Emilia Clarke, nudity, GOT, contracts, etc.

There has been considerable, even interminable, discussion in this Game of Thrones show-only thread about Clarke’s refusal to do any more nude scenes: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=792608

Here is a thread for all such discussions. To get the ball rolling:

*RESOLVED: *Emilia Clarke was within her rights to renegotiate her contract to not do any more nude scenes on GOT.

What say you?

She wanted to be able to watch the show with her parents.

I agree 100%. It’s entirely reasonable for someone to change their mind about what their comfortable with regarding their body.

Lena Headey doesn’t do nude scenes, all of hers were body doubles, even if it was only a butt shot. The most you see of her is her bare back, I suspect, and maybe not even then.

My guess is Emilia took inspiration from her, that she saw she didn’t have to.

Nudity in movies and TV is a weird thing for me. I don’t really like to see it, it’s almost never done for a good reason, but having said that I also think if there’s a genuinely logical and natural reason to have it then just show it, don’t hide it behind camera angles or a carefully placed pot plant. If you can’t show it, don’t. If you don’t need to show it, don’t. If you do need to show it, then do. Half-hiding it is stupid.

I understand why actors feel uncomfortable about it. It’s not that it’s keeping your body private, necessarily, though it might be; it’s about the completely unnecessary need for it if it doesn’t contribute to the story. Discomfort crossed with lack of need is reason enough to start demanding limits.

All of which detracts from the point, which is that we need a clear and unobstructed several second ass shot from Kit Harington. He owes us that. And I want him to turn his head and look at the camera over his back when he does it so we know it’s not a butt double like the time in the cave, because he owes us that.

Actually, I have wondered if they’re ever going to show any of the show’s 12,000 eunuch characters naked. The actor who plays Theon did full frontal in the first season. It would be difficult now, but if they can show Gus Fring with half his head missing and his optic nerve moving in Breaking Bad and they can show Daenerys riding a dragon then they can show a emasculated men, and there are probably people who have some curiosity what it would look like. (Might be an interesting challenge for Face Off.)

I think actors are as varied as any other group of people: some are totally comfortable and some are mortally embarrassed. In the locker room at any gym you have men (can’t speak for the ladies locker room) who will walk around starkers and some who dress in the shower, and it really doesn’t have much to do with their age or physical condition, just natural modesty.

I can certainly understand anyone’s desire not to contribute their image to years upon years of wank material.

I second.

I say you are just muddying the argument because no one claimed she wasn’t within her rights to do so, that I recall. But that decision is criticizable for artistic and professional reasons, opinions will vary, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up hurting her professional carreer to change her mind in the middle of a show (even if, again, she was well within her right to renegotiate the contract).

And I think it is up to the producers to fix it.


Sure, she can ask for anything she likes in her renegotiation and since I assume she plays a major character in that show she is likely to get any reasonable demand.

Well within her rights but is seems unprofessional. Everyone on the set’s job is to make the production the best it can be. If the producers and writers think nudity is going to make the show better and she does not want to do it for whatever reason then she is not doing the job to the best of her abilities.
OTOH the reason producers and directors make so much money is that they have to deal with actors and if it were easy everyone would do it.

It is interesting to me how nudity is far more likely to be essential to the plot if the actors are good looking and have toned bodies. You do get an occasional Kathy Bates or fat-hairy-guy-from-Borat nude scene, but when you do they’re usually for comedy and such the exception that they make headlines.
Also surprising that they’re not as essential to the plotlines of shows on basic cable. Which is a shame: I can think of lots of potential plotlines where nudity would benefit the plotline and my spank bank on the show Supernatural for instance. (“The brothers and Castiel go undercover at a nude wrestling camp to investigate demons or monsters or something… the point is nekkid Winchester and Castiel.”)

Better? Or more popular? Not necessarily the same thing.

I agree that she’s well within her rights. It does make for some awkward scenes, though, since the character is well established to be comfortable nude, and having her draw the covers around her neck after sex is out of character. I’m not mad that I can’t see her boobs, but the motion itself pulls me out of the show a bit and reminds me of the realities of filmmaking.

I’m sure they could cast someone else who would take her panties off.

Michael Corleone: “It’s just business”

Okay, but who’s going to hold her down?

Eh. What makes a show “better”? For some, “better” might mean “better storytelling”. For others, it likely means “generates more revenue.”

Either way, every professional (in every industry) needs to work out for themselves how much they are willing to sacrifice in order to pursue the various elements of “better” that their superiors ask for (maybe it’s working extra hours, or travel that takes you away from home). Having boundaries doesn’t make you unprofessional, and implying that it does is pretty de-humanizing.

Ditto. 99% of the time nudity in TV and the movies is done not because it makes for a better story, but because nudity sells. Pretending that this is anything other than producers wanting to use an attractive naked woman to earn money is laughable.

I’m not making an argument about the morality of it, but we should at least cop to what is really going on here. Arguments about making “good television” or “serving the story” and “professionalism” are laughable.

The producers apparently think it is more important to have her face in the show than to have her naked torso. By not even trying to use a body double, they are now on shaky ground if they try to cite nudity as being important for the role.

Acting is one of those jobs where future work is guaranteed. Actors need to take what they can get via negotiations whether it be work conditions or salary. The part of that there are plenty of people in line to get in the business who will compromise on any given demand.

She did work to establish a character - along with the rest of the crew - that had an attitude about nudity and then she bet that keeping her face would trump not wanting to show her body. So the question is not whether she is right to do this. The question is whether this will have any long term effect on her career. She might find it difficult to get series work but still be able to get short-production projects. Or it might not matter. I’ve seen nothing to make me think that she is the next Meryl Streep. She could get the lead in “Sharknado 7”.

What, if in her creative judgment, the writers and producers were using nudity and titillation as a cheap way to boost ratings and they would make the show better if they didn’t have that crutch?

You don’t watch Girls on HBO do you?