Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke avoided mirrors after her brain surgeries: 'I felt so deeply unattractive'
The actress underwent two brain surgeries in 2011 and 2013 after an aneurysm and which impacted her both mentally and physically
Emilia Clarke might be untouchable as Khaleesi on 'Game of Thrones', but in real life she has had to brave more than just physical pain following the two brain surgeries after an aneurysm she suffered. The recovery was long and ended up heavily impacting her mental health for the worse and left her feeling “deeply unattractive.”
The 32-year-old actress opened up about her mental health in an interview with the UK website Stylist. She shared that after her brain surgeries - the first of which was in 2011, and the second one in 2013 - she ended up hating the way she looked. And it had all started with the swelling.
“I was so full of drugs from being in the hospital that I had a lot of water retention, and one half of my face was quite swollen,” she told the outlet. “I felt so deeply unattractive.” Soon, however, she realized that the reason she was avoiding herself, was beyond just the bodily changes. “What I can see now is that I could see the pain behind my eyes. And no amount of anything can cover that,” she said.
After a certain point, Clarke admitted, she even proceeded to avoid mirrors. “After my operations, I didn’t want to look at my own face,” she said. “I don’t normally, but all my emotions were heightened. When I looked in the mirror, I just saw pain in my eyes. I found it very, very difficult. I used to put on make-up without looking in the mirror, which probably made me look a lot worse.”
But those days are behind Clarke now, as she has been able to recover both physically and mentally. Yet the one lasting impact that experience had on her, is with the way she looks at makeup now. “[Now] I always err on the side of wearing less makeup,” she said. “My face didn’t change, but my feelings about myself changed. When you can look at yourself in the eyes and feel okay with what’s looking back at you, then what more do you need?”
When not spreading the idea of self-love and acceptance, Clarke is busy teasing the upcoming episodes of her hit HBO drama, 'Game of Thrones,' which is on its eighth and final season now. Recently she was also a part of a goof up in the series, as a random Starbucks coffee cup made it into the screen next to Clarke, in the most recent fourth episode.
Clarifying the mystery of the meme-worthy cup in the episode, Clarke posted on Instagram “Did I just stumble upon the truth here?!” Clarke wrote on Instagram. “The cup bearer does not drinketh the Starbucks tea.” She added, “Oh and this ain’t a spoiler just a lost wanderer coming home for a mid filming cuppa…@prideofgypsies you so fire you make my hair turn blue," alongside a photo of her, with co-stars Jason Momoa, and Peter Dinklage.