When people stop her in the street and say they love her Game of Thrones character, Sophie Turner says cheerfully, she knows they’re lying. The seventeen-year-old from Leamington Spa plays Sansa Stark, a willowy goody-two-shoes in contrast to her tough, tomboyish sibling Arya. “Everyone loves the little sister and hates me!” she mock-wails. “But that’s fine. I’m playing a controversial character. I knew that would come with it.”
Season Three will be “quite a depressing” season for Sansa, Sophie confesses, and then she thinks back over the last two – beatings, bereavement, forced marriage – and adds, “Again!” It must be tough to play someone whose life is so extreme, but Sophie began acting at three, gave up a spot at the Royal Ballet School in order to continue with it, and was cast in Game of Thrones at 13. She’s found a way to relate.
“Sansa was thrust into this adult world, and she had no idea what she was in for, she says. “The same has happened for me.” She dealt with it by forming “this little alliance” with the other actor-kids in her fictional family, whom you can hear raucously singing the theme tune together in an extremely cute YouTube clip. “I’m so embarrassed about that,” Sophie protests when it’s brought up. “You don’t understand!”
Now in Year 12, she’s planning on going to university eventually, and is cramming for exams at home due to all the school she missed this year, shooting Thrones and then a psychological thriller called Panda Eyes – her first starring role; her first feature – back to back. She’s too much of a pessimist not to have a fall-back plan, she says, but acting is all she’s ever wanted to do. “It’s like an addiction. If I have more than a week off working then I kind of lose my mind.”