We met her in 2012 and she’s a rare thing. If she’s not playing the dragon-riding, slave-freeing, army- raising, warrior-badass queen, then our queen of the screen is at home taming dragons or she’s battling Terminators. She confessed to GQ of her love for Rap. She admits to listening to a lot of gangster rap like Tupac and Biggie before Thrones, but then some Florence.”

When she was acting opposite Jason Momoa, as horse lord Drogo, she listened to Salt- N-Pepa’s “Whatta Man” on loop. “And Beyoncé, obviously. She has tried Eminem once, but think it was too much. For her it’s like, you wake up and think, I’m not feeling particularly badass this morning. Coolio, Biggie, can you help me? When you’re doing a huge scene, trying to empower hundreds of extras, you’ve got to get me a G.” This oh-so-English 28-year-old (smiley, silly, laughs like a maniac, talks like she’s on a time limit) became the empowered, ball-busting leading lady Hollywood so sorely lacks. It’s no shock she landed summer 2015’s plum role (and the godmother of fierce leading ladies everywhere) as Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys.

And it’s probably even less of one that she’s GQ’s Woman Of The Year. “Oh my God, I was so happy when I was told!” She blushed.

She has However, recently joined Instagram. “And you can’t help but see the comments! One was just a list of all the sexual acts he wanted to do to me. In text speak.” So what does she put her “strong woman” rep down to? Partly, she says, it’s about showing sensitivity as well. “So it’s not like, I’m a feminist, I wish I had a dick and everything would be better.” But also: gangster rap.

Below are some of her photos from the GQ photo shoot we can’t stop loving.

Photography by hunter & Gatti

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