Game Of Thrones star Sophie Turner has revealed how she learnt to cope with filming many harrowing scenes in the fantasy drama TV show, in which she was just 14 when production began.
The HBO series, which ran from 2011 to 2019 and totalled 73 episodes, contained frequent violence and was also very brutal in places. Sophie’s character, Sansa Stark was at the centre of most of the show’s distressing sequences.
She was introduced as a naive young princess, before becoming the toughened Queen of the North. And along the way, she was raped, tortured, beaten and abused throughout the eight seasons.
In fact, when she was 19, Sophie appeared in the most chilling scene of all when she was raped by sadist husband Ramsay Bolton (played by Iwan Rheon) on their wedding night. So disturbing was that part of the programme, that it caused numerous viewers to complain.
But Sophie says she managed to deal with the distressing parts in the only way she knew how. And it got her through the intense series.
"The subject matter was so heavy that I just developed a coping mechanism of just having the most fun in between takes, so I wouldn’t get traumatised,” she said. “But I’m sure I’ll exhibit some symptoms of trauma down the road.
“At that age, I don’t think I could comprehend a lot of the scene matter. And the first few years, I had my mum with me because she was chaperoning me, so she would be very helpful and give me snacks.”
Sophie, who is married to musician and actor Joe Jonas, blossomed from a teenager into an adult during the course of the show. And she knew she garnered a lot of attention for her high profile role in the series.
“For 10 years, I felt like I needed to be the person that everyone else saw because I was growing up and I didn’t know anything else,” she said. “Other than the character that I was playing in Game of Thrones and then other people’s perceptions of me, I didn’t have time to figure out who I was as a person.”
Since Game of Thrones ended three years ago, Sophie has appeared in American TV drama Survive and true crime show The Staircase, where she stars alongside Colin Firth and Toni Collette. She has also appeared in movie Dark Phoenix, as well as low-profile films Heavy and Every Last Secret.
“When Game of Thrones ended, I started developing a personal life and then finally a taste for what I actually wanted to do in my work and things like that,” she added. “I feel like I’m only on the beginning of my journey of evolving into a person I probably should have evolved into about 10 years ago.”
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