“I have experienced mental illness firsthand, and I’ve seen what it can do to the people around [the sufferers] as well,” the actor who plays Sansa on GoT tells Marie Claire. “[In my teen years] my metabolism suddenly decided to fall to the depths of the ocean and I started to get spotty and gain weight, and all of this was happening to me on camera.”
Unfortunately, people weren’t so kind to Turner as she was growing up in the public eye. In a podcast from two weeks ago, she talked about the comments she would receive from fans about her appearance. “People used to say, ‘Damn, Sansa gained 10 pounds,’ or ‘Damn, Sansa needs to lose 10 pounds,’ or ‘Sansa got fat,’” Turner revealed. “It was just a lot of weight comments, or I would have spotty skin because I was a teenager and that’s normal, and I used to get a lot of comments about my skin and my weight and how I wasn’t a good actress.”
Turner says therapy helped her deal with this pressure. “Everyone needs a therapist, especially when people are constantly telling you you’re not good enough and you don’t look good enough,” she also told the magazine. “I think it’s necessary to have someone to talk to, and to help you through that.”
Sophie Turner has often been transparent about her mental health journey. Just last month she told Dr. Phil on his podcast that she experienced depression in her late teen years—in part, she thinks, because she was living at home filming GoT while her friends were at college. She frequently turned to her onscreen sister, Maisie Williams, for support but admitted at one point their friendship had a “destructive side” because they spent time only together.
“Maisie and I used to [stay inside] together,” she told Dr. Phil. “I think being friends with each other was quite destructive because we were going through the same thing. We used to get home from set, go to a Tesco across the road, a little supermarket, and just buy food. We’d go back to our room and eat it in bed. We never socialized for a couple of years. We didn’t socialize with anyone but ourselves.”