"You go on set and you play a badass and you walk through fire, and that became the thing that just saved me from considering my own mortality," Clarke said.
Emilia Clarke has now shared harrowing photos from her hospitalizations.
Last month, the actress revealed in a New Yorker essay that she survived two life-threatening aneurysms and brain surgery, all while filming "Game of Thrones," the HBO hit where she plays badass dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen.
In an interview with "CBS Sunday Morning," Clarke spoke more about her near-death experiences and shared never-before-seen photos during her hospitalization.
Clarke recalled experiencing the worst headache of her life back in 2011, when she suffered a life-threatening stroke known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain. This was shortly after Season 1 of "GoT" wrapped and Clarke was only 24-years-old.
"I was in the gym, and the most excruciating pain, like an elastic band just went like snap in my head and an enormous amount of pressure suddenly," Clarke told CBS correspondent Tracy Smith. "And then very, very, very quickly I realized I couldn't stand and I couldn't walk. And in that moment, I knew I was being brain-damaged."
In the photo, above, a very tired, but still stunningly beautiful Clarke is seen sitting on a hospital bed plugged up to wires.
After undergoing invasive brain surgery, Clarke returned to work only six weeks later to film Season 2. She joked, "It's like, 'Hey, thanks for giving me the job. Super appreciate it. I just had a little thing. It's fine. I'm fine,' and so I was pretty much fine."
Two years after her first aneurysm, Clarke suffered another, which almost cost her her life.
"So, the second one, there was a bit of my brain that actually died," Clarke said. "If a part of your brain doesn't get blood to it for a minute, it will just no longer work. It's like you short circuit. So, I had that."
The second photo, above, Clarke is again seen laying in a hospital bed as she looks at her phone.
The recovery that followed the second aneurysm wasn't an easy road and Clarke said she "definitely went through a period of being down." However, she said playing a strong woman on TV helped her through the process. (If you notice in the shot, Clarke has a Targaryen phone case.)
Clarke said, "You go on set and you play a badass and you walk through fire, and that became the thing that just saved me from considering my own mortality."
Watch the full interview below.
The final season of "Game of Thrones" begins this Sunday on HBO.
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