Emilia Clarke (born 26 October 1986) is an English actress, best known for her role as Daenerys Targaryen in the HBOseries Game of Thrones, for which she received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2013. Clarke made her Broadway debut in Breakfast at Tiffany's as Holly Golightly in March 2013.
Clarke was born in London and grew up in Berkshire with her parents. Her father is a theatre sound engineer, and her mother is a businesswoman. She has a younger brother. Clarke's interest in acting began at the age of three after seeing the musical Show Boat, on which her father was working at the time. She was educated at Rye St Antony School and atSt Edward's School, Oxford. She then attended Drama Centre London, graduating in 2009.
Clarke's early work includes two plays at St. Edwards, ten plays at Drama Centre London, the 2009 Company of Angels production ofSense, and a 2009 commercial for Samaritans. One of her first on film roles was for a University of London students short film. Her first television roles were Saskia Mayer in a 2009 episode of Doctors and Savannah in Syfy's 2010 film Triassic Attack. Screen International magazine named her as one of the "UK Stars of Tomorrow".
In 2010, Clarke was cast as Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones, which is based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. She was cast after fellow British actress Tamzin Merchant was replaced for undisclosed reasons. She did the funky chicken and robot dance during her audition. The show débuted in April 2011 to positive reviews and was quickly picked up by the network for a second season. To date she has appeared in all four broadcast seasons, and will reprise the role once more in Season 5. Clarke won the 2011 EWwy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her role as Daenerys. In 2013, she was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards. She was voted the most desirable woman in the world by Askmen readers in 2014.
In 2012, Clarke appeared in Spike Island, a film named after the location of The Stone Roses' seminal 1990 gig. From March to April 2013, Clarke played Holly Golightly in a Broadway production of Breakfast at Tiffany's. In 2013, she also starred in Dom Hemingway alongside Jude Law. In May 2014, it was announced that she had joined the feature film Garden of Last Days alongside James Franco, but the movie was scrapped two weeks before production was due to begin. In December 2013, Clarke was cast as Sarah Connor in 2015's Terminator Genisys opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. She will also play the lead as Nurse Verena, in the up-coming movie Voice from the Stone (2015).
She is also rumoured to be starring in a Bonnie and Clyde remake, Go Down Together as Bonnie Parker, alongside Nicholas Hoult. She is also attached to the films The Guns of August opposite Helena Bonham Carter, and Me Before You, in one of the lead roles as the character, Lou.