Why Emilia Clarke Hates Being Asked About Playing a ‘Strong Woman’

Emilia Clarke
Photo: Getty Images

Emilia Clarke might play some of the most badass female characters in television and in film, but that doesn’t mean that you should ask her about it. In an interview with Elle, the 31-year-old actress opened up about why she doesn’t identify with the term “strong woman,” and why she wishes that people would stop describing her characters as that.

Since starring as Daenerys Targaryen, the throne-seeking Mother of Dragons, on “Game of Thrones,” Clarke has been flooded with questions about what it’s like to play a “strong woman.” Now, as she’s doing press for “Solo: A Star Wars Story”—in which she plays Qi’ra, Han Solo’s ass-kicking partner in crime—the questions have only multiplied.

Tired of the one-dimensional definition of “strong,” Clarke explained that she would rather talk about what it’s like to play a woman in general, than harp about why her characters are “strong.” “I want to tell you how it feels to play a woman. The end,” Clarke said. “Find another adjective, dammit! I’m just playing women. If it’s not strong, what is it? Are you telling me there’s a weak option? A lead in a movie is going to be weak? It just doesn’t even bear having the conversation. So enough already with the ‘strong woman’ please.”

MORE: ‘Station 19’ Star Danielle Savre on Playing a Bisexual Character and Breaking ‘Tough Female’ Stereotypes

MORE: 13 Upcoming Movies You Need to Put on Your Summer Bucket List

We’re totally with Clarke. No offense to the Khaleesi, but just because someone is conquering lands (or galaxies, in terms of “Star Wars”) doesn’t mean that that is the only definition of “strong.” Likewise, there’s more to Clarke’s characters than being strong. Her characters, along with many other women on television and film right now, are nuanced, so let’s take Clarke’s note and stop with with the “strong woman” business.

Promoted Stories