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Spare a Christmas thought for Emilia Clarke, Mother of Dragons and all-round nice-seeming English lady, who has unfortunately achieved the kind of fame that makes peasants like you and me take leave of our senses and do really rude and stupid shit.

Clarke recently told British podcast Table Manners (which is adorable and food-related and hosted by a mum-and-daughter team, btw) that she has completely stopped taking selfies with fans after a number of soul-numbing interactions with her adoring public.

This happens to me so many times,” she told hosts Jessie and Lennie, explaining about how intrusive fan attention can be. “If I’m walking with like a girlfriend, let’s say, we’re having a proper gossip, we’re having a catch up, we’re having a heart to heart, we’re getting in to it, and then someone comes up and is like ‘Can I please have a photo?’

But the worst incident happened when Clarke was in the middle of one of the busiest periods of her life. Having just come off eleven months filming season 7 of Game of Thrones, and having gone straight into filming SOLO: A Star Wars Story, the actor said she was on her way to a flight and in a state of total fatigue when she began to have a complete meltdown.

I was genuinely walking through an airport and I just suddenly started having what I can only believe to be a panic attach brought on by complete exhaustion. I was on my own, on the phone to my mum, ‘cos I called her, like, “I feel like I can’t breathe, I feel like I don’t know what’s going on.”

I’m there and the tears are coming out, and I’m crying and crying and crying … sitting on this seat in the gate, and this guy’s like, “Can I get a selfie?”

I was like, “I can’t breathe – I’m really sorry – “

Clarke went on to say that after a few moments like that one, she had to completely readjust how she approached interacting with fans.

I started to say, I’m not going to take a photo, but I will sign something. Because as soon as you sign something, you have to have an interaction with that person. As opposed to someone just going, “Oi, give us a selfie,” and then goodbye, it turns into, “Right, what’s your name? Who am I making it out to?” And then you have a little chat, and then you’re actually having a truthful human-to-human thing, as opposed to being this other thing which probably isn’t nice for them and probably isn’t nice for you.

It’s easy to brush off the problems that come with being famous as trifles that are more than compensated for by the, you know, fabulous wealth and privileges said fame affords. Still: can’t help but feel for our mate Emilia, who ought to be allowed to have her airport panic attacks uninterrupted, just like the rest of us.

Source: Buzzfeed
Image: Getty Images / Jamie McCarthy