Even though she’s been acting since the age of 3 (according to her Wikipedia bio), the career of 18-year-old Sophie Turner really jumped leaps and bounds when she joined the cast of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” as Sansa Stark, the eldest daughter who has literally been put through hell over the course of four seasons of the George R.R. Martin adaptation.
Two years ago, after finishing the third season of “Game of Thrones,” Turner was hired as the lead in Spanish filmmaker Isabel (My Life Without Me) Coixet’s adaptation of Cathy Macphail’s Another Me, a dark thriller in which she plays Fay, a teenage girl who starts to suspect something when a mysterious girl who looks just like her seems to be turning up whenever she’s not around.
Being a part of such a hit television show certainly helped her get an audition with Coixet, who hadn’t previously done a movie with such a young cast. Turner really liked the script when she got it through her agent but she wasn’t sure if she got the job after auditioning for Isabel. “It took two months before I found out I got the job. It was amazing, I was so excited. It was very short and I really thought she didn’t like me or that everyone in that room didn’t like me, but it turns out I think they did. Every audition that I walk out of where I think I nailed it, I never get that job, ever.”
She’d never heard of the book so she went online and ordered it so she could read it through. “I tried to stick to the character in the book as much as possible and the thing about the screenplay that Isabel wrote as well, they were written pretty much the same and she’s and she’s kind of feisty and I just tried to emulate that from the book, and Isabel had emulated it so well through her screenplay but it was tiny.”
“I don’t know why I’m drawn to it,” she said about the number of recent movies involving doubles and evil twins that have come out in the past few months. “When I was younger, before I was born, I lost my twin, so I think I’ve always had a fascination for telepathy or the way that twins act and react with each other. I think I’m just subconsciously drawn to those projects and different versions of yourself, and your subconscious vs. your conscious. Everything like that is so intriguing to me, so I just like to explore that kind of stuff and it’s really fun being able to do the scenes with myself as well.”
“It was quite the task,” she said about having to develop two versions of the character. “The thing was that because the version in ‘Another Me’ is kind of the evil version of my character, I really didn’t want to make her like the evil bad guy. I wanted to make it kind of ambiguous as to whether this one was going to be good or bad. You would act the same as you would the good person and then let the make-up and the words coming out of your mouth do the rest. I basically didn’t do much because I just played her as Faye, but she had dark eyes.”
Coixet was not the first woman director Turner worked with, having previously worked with Michelle McLaren on “Game of Thrones.” “Working with Isabel was so unlike working with anyone else. She’s such a quick director. We also spent like two weeks in rehearsals just talking over the parts and improvising through scenes. I had a lot of say in my character, which is really nice. The remarkable thing about Isabel is that she works the camera as well, so she’s also the cameraman, and is right in on the action, and she knows exactly what she wants for every single shot for the day she knows off the top of her head. She’s incredible. I can’t say enough good things about her.”
“Rhys (Ifans) is just incredible. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and he really took me under his wing,” she said about some of the acting veterans she worked with on Another Me. “He really felt like a fatherly figure to me and he played that so well. Geraldine Chaplin is so cool because I know Oona, her daughter, she’s on ‘Game of Thrones,’ and they’re basically the same person so I got on so well with Geraldine as well. On her wrap, it was so crazy. She went from playing this old woman and she jumped into this split and everyone freaked out. She’s the coolest lady ever.”
Even so, making Another Me and her other upcoming movie Barely Lethal allowed Turner to work with more actors her own age, compared to the television show where she’s mostly in scenes with the likes of Peter Dinklage and Aidan Gillen. “It was so, so different,” she told us. “On ‘Game of Thrones,’ all of my closest friends are 30 upwards, which is quite strange. It was so crazy to go and do something like ‘Barely Lethal’ where all the lead actors, other than Samuel L. Jackson and Jessica Alba, were under 22. We were so immature and so crazy and had so much fun. We had this director as well called Kyle Newman, who is like a big kid himself. It was crazy but we had a really great time. On ‘Game of Thrones,’ there’s a lot more order and it’s probably better as we’re a lot more mature on ‘Game of Thrones.’”
When it was suggested that her “Game of Thrones” character has been through so much she’s had to grow up fast, Turner acknowledged that it kind of mirrored her own life.
Turner is in the middle of shooting Season 5 of “Game of Thrones” which will continue shooting through the end of the year for its March premiere. Turner admits that she’ll only read her chapters of the books after reading the scripts, although the show is getting further away from George R.R. Martin’s books at this point and the show has already caught up to the books in terms of her character.
“My character is going a different way,” she said, and we joked that maybe now would be a good time to buddy up to Martin and make sure Sansa gets a happier ending than the rest of her family considering what she’s already been put through. “Yeah, right. I tried to suck up to George R.R. Martin and Dave and Dan as best I can, so we’ll see if they keep me alive. Who knows?”
Sansa took a noticeably dark turn the last time we saw her in the most reason season, which she talked about briefly. “It’s so fun to finally play her as she truly is as an adult version of herself, it’s very exciting. It’s such a breath of fresh air, I love playing Sansa the way she was the past 14 years, but it’s refreshing to bring her out of her shell a bit.”
“No spoilers but since she left last season with Aidan, I think yes, there’s portions in which I’ll be working with Aidan this season,” she teased further.
After she’s done with this season of “Game of Thrones,” Turner’s already been cast to play the title role in Mary Shelley’s Monster along with Taissa Farmiga and Jeremy Irvine.
Another Me opens in select cities on Friday, August 22.