Dating and playing game

And though she's not yet being paid Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Lawrence dollars (not for her big-screen jobs, anyway; sources say she'll be making upward of million a season playing Daenerys by the time enters its seventh), it does catapult her to the 20-something A-list.

That, of course, is a whole other kingdom teeming with ambition, filled with franchise stars (like Kristen Stewart and Emma Watson) fighting to stay on top, up-and-comers (Margot Robbie, Shailene Woodley) attempting to make a mark and more than a few cautionary tales (Jessica Biel, Gemma Arterton).

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But Clarke was auditioning for the role of a queen, Daenerys Targaryen, potential heir to the Iron Throne.

And HBO was willing to spend like a Lannister — $8 million for the pilot, $50 million to $60 million for the first season — in order to build the series. , with an average 18.4 million viewers an episode across all platforms.

Being a member of that group gives Clarke's career far more range than a hit HBO show ever could.

After all, the true mark of an A-lister is being able to transition onto the big screen, where the paydays can be greater and the fame far more global.

When she made her New York stage debut in 2013 as Holly Golightly in character has been known to disrobe on occasion as well, although not so much lately.

"There are other women who remove items of clothing on our show, so they've kind of got my nipple count down now," she jokes.

Clarke denies the salary figures ("Not even close," she says).

But whatever she's being paid, she's looking forward to getting back to her wig and pet dragons.

"She'll be in a scene sobbing and as soon as you say, 'cut,' she'll turn back to the crew and finish the joke she was telling before she started," he says.

"She can step into and out of it in a way that some American actors can't." After she's done filming , which in July starts production on season six.

How she ended up auditioning for Daenerys is a circuitous tale: British actress Tamzin Merchant originally shot the pilot, but after HBO picked up the series, the producers recast for reasons never publicly explained. "This character needed to step into Joan of Arc territory, to deliver a messianic level of intensity.

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