With her role as an exiled queen on Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke converted a whole lot of fantasy-averse American men into swords-and-sorcery nerds. And she did it all while wearing nothing but her long platinum tresses and several clingy baby dragons. More accurately: because she wore nothing but her long platinum tresses and several clingy baby dragons.
So now that you know, you totally see it, right? That even without that stare-at-the-sun-white wig, Emilia Clarke is totally her: Daenerys Targaryen, a.k.a. Khaleesi, a.k.a. the super-naked Mother of Dragons, a.k.a. the most immediately recognizable among the ninety-sevenish characters on Game of Thrones. “Which is exactly true, but also so funny, because I’m so immediately unrecognizable,” Clarke says. “It takes a die-hard fan to actually spot me. These HBO events, where I’ll be talking to someone for a fair amount of time, and then suddenly they’re like, Oh shit! That’s what you do!—they think I’m some crazy Brit who snuck her way into a Hollywood party.” Which sounds like a nice deal for a suddenly very famous young actress—to hide in plain sight. But in Morocco, where Dany’s season-three scenes were shot over six weeks last summer, might it have been tempting to stay in character sometimes? “I keep asking to go out with the wig at night, but they insist there’s no way.”
Read more and see our behind-the-scenes video with Emilia at GQ.com