Emilia Clarke may play Queen Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones, but her attempt at action franchise splendor in the soon-to-be-forgotten 2015 sequel, Terminator Genisys, didn’t exactly receive a royal welcome from moviegoers. However, as Clarke awaits the release of her debut in another franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story (read our review,) the actress appears to look back on her Terminator role with candor.
In a lengthy cover story interview with Vanity Fair, Emilia Clarke fielded inevitable questions about the highly-publicized behind-the-scenes tumult of Solo: A Star Wars Story (the director swap, acting coach rumors, etc.). Consequently, there was a natural topical transition to another tumultuous film of Clarke’s in 2015’s Terminator Genisys; a film that ultimately underwhelmed, earning $89.76 million domestic, though boosted by $350.84 million overseas. Indeed, the interview reveals that Clarke was “relieved” by the film’s failure, since it meant she would not have to return for any sequels.
It’s a far cry from the once-promising… well, genesis of Genisys, which showcased the at-the-time exciting idea of the Mother of Dragons, Clarke, inheriting the role of the Mother of the Future, Sarah Connor; a role played by Linda Hamilton in the first two Terminator films and, coincidentally, by Clarke’s Game of Thrones co-star/onscreen-rival, Lena Headey on the 2008-2009 Fox TV series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. While Clarke embraced the role of a more-badass and self-reliant version of Sarah who comes from an altered timeline, the role didn’t leave much room for a more distinguishing performance.
Yet, Genisys seemed to have other things going for it with the acquisition of Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor, the return of signature star Arnold Schwarzenegger, a very-public stamp of approval from franchise creator James Cameron and ambitious timeline-altering plans designed to keep the franchise fresh… all while touting a very un-Terminator PG-13 rating. However, those plans didn’t quite resonate. Indeed, Clarke, who recalls watching Taylor get “eaten and chewed up” during the Genisys shoot confesses, “He was not the director I remembered. He didn’t have a good time. No one had a good time.”
Interestingly, Clarke also reveals that as reports of the Terminator tumult started making the news cycle, the crew of another (nearby-shooting,) contemporaneous controversy-plagued production in Fox’s Josh Trank-directed Fantastic Four reboot poked some fun at the expense of Genisys, stating that they had jackets made that read, “At least we’re not on Terminator.” – Ouch!
However, things appear to be more promising for Clarke personally. Her introduction to the official Star Wars film canon as Qi’ra will showcase a more mischievous side, and her return next year as Daenerys on Game of Thrones Season 8 will, by most accounts, be a monumentally emotional conclusion to the character’s arc. She will also be seen in the upcoming crime thriller movie, Above Suspicion.
Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on May 25.