She recently wrapped the final season of the HBO award-winning series Game of Thrones where she played the lead role of Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons. Now, Emilia Clarke lights up the screen as the aspiring singer Kate, in Universal Pictures’ new romantic comedy Last Christmas.
In Last Christmas, Kate (Clarke) harrumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating consequence from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. Tom (Henry Golding) seems too good to be true when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate’s barriers. As London transforms into the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you gotta let the snow fall where it may, you gotta listen to your heart … and you gotta have faith.
Discovering Clarke could sing was a bonus for director Paul Feig. “I lucked out on that one,” Feig says. “She has got such a pure voice, and it’s been so fun to see her explore it. She has an absolutely beautiful voice, but in our movie, she plays it down. This is not about Kate becoming a pop star; it’s about her getting back the one thing that made her truly happy.”
What drew Clarke to the role was the pure-of-heart spirit of the holiday tale. “Emma Thompson wrote this story with such care and truth,” Clarke says. “She understands the complexity of human nature and has intertwined that knowledge throughout. This story celebrates the uncertainties, scary moments and beauties of being a human being.” She pauses. “This film is a love letter to anyone who has ever felt confused or lost at times in their lives,” Clarke says. “It lends a hopeful message that it’s alright to feel this way and that you’ll soon come to know yourself.”
The performer introduces us to where we find her character. “Kate is a young woman living in London who’s a bit confused, lost and anchorless,” Clarke says. “As the story develops, the turbulent journey that she’s been through becomes clear. Although there were a few boulders along the way, she ultimately meets someone who helps her see a new perspective of life.”
Regarding the juxtaposition of Kate and the character’s love interest, Clarke says: “Tom and Kate have a classic meet cute. Tom embodies someone who just has it together. Kate is quite the opposite—constantly drunk, hungover, falling over and breaking things.”
It was a bit of life imitating art for Clarke when she learned of Last Christmas’ message. As a child, her granddad reminded her to “look up,” and take blinders off to see the world so many of us just take for granted. “One of the central themes of this film is the idea of ‘looking up,’” Clarke says. “It speaks to the importance of opening up, being aware of your surroundings and taking a moment to smell the roses of the world you’re living in.”
In Philippine cinemas November 27, Last Christmas is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #LastChristmasMovie