On Tuesday at midnight (EST), Esquire released the long-awaited list of 2015’s sexiest women alive. At the top? Game of Thrones‘ very own Emilia Clarke. Clarke was also named GQ‘s Woman of the Year last month.
Clarke is originally from London and is most well-known for her role as Khaleesi on HBO’s Game of Thrones. The 28-year-old seductress also played Sarah Connor in summer’s Terminator Genisys. In her interview with Esquire, she discussed her family background. Her father grew up working-class and eventually became a sound designer for big-budget musicals throughout London. Her mother, on the other hand, only attended secretarial school but continued on to become a marketing VP for a company she created herself. It’s no wonder their daughter is not only beautiful, but also incredibly talented.
When she began acting for Game of Thrones, there were some initial concerns. In the first season alone, Emilia experienced lots of sex, including full-frontal nudity and a rape scene. She was only 23 at the time, so she had to learn to cope quickly. “I said I needed a cup of tea, had a bit of a cry, and was ready for the next scene,” she says of her coping strategy.
As Esquire‘s Sexiest Woman Alive, Clarke joins an elite group, including predecessors Scarlet Johansson and Penélope Cruz. According to Esquire, Clarke won this year because “She manages to bring together a number of opposites, to make them natural: sweetness and toughness, emotionalism with a kind of cold-blooded determination. Something in these contrasts explains her sex appeal, too. She can play queen and kid sister, dominatrix and pal.” This is an element of her character she clearly brings to Game of Thrones as well.
With Halloween fast approaching, there are sure to be myriad Khaleesi impersonators wandering the streets in no time. The wildly popular show has won numerous awards and has a cult following, and all of its fans are surely awaiting season 6 of Game of Thrones, which will premiere in April of 2016. For more about Emilia Clarke and to check out her full photoshoot with Esquire, click here.