We’ll be seeing the last of Sansa Stark, our favourite damsel-in-distress-turned-heroine in next month’s Game of Thrones. But it won’t be the last we see of Sophie Turner.
Most actors have to showcase their talent across several movie or TV roles before hitting the big time. 23-year-old Sophie Turner proved her acting chops with just one series that spanned nine years and close to half her life.
Cast as Sansa Stark at just 13 years old in the global phenomenon that is HBO’s Game of Thrones, Sophie experienced her coming-of- age as an actress alongside her character. Across seven seasons, we watched Sansa transform from a naive, idealistic and vulnerable girl into a darker, calculating and strong young woman, as she was put through tragedy after tragedy (you deserve what you got, Ramsay Bolton!!!).
It was no easy feat, especially since this was Sophie’s first professional acting gig. “No one really held our hands through it… We were treated as adults from the very beginning,” she told the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 2016.
So she honed her skills all on her own. One of the methods she devised was to channel her own complicated feelings about the loss of her twin sister (who died when her mother had a miscarriage) into emotionally challenging scenes —like the one when Eddard Stark, father of Sansa Stark, was beheaded in the finale of season 1 (sorry for the spoiler).
“That definitely affected me... I always felt as though… something was missing,” she told You Magazine. “I guess there’s a sense of loss there that I have used to conjure emotions on-screen.”
In April, the final season of Game of Thrones will be released, marking an end to a huge chapter of her life and acting career. “It’s like a divorce, or a death in the family, leaving Sansa behind, and leaving people behind,” Sophie said soberly in an interview with Digital Spy last year.
“IT’S LOVELY TO BE ENGAGED. NOT LIKE I ACHIEVED ANYTHING, BUT I FOUND MY PERSON, LIKE I’D FIND A HOUSE THAT I LOVE AND WANT TO STAY IN FOREVER.”
- Sophie Turner on her engagement to Joe Jonas
Strong, complex, female
Sophie’s repertoire isn’t limited to the Game of Thrones series.
Last year, she starred in American thriller film Josie as a mysterious high schooler who seduces an older man. She then took on a more lighthearted part in Time Freak, a romantic comedy about a genius who invents a time machine to fix his problematic relationship with Sophie’s character. And this June, she will reprise her role as Jean Grey in the upcoming X-Men flick, Dark Phoenix.
At the 2018 Comic Con Experience in Brazil, Sophie revealed that she studied schizophrenia and dissociative personality disorder in order to understand Jean Grey’s experience of hearing voices in her head. Her sensitivity towards mental health conditions is evident on social media, where she rallies her fans to talk about the subject and dispel the stigma around it.
When Sophie speaks, her 8.5 million followers on Instagram and 1.8 million on Twitter listen. With that many eyes on her, a more cautious celeb might worry about being too open with her politics. But not Sophie. The English actress has lent her voice to a host of causes, including the Time’s Up movement, and butted heads with notorious figures like Piers Morgan and even President Donald Trump to denounce racism and intolerance.
Her social media pages are full of the fun bits of her life too, sprinkled with plenty of guest appearances by her fiancé Joe Jonas. How else would we get regular updates on the couple’s latest matching tattoos (the cutest one so far: “To Infinity” on his arm, “And Beyond” on hers. Yes, we’re screaming too), or news of their family ski vacation to the Swiss Alps with newlyweds Nick and Priyanka Chopra Jonas over Christmas?
Since their engagement in late 2017, there’s been no shortage of public displays (and declarations) of affection. Sophie told Marie Claire, “It’s lovely to be engaged. Not like I achieved anything, but I found my person, like I’d find a house that I love and want to stay in forever.”
But above all, Sophie finds ultimate fulfilment in her work. “I’ve always found that my career is something I work for, and when I achieve something, there’s a sense that this is the greatest thing I’ll do in my life.”
5 SOPHIE MOMENTS THAT ARE SO #RELATABLE
1. That time she almost didn’t show up for her audition... because she’d forgotten about it. It was the big one that landed her the role of Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones, by the way.
2. When she and her Thrones sister Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, would have sleepovers to deal with the stress of filming the series.
3. When she couldn’t keep a secret and spilled the beans to her closest friends about how the series would end, but refused to tell Joe because she didn’t want to ruin it for him.
4. That time she was spotted crying on Joe’s birthday, then took to Twitter to explain it because she was being moody on her period.
5. When she admitted to having a huge, embarrassing crush on Justin Bieber. So much so that at 16, her mum made her a life-size cardboard cutout of both of them together.
IMAGES EVERETT/CLICK PHOTOS
INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT @SOPHIET, @JOEJONAS