- In a new interview with “CBS This Morning,” “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke discussed her experience with having two brain aneurysms in 2011 and 2013.
- Clarke underwent surgery for the aneurysms in between filming seasons of the HBO program.
- After undergoing surgery for her second aneurysm, Clarke had a difficult recovery process. At that point, she said, she was concerned that she wouldn’t act again.
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Last month, in a deeply personal essay for The New Yorker, “Game Of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke revealed that she suffered two life-threatening brain aneurysms in her 20s. The actor experienced her first aneurysm in 2011, after filming the first season of “Game of Thrones.”
Clarke was diagnosed with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), what she described in The New Yorker as “a life-threatening type of stroke, caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain.”
In a new interview with “CBS This Morning,” Clarke said she struggled with feeling “down” after her first aneurysm. But filming the HBO program provided her with hope.
“You go on the set, and you play a badass character, and you walk through fire, and you speak to hundreds of people, and you’re being asked to be – to work as hard as you possibly can,” Clarke told CBS’ Tracy Smith. “And that became the thing that just saved me from considering my own mortality.”
In 2013, when the actor suffered a second aneurysm, she said the recovery process was more difficult.
“The second one, there was a bit of my brain that actually died,” Clarke said. “If a part of your brain doesn’t get blood to it for a minute, it will just no longer work. It’s like you short circuit. So, I had that.”
What made things especially challenging for Clarke was the doctors not knowing at first how the aneurysms would impact her life.
“They didn’t know what it was. So they were literally looking at my brain and they were like, ‘oh we think it could be her concentration, we think it could be her peripheral vision.’ I always say it’s my taste in men – it’s no longer there,” she joked.
Clarke’s biggest fear was that it would affect her career.
“For a very long time, I thought it was my ability to act,” she said. “That was a deep paranoia. From the first one, as well. It was like, what if something has short circuited in my brain and I can’t act anymore? I mean, it’s been my reason for living for a very long time.”
Ultimately, she said, this experience changed her outlook on life.
“I think the brain injury made it – it grounded me in a way that nothing else could,” Clarke told CBS.
Also last month, Clarke announced that she is founding a charity called announced Same You, which according to its website, will work to promote “primary research with the Stroke Association UK to understand the recovery needs.” The charity will aim to support young adults, in particular.
“The degree to which people can adapt and face the future after neurological trauma is dependent on the quality and provision of rehabilitation care,” she wrote on the charity’s website. “While I was recovering, I saw that access to integrated mental and physical health recovery programmes is limited and not available to all.”
- Read more:
- How ‘Game of Thrones’ star Emilia Clarke rose to fame
- Jason Momoa speaks out about Emilia Clarke’s life-threatening brain aneurysms: ‘We’ve had so many scares’
- Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington tease trouble ahead for Daenerys and Jon’s romance on ‘Game of Thrones’
- Inside HBO’s star-studded world premiere and after-party for the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’
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