She's the cover girl for Wall Street Journal's Women's Style for March 2014, wearing astronomically-priced fashions. She looks nothing like her alter ego, the one we know and love. But she reveals there are parallels, of sorts, between the real and the virtual life.
Still, on this mid-fall afternoon in Los Angeles, as Clarke sits in an upscale yet unpretentious West Hollywood hotel café, no one seems to recognize her. In fact, despite the occasional run-in with English riff-raff, Clarke is seldom spotted in public, in part because she bears little resemblance to her on-screen warrior-queen alter ego: Whereas her Thrones persona is known for her golden-white hair and sand-strewn costumes, Clarke is a brunette and dressed today in cream-colored jeans and a sleeveless white-tufted Topshop sweater.
But the biggest difference between Clarke and the character that's made her famous is that, unlike the long-suffering, oft-forlorn Dany—who had to eat a horse heart, watch her lover die and tame a horde of desert brutes, all in the first season—Clarke herself is a bit of a goof. A very dignified goof, mind you, but a goof nonetheless. After all, this is a woman who sealed the deal at her final Thrones callback by busting out her dance moves in front of HBO executives. "She's effing funny," say Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss in a jointly composed e-mail. "Does that mean we've written hilarious scenes for her? No. But someone should."