Macall B. Polay/courtesy of HBO(HOLLYWOOD) — Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has never shied away from sharing her thoughts about being a woman in Hollywood.
But in a new interview for Rolling Stone, Clarke, 30, compares sexism in the industry to “racism,” and says it has permeated every part of her life.
When talking about the amount of lines she has compared to her male co-stars, she said, “I feel so naive for saying it, but it’s like dealing with racism. You’re aware of it but one day you go, ‘Oh, my God, it’s everywhere!'”
She added, “Like, you suddenly wake up to it and you go, ‘Wait a f—–g second, are you….treating me different because I’ve got a pair of t–s? Is that actually happening?’ It took me a really long time to see that I do get treated differently. But I look around, and that’s my daily life.”
While Clarke acknowledges that her show features a fair amount of sex and nudity, she says showing skin doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive with being respected.
“It doesn’t stop me from being a feminist,” she said. “Like, guess what? Yes, I’ve got mascara on, and I also have a high IQ, so those two things can be one and the same.”
Clarke’s character, Daenerys Targaryen, is launching a bid to wrest the Iron Throne from its current occupant, Cersei Lannister, played by actress Lena Headey. Clarke believes Thrones could be a good influence on the current political climate.
“Women have been great rulers…Anyone who seems to think that it’s not needed need only look at the political environment we’re all living in to be like, ‘Oh, no, it’s needed. It is needed,'” she said.
Aside from playing Khaleesi on the small screen, Clarke’s next big-screen role will likely find her playing an equally powerful woman: she’s appearing in the Young Han Solo Star Wars prequel.
“All I can say is that she’s awesome,” Clarke says of her character. “Like, legit, that’s all I can actually get away with saying. There’s a stormtrooper with a gun, and he’s going to come walking in any second.”
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