Emilia Clarke Watched Videos of Ruthless Dictators for Game of Thrones Role

Emilia Clarke stars as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from Game of Thrones's series finale
Emilia Clarke stars as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from Game of Thrones's series finale
HBO

How does one prepare to portray a dictator? By watching a dictator, of course. So when Game of Thrones actor Emilia Clarke found out that her character would give a speech to her army after her victory over Cersei Lannister—which involved burning King's Landing to the ground and killing many of its innocent civilians—in the show's season finale, she told Variety that she used real-life rulers to help her get into character.

"In giving all these speeches in fake languages, I watched a lot of videos of—now it seems funny—dictators and powerful leaders speaking a different language to see if I could understand what they were saying without knowing the language," Clarke said. "And you can! You absolutely can understand what Hitler’s f***ing saying, these single-focus orators speaking a foreign language. So I thought, 'If I can believe every single word I’m saying, the audience won’t need to be looking at the subtitles too much.'"

The scene is a significant part of Daenerys’s transformation, and the pressure to nail the lines weighed heavily on Clarke.

“I’ve had a lot of Dothraki, Valyrian, fake languages to learn, and I’ve had a lot of speeches to give, but I put so much pressure on myself with this [scene],” Clarke said. “Any actor will tell you the days on set are long and then you go home and do your homework, which is learning your lines for the next day. This is learning a fake language on top of that! It almost killed me.”

The 32-year-old actress explained that she was rehearing her lines to everyone and everything for about two months, and it ended up paying off.

“Then the weirdest thing happened—I walked on set, didn’t need a rehearsal, and I got through the whole thing perfect on the first go. The rest of the day it was like Daenerys was just with me,” Clarke recalled. “That’s the only time I got through that speech without getting anything wrong, when it was on camera. If you had asked me to do it the next day, I’d already forgotten it.”

As for her character's turn from would-be breaker of the wheel to tragic villain, Clarke told Entertainment Weekly that "after 10 years of working on this show, it’s logical. Where else can she go? I tried to think what the ending will be. It’s not like she’s suddenly going to go, ‘Okay, I’m gonna put a kettle on and put cookies in the oven and we’ll just sit down and have a lovely time and pop a few kids out.’ That was never going to happen. She’s a Targaryen. ... But having said all of the things I’ve just said, I stand by Daenerys. I stand by her! I can’t not.”

[h/t Variety]

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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The Office Writers Considered Making Michael Scott a Murderer, According to Greg Daniels

NBCUniversal, Inc.
NBCUniversal, Inc.

Greg Daniels is best known as the showrunner of The Office, a job that earned him two of his four Emmys. As reported by Screen Rant, the acclaimed creator dished in a recent interview with The Guardian about why the American version of the much-loved show almost wasn't made, along with a proposed plot twist for Michael Scott that forced Daniels to put his foot down.

"The UK version hadn’t finished airing and I’d never heard of it. My agent sent me a VHS tape of season one. It had a somewhat boring title so I didn’t look at it. He told me he wanted to show it to someone else if I wasn’t interested, so I popped it in. I watched the entire first series that evening," Daniels said.

As the show really got going after Steve Carell's role in The 40-Year-Old Virgin made him a household name, Daniels said some ideas in the writers room got too wacky for their own good. He recalled one particular instance, saying, “There were times where [the writers] would become enamored with a joke, and I'd have to put my foot down. For instance, they really wanted Michael to kill Meredith with his car. That was an early pitch, where he runs her over in the parking lot and then comes back, gets a tire iron and finishes the job. I was like, 'You can’t do that, that’s crazy!'”

Michael being a murderer certainly would have changed the tone of the show, so it makes sense that it never happened. Imagine the courtroom scenes we would have had to endure! The Scranton Strangler storyline would have paled in comparison.

[h/t Screen Rant]