would never be asked the same question.
“I get very frustrated with that in particular, because you don’t get ‘strong men,’ unless you mean ‘physically strong men.'”
Clarke went on to say that she believes that if women are to be quizzed on their “strong” role, then men should be asked the same question.
So, will people take note of Clarke’s wish that people would stop describing her character and many other female lead roles as “strong women” and find less one-dimensional ways to ask how it feels to play that character?
“I want to tell you how it feels to play a woman. The end. So enough already with the ‘strong woman’ please,” Clarke pleads.