Sansa and Arya: Two Game of Thrones characters who have become like real sisters
Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones, broke down in tears as she told a podcast how she was overwhelmed by her sudden fame, and even considered suicide as a result.
She told Dr Phil’s podcast, Phil in the Blanks, how she fell into a depressive spiral with her friend and co-star Maisie Williams, who plays her sister Arya in the hit series which came back for its eighth and final series this week. She said the two of them would often sit inside after gruelling filming schedules, eating food in bed.
“Maisie is just a year younger than me and we were growing up together. She was my best friend, and she was the only one I really told about everything. I think being friends with each other was quite destructive because we were going through the same thing.
“We would get home from set, go to a Tesco, a little supermarket across the road, and just buy food. We’d go back to our room and eat it in bed. We never socialized for a couple of years.”
Turner was 13 when she was cast in the role of Sansa and she became fixated with the criticism she received from trolls, who called her “fat” and “a bad actress.”
“I would just believe it,” Turner said. “I would get [the costume department] to tighten my corset a lot. I just got very, very self-conscious.”
As Turner’s depression progressed, she said, “I had no motivation to do anything or go out. Even with my best friends, I wouldn’t want to see them … I would cry and cry and cry. Just having to change and put on clothes, I said, ‘I can’t do this. I can’t go outside. I have nothing that I want to do.’”
Turner told Dr. Phil that she had experienced suicidal thoughts from a young age and broke down in tears when Dr. Phil said teenage girls in America were committing suicide because of depression and low self-esteem.
“People shouldn’t be ashamed of it,” Turner said, wiping away tears. “So many people are kind of plagued with depression or anxiety or body issues. More people than people realize. If people just opened up to their friends and family, it would be OK. All you have to do is to speak to someone, and you can get the help that you need.”
Turner said that she is on the road to recovery thanks to a work break, and the help of a therapist and medication.
She also praised her fiance, 29-year-old Joe Jonas, for boosting her self-esteem.
“I’m now with someone that makes me realize, you know, that I do have some redeeming qualities, I suppose, and when someone tells you they love you every day, it makes you realize why that is, and I think it makes you love yourself a bit more.”