Words by Maisie Williams
Unpacking, folding, refolding, packing, repeat.
This was the only ritual I knew since the age of 12 – back then I probably skipped step 2 and step 3, but as I grew up I realised these were crucial steps for a clear head. When I look back at my teens everything seems a little chaotic.
I would travel almost weekly for six months every year.
I’d go from car to plane to hotel to bed.
To trailer to set to lunch to set.
To hotel to bed to trailer to set.
Scrub the dirt from my nails and the grime from my neck. From set to plane to home to bed.
From bed to bus to school to desk. From desk to chair to chair to desk. Then desk to bus and home to bed.
And then I’d start all over again. It was fun and exciting but I started to lose myself, I needed a change but I didn’t know how.
These days when I wake up, before anything else, I like to creep my toes all the way down the sheets on my bed and poke them out the end of my duvet. I stretch my arms way over my head and rest them on the cold wall above me and I hold myself there. As my body begins to wake up, I reach my warm arm out of the cover and pull open the curtains from the comfort of my bed. The blue light creeps through the window and lights up the room, it’s probably around this time when Reuben rolls over to face me. Every morning we smile. The first thing I get to see every single day is a big, sleepy warm smile. I wish I could bottle that feeling and sip it throughout the day, it’s my favourite part.
We lay awake under the covers and all is quiet. I take time to think over my day, the things I must do, the places I must go. I hear my heartbeat, I hear his, I hear the gentle hum of the boiler, and sometimes I hear the neighbours talking. Only when I’ve heard just about all the things I can try to hear, it’s time to get out of bed.
Everyday, no matter which continent, country or city, this is how I wake up.
Nothing seriously bad would happen if I didn’t do those things, the world would not end, my heart would not stop beating. But these little rules and rituals I have grown to live by make the other parts of my life complete and worth living. Time is my new ritual. Time spent laughing and walking instead of crying and rushing. Time to be with people I love and time to be alone. Time to pause and breathe in my beautiful life. I take time to do whatever I want.
Source: Metal Magazine
Magazine Scans > Magazine Scans from 2019 > Autumn/Winter 2019/2020 | Metal Magazine
Screen Captures > Photoshoots Making Of > 2019 | Metal Autumn/Winter 2019/2020: “Rituals”
Photoshoots & Portraits > Photoshoots from 2019 > Session #20 – Metal
Daisie x Tove Lo is your chance to work on a real brief, with an amazing creator and get paid for it! Get involved at https://daisie.com/tovelo
We’re teaming up with Tove Lo, in the post-release glow of her new album, Sunshine Kitty, to give our community the opportunity to work on ideas inspired by the themes explored in Tove’s new album, Sunshine Kitty.
Head to the Daisie project for more information about the opportunity and how you could be in with the chance of making your concept a reality.
Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams hits the runway on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK
Maisie Williams might be known as a Faceless assassin on Game Of Thrones, but she’s showing a different kind of fierce on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
The UK version of the reality show arrives on Thursday 3 October, with Andrew Garfield the first celebrity guest judge to offer runway critiques.
The judging panel for the second episode has been revealed in new pictures, showing Maisie Williams strutting the runway alongside Graham Norton, Michelle Visage and RuPaul.
Ten queens are set to compete for the title of the UK’s first Drag Race Superstar, with the line-up including Cheryl Hole, Gothy Kendoll, Scaredy Kat and Baga Chipz.
Other guest judges announced include Lorraine Kelly, Stacey Dooley, Cheryl, Geri Horner, Michaela Coel, Jade Thirlwall, MNEK, Twiggy, Curtis Pritchard and AJ Pritchard.
Speaking about the series, RuPaul said: ‘Each of the UK queens is so unique, so courageous and so special. I can’t wait for the UK – and the world – to fall in love with them the same way I did.’
I’ve updated our photo gallery with 195 screencaptures of Maisie in RuPaul’s Drag Race UK (October 10, 2019) and also I’ve added 4 photos of this appearance. Make sure you check them out by clicking the thumbnails below. Enjoy!
Screen Captures > Television Shows > October 10, 2019 | RuPaul’s Drag Race UK
Public Appearances > Public Appearances from 2019 > October 10 | RuPaul’s Drag Race UK
We’re just a few weeks away from the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere, and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) is stirring the pot by speaking to Entertainment Weekly. “There’s a lot of death this year,” she said.
We’ve heard about how the opening of season 8 will mimic the opening of season 1, with Daenerys and her entourage arriving at Winterfell much as King Robert and his arrived back in the series premiere. To hear Williams tell it, the comparisons go deeper than that. “After reading the scripts I went back and watched season 1 again because so much of it refers back to that season,” she said. “There are so many scenes that will look similar.”
And also I watched just to remind myself of the arc I’ve taken already. I wanted Arya to go full circle and try for some kind of normalcy like when she was younger. Basically this year it’s like she has a dual personality — there are so many emotions and memories that come flooding back when you’re with your family and the things that you fight for become very different, yet she’s also remaining on this path to try and kill Cersei and remembering her list and getting closer to that. So there’s this split with Arya between trying to be who she wants to be — getting back to the naïveté and innocence with her family — and unfinished business.
Williams also had some thoughts about standing unified with Sansa, played by her real-life best friend Sophie Turner. “It’s not often you see a character siding with Sansa who’s not manipulating her.”
