Emilia Clarke addresses panned Broadway debut nearly a decade later: ‘It was a catastrophic failure’

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Emilia Clarke has reminisced on her “catastrophic” Broadway debut.

The Game of Thrones star, 35, is due to make her West End stage debut as Nina in a production of Anton Chekhov’s 1896 play The Seagull.

Ahead of the show’s run, Clarke opened up about her first Broadway performance, in which she starred as Holly Golightly opposite Cory Michael Smith’s Fred and George Wendst’s Joe Bell in a 2013 production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Clarke was widely panned by publications including The New York Times and Variety, with some critics suggesting that she was miscast in the role.

Clarke called it a “catastrophic failure”.

“It was just not ready. Was I ready? No, I was definitely not ready. I was a baby. I was so young and inexperienced,” she said.

Clarke – who had been in the process of filming Game of Thrones when she starred in Breakfast at Tiffany’s – was approximately 26 at the time.

Prior to her role in The Seagull, Clarke said: “It’s 10 times more frightening because there’ll be people wanting to go and say, ‘Well she can only act on camera, she clearly can’t act on stage,’ which is obviously the biggest fear.”

Emilia Clarke and Iain Glen in ‘Game of Thrones' (HBO/Kobal/Shutterstock)
Emilia Clarke and Iain Glen in ‘Game of Thrones' (HBO/Kobal/Shutterstock)

Speaking about the audience reception at her forthcoming play, Clarke said: “Hopefully they’ll come and go, ‘We just came to see the Mother of Dragons, oh how frustrating, she’s not on a dragon, this isn’t what I paid for.’

“Spoiler: I’m not on a dragon at any point during this play. But hopefully what they get, as a kind of little extra, is that they get to enjoy this play that they might not have seen otherwise.”

The Seagull – which also stars Tom Rhys Harries – will run at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London from 30 June to 10 September.

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