There’s at least one person not interested in seeing Paul Feig’s holiday-themed romantic comedy “Last Christmas” spoiled all over the internet: star Emilia Clarke. When trailers for the new film arrived in mid-August, social media users and entertainment journalists alike picked up on more than a few hints that not everything was as it seemed to be in the film, which sees Clarke playing a prickly Londoner who is pursued by a handsome (and slightly odd) stranger in the form of Henry Golding. Outlets published entire screeds attempting to unpack what was really happening in the Emma Thompson-scripted film and Twitter lit up with entertainment obsessives casting about their own theories about a possible twist.
Clarke, for one, wishes people weren’t trying so hard to read into it, at least based on just a trailer or two. Asked in a recent interview with IndieWire how she feels about the weeks-long spoiler-guessing unfurling on social media, and the actress with succinct. “It’s bloody annoying. Frustrating,” Clarke said. “It’s more complicated than people are guessing.”
And, yes, while the film does indeed pack a twist, Clarke believes it’s far more nuanced than people are expecting. Written by Thompson (who also appears in the film as Clarke’s character’s mother) and first-time screenwriter Bryony Kimmings, the initial idea sprung from a concept developed by Thompson and her husband Greg Wise. And it’s one they spent some time refining. “Emma and Greg wrote this script together, but they sent the script to all of their friends and it was only ready when their friends didn’t see the twist coming and couldn’t guess until it happens, so that’s where it comes from,” Clarke said. “It’s just frustrating.”
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It’s hardly the first time Clarke has dealt with fans turning to social media to spout off about her projects. After the series finale of her popular HBO series “Game of Thrones,” displeased fans took to the internet to launch an online petition that urged series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to remake the final six episodes, many of which divided “Thrones” fans around the world. The series’ penultimate episode, “The Bells,” proved to be one of its most divisive, thanks to a twist in which Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen went full Mad Queen and burned King’s Landing to the ground.
“I’m careful with what the way that I’m wording this, but it’s no surprise, it’s common knowledge that the state of our world at the moment is scared and confused and there’s a lot of stuff going on that’s completely out of our control,” Clarke said. “So when it comes to signing petitions to reshoot the last season of a very popular TV show, or whether it’s spoiling a goddamn Christmas rom-com, people are able to do something about that.”
As frustrating as it might be, Clarke is introspective about what’s really going on with our current spoiler culture. “That’s something within their own control, unlike the rather turbulent political environment that we seem to be living in,” she said. “Our world’s literally on fire, so I think that there’s a lot of things outside of people’s control, so when it comes to this kind of stuff, they can do something with it and want to. It’s done with so much fervor, it’s done with a huge amount of energy and all that is, is misdirected energy.”
Perhaps that energy could be better spent checking out a “goddamn Christmas rom-com,” twists and all.
Universal Pictures releases “Last Christmas” in theaters Friday, November 8.