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Emilia Clarke: Stop Referring to Female Characters as 'Strong,' It's Sexist

16 May 2018

The 31-year-old actress plays a childhood friend of intergalactic smuggler Han Solo in "Solo: A Star Wars Story" which was screened at Cannes film festival on Tuesday.

"'How does it feel to play a strong woman?' I'll tell you how it feels to play a woman, the end". If it's not strong, what is it? There's a "weak" option?

"You break the mold that's put into place and there's a huge amount of work that needs to go into addressing all of the things that need to be addressed".

While acknowledging that it could become "muddy" she said: "From an idealistic point of view, it makes complete sense, because then people can be held accountable for things. It just doesn't even bear having the conversation, so enough already with the strong women, please".

"Or, how does it feel to play a "female lead" in a big blockbuster movie, or, how does it feel to play someone with power".

Emilia said the discoveries were "shocking, actually shocking".

The actor also said there are no strong men characters in films, unless they are physically strong.

"We can say 'Hey guys, on a really basic level you haven't filled your quota so hi, I'm here to fill your quota!'". "Unless I'm packing guns I don't know about, then let's change that". "So I think it's mainly in the beginning, just be aware of that and going, 'Can you just check?'" she said about negotiating pay. Clarke recently explained how frustrating it can be to be asked what it's like playing a "strong " woman, because the qualifying adjective implies that all other female characters that exist are inherently weak.

Leave it to Emilia Clarke - also known as Daenerys of House Targaryen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons and, perhaps now, Queen of Red Carpet Shenanigans - to brighten up the 2018 Cannes Film Festival carpet with her joyful presence. Clarke said that she never felt discriminated because she is a woman and that the reveals about Claire Foy being paid a lot less than Matt Smith on Netlfix's The Crown were really shocking.

Emilia Clarke: Stop Referring to Female Characters as 'Strong,' It's Sexist