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Emilia Clarke now calls the two brain hemorrhages she suffered 'a good thing'

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 5 days ago Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY
Emilia Clarke in a yellow dress posing for a picture: Emilia Clarke says having a brain hemorrhage that coincided with the start of her career, "gave me a perspective that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.” © Isabel Infantes, AFP via Getty Images Emilia Clarke says having a brain hemorrhage that coincided with the start of her career, "gave me a perspective that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

Eight years after suffering life-threatening brain hemorrhages, Emilia Clarke has emerged with a new perspective.

"I’m at the point where I definitely think of the brain hemorrhage as a good thing,” she told the U.K.'s The Guardian in a new interview.

In March, the "Game of Thrones" actress, 33, opened up for the first time about her fraught medical history in an essay for the New Yorker, explaining the first aneurysm came in 2011 after filming wrapped on Season 1 of the popular HBO series.

Diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain, Clarke underwent brain surgery before returning to work on "Thrones" with the knowledge that she had a smaller growth on the other side of her brain that doctors said could “pop” at any time. 

After finishing Season 3 in 2013, a brain scan revealed the remaining growth had doubled in size and the British star needed painful surgery again

Clarke told "CBS Sunday Morning" that while her first surgery was "difficult," she found it "much harder to stay optimistic" the second time around. "I definitely went through a period of being down, to put it mildly," she recalled in April.

Today Clarke, who is starring in the holiday movie "Last Christmas," said she was "never destined to be the ‘young actor goes off the rails’ type, up and down the gossip columns. And having a brain hemorrhage that coincided precisely with the beginning of my career and the beginning of a show that became something quite meaty, it gave me a perspective that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

Clarke, who lost her father to cancer in 2016, says her experiences have put the downsides of fame in perspective.

“I’m quite a resilient human being, so a parent dying and brain hemorrhages coinciding with success and people following you in the street and getting stalkers – you’re just, like, ‘Well let’s try and make something sensible of it.’”

Contributing: Jayme Deerwester, Sara M. Moniuszko

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