Sophie Turner: Sansa Stark will “always be a part of me”

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 07: Sophie Turner attends the Louis Vuitton Womenswear Fall/Winter 2022/2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on March 07, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 07: Sophie Turner attends the Louis Vuitton Womenswear Fall/Winter 2022/2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on March 07, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images) /

Sophie Turner played Sansa Stark for eight seasons on Game of Thrones. In that time, she took the character from a naive young child to a powerful Queen in the North.

And after Game of Thrones ended in 2019, Turner herself underwent a personal transformation that’s still ongoing, starting by marrying Joe Jonas. “I’m quite glad I had that next thing to move on to. If I hadn’t found Joe, I think I would have felt quite lost after Game of Thrones,” she recently told Elle. “And I did feel quite lost after it finished. But it forced me into this new chapter, which was really exciting and something for me to focus on. It was the perfect thing to move on to.”

Not long after, she and Jonas had their first child, Willa. Although Turner grew up on set — she first appeared onscreen as Sansa when she was 15 years old — she and Jonas want their daughter to grow up without the pressures that sort of early fame can bring. “I’m very protective of the life we’ve built,” she said. “Every time Joe and I do a red carpet together, we make sure it’s for the right reason and makes sense for our careers. You never want to market yourself as a celebrity couple. It’s not that cool.”

"And my daughter never asked for any of this. I know what it can do to your mental health to be in this industry, and to be photographed every day and have the comments. It’s not something I want her to deal with unless she says, “This is what I want to do.” We’re quite strict about that. We’ll encourage her to do whatever she wants but I don’t think we would professionally let her do anything until she’s 18. I also feel quite strongly about my daughter not becoming a nepotism child."

Sophie Turner opens up about her past eating disorder

Turner is a young celebrity, but she comes off as very worldly and down to earth. “I used to be so rock ’n’ roll and spontaneous,” she fake sighed. ‘I’m sure there’s a part of me that’s still like that, deep down. But becoming a mum, you just become way less cool. I’m like an old woman…When my friends come around, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, you guys keep me so young.’ We’re all only 25 or 26. I have to remind myself that I’m in my mid-twenties. I’m a child.”

Some of that wisdom has come hard. For instance, Turner was open about having an eating disorder when she was younger, brought on partially by spending too much time on social media. “One night, I was playing over and over in my mind a comment I’d seen on Instagram. I was like, ‘I’m so fat, I’m so undesirable,’ and spinning out,”

At the time, Turner had a companion, which she explains as “a live-in therapist, who would ensure I wasn’t doing anything unhealthy with my eating habits.” Something she said got through: “She said to me, ‘You know, no one actually cares. I know you think this, but nobody else is thinking it. You’re not that important.’ That was the best thing anyone could have told me.”

Turner has since deleted Instagram from her phone. “I have noticed that social media makes me incredibly anxious and it’s something I try to distance myself from,” she said. “Having it off my phone has been so helpful. Now, if I do have to go on it, it’s for a few minutes once or twice a week, rather than hours every day. It’s made such a difference. Live real life – it’s much more fun.”

Sophie Turner bonds with Kit Harington over parenthood

Turner is now pregnant with her second child; she put her baby bump on display at Monday’s Met Gala. “It’s what life is about for me – raising the next generation,” she said. “The greatest thing in life is seeing my daughter go from strength to strength. We’re so excited to be expanding the family. It’s the best blessing ever.”

Being a new mother has helped her stay close to one of her old Game of Thrones costars: Kit Harington, who played Jon Snow. “Kit has a baby [too], so we’ve managed to see each other quite a bit, which has been nice. We’ve both moved on to another step in our lives together.”

But as much as she’s moved on, Turner will never forget her time as Sansa Stark. “She’s still a big part of me. She’ll always be a part of me.”

Sophie Turner’s new true crime series The Staircase premieres on HBO Max on May 5.

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