Game of Thrones kickstarted the careers of a number of different actors and actresses and was among the most popular shows of its time. It’s unlikely another program captures this much of the zeitgeist again anytime soon. But not everyone is happy with what the HBO program did for their careers. Recently, on the Make it Reign Podcast, Nathalie Emmanuel spoke out about how the nudity she performed on the show has made discussions around new roles tough in the years since the show went off the air.
In the interview, Emmanuel spoke candidly about her time on Game of Thrones, but also about some of the after-effects she’s seen within the industry and what it’s meant for getting new roles. She says that because she had a number of different scenes that involved nudity, other producers and creators think that she’s willing to do the same thing in any other production. She says the expectation is that she’d be willing to bare it all on-screen again for any other project.
Nathalie Emmanuel played Missandei who comes into the show in Season 3 when Daenerys is in Astapor, ultimately freeing the slaves of that city. Missandei, once a slave herself, is also freed and becomes one of Daenerys’s most trusted confidants. Emmanuel is fantastic in the role, confident and stoic, a crucial part of the narrative at times. Over the course of the next few seasons, she develops a relationship with one of the Unsullied soldiers, Grey Worm, and among other places, this is where Emmanuel had some scenes that involved nudity.
In the podcast interview, Emmanuel explains that she agreed to do certain nude scenes for Game of Thrones because there were agreements ahead of time and she felt it worked into the particular narrative for the show. But she’s not willing to get nude just for the sake of doing it in new productions. Here’s what she had to say about the challenges post-Game of Thrones:
“When I did Game of Thrones I agreed toward certain nude scenes or nudity within the show…And the perception from other projects, when the role required nudity, that I was just open to do anything because I did it on that one show… I’ve had people challenge me and be like, ‘But this part requires that,’ and I said, ‘That’s fine if you require that in the part; I don’t feel comfortable doing that level of nudity. I will do this amount, you know, I can do this, which I think is necessary for the part.”
This is an interesting admission from the actress about how her time on Game of Thrones has changed how others in the industry might view her willingness to engage in certain things on the screen in new projects. Considering the popularity of the show as a whole, and her high-profile role, it makes sense that some would form an idea in their mind about how far she’ll go on screen. But it’s great that Emmanuel is confident in her approach, careful to explain that just because it happened on Game of Thrones doesn’t mean it’s just something that’s expected each and every time out.
We are going to soon get more Game of Thrones in our lives. Since the HBO show had its finale just about two years ago, there’s been anticipation about more stories in the George R.R. Martin universe coming. House of the Dragon will be released sometime in 2022 and will tell the story of the Targaryen family 300 years before the events of the show. Filming began back in April and this will give a look at some events that lead Daenerys to ultimately seek the Iron Throne. There could be other shows and spinoffs in the works as well, telling stories from this world.