Emilia Clarke rushed to the defence of co-star Nathalie Emmanuel when an extra commented on her “revealing” outfit on the set of Game of Thrones.
Emmanuel said that she and Clarke bonded immediately as “the only girls on a male-dominated set” when she joined the show in the third season.
Clarke was one of the fantasy epic’s main characters as the ambitious Daenerys Targaryen, while Emmanuel played slave-turned-handmaiden Missandei.
“She and I always looked out for each other,” Emmanuel told Vogue.
The 31-year-old added: “For example, in my first season, my costume was pretty revealing, and there was an incident with an extra who made a comment about it on set – I mean, typical – and Emilia straight away had my back. It got handled.”
Emmanuel said she felt Clarke was “definitely ready to have some female energy around her” when she joined the show and added the two women “got on like a house on fire” — rather fitting given Daenerys’s love for dragons.
The Fast & Furious actor also found herself at the centre of one of the most controversial Game of Thrones moments when her character was killed in the final season.
Missandei was beheaded at the command of Cersei Lannister in the season eight episode The Last of the Starks, sparking debate about the fate of one of the few people of colour in the show.
Selma director Ava DuVernay was one of the famous fans who criticised the decision to brutally kill off Missandei on social media.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 6, 2019
“It definitely caused me to reflect a lot more – about race and diversity more generally,” said Emmanuel.
“if there’s ever a show on the level of Game of Thrones again, representation has to be part of the conversation from the beginning.
“That way, there’s no single person who has to represent every other person of colour.”
Read more: Critics suggest anti-racism films to watch
Emmanuel said she and co-star Jacob Anderson, who played Grey Worm, were very conscious of the importance of their characters in terms of representation on the show.
Emmanuel followed Game of Thrones with the lead role in Mindy Kaling’s TV version of Four Weddings and a Funeral.
She is currently promoting her role as a young action star in the Quibi comedy Die Hart, in which she appears alongside Kevin Hart — playing a fictionalised version of himself.
The star is also due to reprise her role as computer expert Ramsey in Fast & Furious 9, which is due to be released in April 2021.
She previously said she’d be willing to follow the high-octane franchise to space, teasing that fans should “expect the unexpected and don't underestimate anything”.