Sophie Turner Opens Up About How Game of Thrones Criticism Affected Her
Actress Sophie Turner, best known for her role as Sansa Stark on HBO’s hit series, Game of Thrones, recently spoke on Dr. Phil’s podcast, Phil in the Blanks. While there, she talked about the show’s effect on her mental health, particularly when facing criticism on social media. She said it drove her to consider ending her life.
How It Started
Game of Thrones premiered in 2011, when Sophie was 15. Now, at 23, she’s done all eight seasons of the show and entered the world of Marvel as Jean Grey/Phoenix in the X-Men films. But Sansa Stark was her breakout role, and she received a lot of attention for it – both good and bad.
Even in my experience, social media’s opinion of Sansa to be overwhelmingly negative. So I can hardly imagine the sort of messages Sophie received. She confided to Dr. Phil that it caused a serious decline in her mental health.
She explained how she believed everything she read. “I would say ‘Yeah, I am spotty. I am fat. I am a bad actress.’ I would just believe it,” she said. She even had the costume department tighten her corset because of her self-criticisms. Those seeds of insecurity grew into symptoms of serious depression.
Sophie went into further detail on her feelings of isolation and lack of motivation. Her choice to pursue an acting career instead of going to university – like her peers – added to these feelings.
“I had no motivation to do anything or go out,” she said. “Even with my best friends: I wouldn’t want to see them; I wouldn’t want to go out and eat with them.” She also added that she would cry over the thought of getting changed and leaving the house.
While thoughts of suicide arose, the actress assured listeners that she didn’t think she was actually capable of harming herself. “I don’t think I would have gone though with it,” she said.
Things Are Looking Up
Now, Sophie shares that she is managing her depression. She sought treatment through therapy and takes medication.
“I’m on medication and I love myself now, or more than I used to, I think,” she said.
She still has a lot going for her as well. Game of Thrones is airing its final season. Dark Phoenix is coming out this year. In 2017, she announced her engagement to Joe Jonas. She did hint that now that her projects are done filming, she is considering taking a break from acting and focusing more on her mental health.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or text 1 (650) 388-1117. You can also click this link for international hotlines and this one for more specified United States based resources.
If you feel the need to tweet at a fifteen-year-old actress that she’s fat or you don’t like her character, take a moment to assess why you feel the need to be such an asshole. Then kindly leave her the hell alone.