Emmanuel began her acting career appearing in theatre in the late 1990s, acquiring roles in various West End productions such as in the musical ‘The Lion King’, and appearing in many television shows and movies since. The thirty-year-old actress attended the independent St Hilda's School and Westcliff High School for Girls and later attended Masters Performing Arts College. Acting increasingly affected her curiosity and intrigue from a very early age and this was noticed by her mother throughout her childhood, “When I was 3, I’d always cause drama so my mum decided, maybe I should channel it properly – so she started me on acting, singing and dancing classes.” Emmanuel has appeared in movies such as Twenty 8k, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials going on to play the character of Ramsey in The Fate of Furious, released in 2017. Last year she featured in the epic finale to the Maze Runner sage, Maze Runner: The Death Cure.
Adding to her large portfolio, her breakthrough role came in 2013 where she portrayed the role of Missandei – a personal servant to Daenerys Targaryen in GoT. From season 3 to season 4 she had a recurring role, and some say she has been acutely integral in helping the Targaryen girl to claim her rightful place on the Iron Throne. Emmanuel expresses how Learning Valyrian was one of her biggest challenges, “David J. Peterson - who created the language for Game of Thrones - would send an audio recording of the lines and say it as it’s meant to be said, then syllable by syllable. It can be so frustrating. Sometimes I’ll get to set and think, ‘I know this, I’ve learnt this,’ then someone points a camera at me, and I’ll think, ‘I have no idea what I’m supposed to say’. The language is fully constructed, and the words all have meaning, I think there might even be a dictionary somewhere. I don’t speak any other languages, not even a little bit.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for strong-willed Emmanuel, as she reveals that she nearly didn’t audition for this role due to the struggles of earning money as an actress. She was planning on going back to school before she landed this integral role which has changed her life, and her fans, forever. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for Natalie Emmanuel as she is set to star in a new TV series, Four Weddings and a Funeral as Maya. But for now, we are all sitting on the edge of our seats to see how this epic tale unfolds in the world of Game of Thrones.