She admits that this character is much more like her than the Mother of Dragons, and not just because she lives in London. She first read Jojo Moyes bestselling novel Me Before You while she was shooting Terminator Genisys. "I was crying into my grenade launcher," she laughs. And knowing that Moyes was working on a screenplay, she adds, "I was three pages in before I was screaming yes!"

Emilia Clarke at the Me Before You premiere

Despite the story's emotional kick, the film has a romantic-comedy tone to it. So spending time on set was a lot of fun. "It was so joyful and funny," Clarke says enthusiastically. "I got to do all the things I always wanted to do. The director was like, 'Do it! More! More!' I'm like, 'Yes! I get to really crack people up!' Everything I'm known for on-screen is so different from who I am. But with this I could just be myself. So it was not very much acting really. The other stuff's acting."

In the story she plays Lou, who gets a job caring for the quadriplegic Will (Sam Claflin). "It was a real eye opener in general just for how you see disabilities," she says, "and how you think people want to be treated and what they really talk about. There's a lot more lightness to be found than I think you would assume."

Clarke especially enjoyed letting this side of her personality out, noting that she's so optimistic that calling herself a glass half-full person isn't enough. "I was born and raised as glass-overspilling," she says. "It can be a flaw sometimes. Directors are like, 'Just be miserable!" I get that a lot. I have worked with people, who shall remain nameless, who have said, 'Your smiling is just - no one likes it.'"

And on this film, she particularly enjoyed being smiley opposite one of her Game of Throne costars. "Genuinely, the pinnacle of my career was being able to make Charles Dance laugh so hard he had to stop," she says. "Yes! In your face, Tywin!"

She also learned something new about herself. "I realised that I look hideous when I cry on screen," she says. "I won't do it in future. I'm going to pout and, you know, just ask for some drugs or something like everyone else does."

Watch the trailer for Me Before You: