Emilia Clarke said no to ‘Fifty Shades’ because she didn’t want to do more nudity

91st Academy Awards (Oscars 2019)

The Emmy nominations will be coming out in July, but I guess we’re probably in the “voting” part of the process, which explains why the Hollywood Reporter did one of their “roundtable” discussions with television’s leading ladies. Included in this year’s Emmy roundtable: Emilia Clarke, Christine Baranski, Michelle Williams, Danai Gurira, Patricia Arquette and Niecy Nash. The entire piece is a good read full of interesting little stories and conversations, and as always, it felt like the women relish being able to sit down and talk to each other and commiserate about what’s happening in their industry. There were a few notable moments which I wanted to excerpt:

Patricia Arquette on the pressure to age a certain way: “I was lucky enough to have success when I was young, and a lot of that was being an ingenue. And then as I was getting older, there was still this pressure to look a certain way. I had an argument with one of the producers on Medium, who told me I should lose weight. I was like, “This lady is a mother, she’s married, she’s got three kids. No.” But there’s that expectation of being beautiful, of looking a certain way. Like, “OK, you could be 40, but you’ve got to be a 40 who looks 30.” So, when I started to work on Escape at Dannemora and then again with The Act, I definitely felt some pushback. [My people were scared] that I’d lose work. And in fairness, they’ll have those conversations. “What does she look like now?” “Why don’t you send us a picture of what she looks like right now?”

Christine Baranski on who she does not want to play: “Don’t want to play a cranky old lady, don’t want to play a bitch — or a powerful woman who, because she’s powerful, is a bitch. You know, all the stereotypes about older women. Nope.

Niecy Nash on who she doesn’t want to play: “I don’t want to be a sassy black anything. I don’t want to be a sassy black mama, a sassy black neighbor or a sassy black friend. There are so many more notes to be played. And listen, broken is a delicious note to play on camera.

Emilia Clarke on saying no to Fifty Shades of Grey: “Well, Sam [Taylor-Johnson, the director] is a magician. I love her, and I thought her vision was beautiful. But the last time that I was naked on camera on [Game of Thrones] was a long time ago, and yet it is the only question that I ever get asked because I am a woman. And it’s annoying as hell and I’m sick and tired of it because I did it for the character — I didn’t do it so some guy could check out my t-ts, for God’s sake. So, that coming up, I was like, “I can’t.” I did a minimal amount and I’m pigeonholed for life, so me saying yes to that, where the entire thing is about sensuality and sex and being naked and all of that stuff, I was just like, “No way am I going to voluntarily walk into that situation and then never be able to look someone in the eye and be like, ‘No, you can’t keep asking me this question.’ ”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

I honestly forgot that Emilia was up for the role in Fifty Shades. She would have been an okay Anastasia, but having seen Dakota Johnson in the role… Dakota is totally fine too. The franchise’s problems were, in no particular order, Jamie Dornan being miscast and wooden, the sh-tty source material and EL James insisting on terrible things being included in the films. But yes, I can also see how Emilia would have been like “no thank you” to a role which would have meant so much nudity and sexual situations. Also: the part with Patricia Arquette talking about how her agent and manager are asked about what she looks like now… wow, that’s f–king awful.

'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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12 Responses to “Emilia Clarke said no to ‘Fifty Shades’ because she didn’t want to do more nudity”

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  1. Renee2 says:

    I love this – she would have been an okay Anastasia…Dakota Johnson is totally fine too. Lol, damning with faint praise indeed!!!

    I liked the quotes from all of the women, although I feel that Nicey Nash kinda sorta traffics in stereotypical BW roles a bit??? Oddly enough, she didn’t during her brief turn on The Mindy Project. I say oddly because of the sassy Black nurse character who was part of the main cast.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I’m guessing Niecy Nash got nominated for Claws, in which her character is definitely not the sassy anything. I discovered that show late in the game–Season 2 or 3–and I loved it. What a wild ride.

  2. Lucy says:

    Over this past year I’ve grown to love all the GoT actors more than I ever thought I would. I’m really gonna miss seeing them playing those characters. EC is no exception.

  3. Naddie says:

    Amazing answers. I believe a lot of people thought of The devil wears Prada at Christine’s (spot on) statement. And Niecy Nash, can’t agree more. One of the reasons I loved Anihilation was Tessa Thompson’s role as a shy, introvert, meek genius with her poetic doom, characteristics that writers usually don’t give to black characters.

  4. otaku fairy... says:

    It sounds more like Emilia’s turning down that offer was more about other’s reactions to the nudity than the nudity itself. Too bad, if she actually wanted the part. All in all it’s probably no big loss, since 50 Shades was boring anyway.

  5. Jenna says:

    I don’t mean to be mean or picky, but I think that headline misconstrues her words. She didn’t take 50 Shades because she was scared of the reaction to more nudity, not the actual nudity itself.

  6. Snazzy says:

    No loss really, I mean haven’t seen the movies but the books are terrible so assuming the movies were terrible as well

  7. Jujumanji says:

    Im sorry but Niecy Nash has definitely played the sassy black “insert role here.” So perhaps she means she never wants to play those roles anymore. Danai looks great btw.

    • Linn says:

      Just because she played those roles doesn’t mean she wanted to play those roles.

    • Linn says:

      She doesn’t deny she ever played those type of roles, does she? There are only so many roles for actresses in general and for women of color it’s even harder.
      If she wants to have a career in acting saying no to roles she doesn’t really want to do is rarely an option for somebody who wants to have a career and be able to pay the bills.

  8. Lex says:

    I haven’t watched 50 shades but I’ve seen a few clips. Would have been 100000 times better if Jamie could use his natural accent. Swoooooooon

  9. Maria says:

    Of the younger actors in GOT, Emilia is probably the best. I think she could have pulled it off, but of course I respect what her viewpoint was.