Emilia Clarke could have certainly pulled off the part of Anastasia "Ana" Steele in the “Fifty Shades of Grey" film, and according to the actress, she might have accepted the job if it wasn’t for the movie’s extensive nude scenes. In her July cover spread with Marie Claire, Clarke dishes about the erotica film and why she felt signing on would have jeopardized her career.
“I really wanted to work with Sam Taylor-Johnson because she’s f---ing amazing,” Clarke said of the blockbuster film’s director. Despite her admiration for the British filmmaker, the 28-year-old actress said she couldn’t justify stripping down for the role of Ana Steele, a sexually inexperienced college student who falls for a domineering, BDSM-practicing billionaire named Christian Grey.
“There is a huge amount of nudity in the film,” Clarke shared of her reasoning for passing on the role, which ultimately went to 25-year-old actress Dakota Johnson. Despite stripping down several times on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” – she plays the alluring Daenerys Targaryen– and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s" on Broadway, she said she wasn’t interested in pursuing another role that also required her to disrobe.
“I’ll never say, ‘I’m not never doing nudity,’ because I’ve already done it,” she said. “But I thought I might get stuck in a pigeonhole that I would have struggled to get out of.”
This isn’t the first time Clarke has spoken out about her almost involvement in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” When asked by the Hollywood Reporter in March if she thought she had made the right decision in turning down the controversial role, Clarke reportedly said she had “no regrets.”
“I’d done nudity before and was concerned with being labeled for doing it again,” said the actress, who claimed to have had two meetings with Taylor-Johnson before passing on the part.
Clarke’s story seems to contradict Taylor-Johnson’s comments in a behind-the-scenes “Fifty Shades of Grey" featurette. In the video, which was released alongside the film's DVD earlier this month, the director says she felt Johnson was immediately right the part of Ana.
"Dakota Johnson came in very early on and read for the part and it was one of those moments when I knew the part was hers," Taylor-Johnson says. "She has the wit and charm and intelligence of Ana and she brings that life into that character like I can't imagine anyone else doing."
Catch Clarke on Season 5 of “Game of Thrones" Sundays at 9 p.m. EDT on HBO and on the big screen in “Terminator Genisys" on July 1.
Do you think Emilia Clarke would have made a better Ana Steele than Dakota Johnson? Sound off in the comments section below!