Last season it was really tough for Sansa because Jon was thinking with his penis and it kind of made Sansa look bitter. This season you see Arya teaming with Sansa and sometimes calling out Jon. It felt nice and powerful to stand next to Sophie. Sophie and I are the tightest of friends when sitting across from anyone, so no acting required.
Ah, so Arya is going to call out Jon’s reasons for bending the knee to Daenerys? I’m already looking forward to that drama.
But let’s get back to death. Arya’s always been a bit of a prodigy when it comes to killing, but in seven seasons, she’s never taken part in any major battles. In season 8, that changes. “I feel like I’ve always been a part of this big show but in terms of being part of the episodes that really define us, this is my first taste of it.”
And finally, there’s the ending. “People don’t want it to end,” Williams said, as if we didn’t already know all too well. “No matter how you end it, people don’t want it to end. So the ending is not going to be okay, because ‘the end’ is not okay. You know what I mean? I think the way we end it is right. And I think it’s time.”
When Game of Thrones does end on May 19, Williams already has jobs lined up, and she’s thankful her time on the show trained her for what’s next in her career.
I’m nervous about what comes next and just want to prove myself as an actor now and make the most of this series. There are not many opportunities to do everything with one character and there’s a whole spectrum I get to do. So whatever happens after, I made this count.
Yes you did. Game of Thrones season 8 premieres on April 14.
Source: Winter Is Coming
There have been all manner of supernatural manifestations, many of them quite unpleasant, on HBO’s Game of Thrones, which begins its eighth and final season in April: resurrections, premonitions, psychic time travel, a killer shadow baby, a vast army of dead dudes, a fireproof queen, a zombie dragon, regular dragons. (And over in the unnatural category, a truly weird amount of incest.) But one of the first inexplicable GoT events was far more benign — sweet, even. From the moment a 12-year-old Maisie Williams caught sight of 13-year-old Sophie Turner at their 2009 chemistry read for the roles of the Stark sisters, their connection was deep and uncanny. “We were pretty much best friends from that second on,” says Turner, now 23.
“I thought Sophie was the coolest thing I’d ever seen,” says Williams, now 21. “I get why they do chemistry reads, because when it’s right, it’s so right. Like, we’re best friends. And they could see that all those years ago, and it must have been real magic watching these two girls have the best time together.”
Even in the face of a potentially life-changing audition, “there was a lot of laughter that day,” says Nina Gold, the show’s U.K.-based casting director (who also discovered Daisy Ridley for the current Star Wars trilogy). “Maisie seemed like a very old soul in a very tiny body. Really quite Arya-like. Sophie was more of a little girl, which she certainly is not anymore.”
That year, Game of Thrones had its very first wrap party, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, after cast and crew finished shooting its pilot, an episode that never aired. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss realized just in time that it was clunky and hard to follow — they recast several key roles and reshot it, saving their show. Turner and Williams, among the youngest cast members, may have been the first to sense something wasn’t right. As Weiss and Benioff recall in a joint email interview, the girls were distraught at the party: “We remember the both of them bawling and hugging each other, because they loved each other so much after only a few short weeks, and were afraid they’d never see each other again, because the show wouldn’t get picked up. It was a viable fear. But we’re very grateful that it didn’t work out that way, and that they both got to spend all those years with each other, and with us.”
Toward the end of Game of Thrones’ first season, the Starks’ lives collapse when royal intrigue leads to the arrest of family patriarch Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) — an all-too-decent man among vipers — on false charges, leading to the prompt removal of his head. Arya goes into hiding, disguised as a boy, plotting revenge, while Sansa is betrothed to monstrous child-king Joffrey. The girls were cast to the winds, heartbreakingly unprotected, crossing from innocence to darkest experience in harrowing story arcs that have always been the show’s emotional core.
After that, Turner and Williams wouldn’t get to shoot a single scene together again until their characters reunited in 2016 for Season Seven. That may have been for the best. “We’re a nightmare to work with,” Turner says. “If you’re working with your best friend, you will never get any work done, ever. Anytime we tried to be serious about anything, it’s just the hardest thing in the world. I think they really regretted putting us in scenes together. It was difficult.”
Now that the two actresses are adults, that’s changed. Sort of. “It was great to have two insanely witty people playing off each other between setups,” Benioff and Weiss write. “Although they did decide to start talking in a Northern (English) accent, which may be real and may be their own invention — being Americans, we couldn’t tell. But they would sometimes talk in this accent all day. Every once in a while it would find its way into a scene, and we’d have to remind them Sansa and Arya don’t talk like that.”
In the summer of 1991, a genre-novelist-turned-midlevel-TV-writer booted up his already-outdated MS-DOS word processor, ready to create a new world. George R.R. Martin was 42 years old, fresh from a stint writing scripts for a lion-headed Ron Perlman on the CBS drama Beauty and the Beast, with more than a decade’s worth of acclaimed but unprofitable science-fiction, horror and fantasy prose to his name. He was supposed to be taking another stab at a sci-fi novel, but a scene from a different tale somehow came to him: young boys finding orphaned wolf pups in a bloodstained snowdrift.
It was his first glimpse of the men of the Stark family, the clan at the center of what would become Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, and later, one of TV’s most ambitious shows. Martin knew, however, that the family was incomplete. “I wanted some girls, too,” he says 28 years later, sitting in his Santa Fe, New Mexico, office, where he’s still working on the sixth and penultimate book in the series, still using that same, now-ancient word-processing program.
By the time his narrative reached Winterfell, the snow-swept stronghold the Starks call home, Martin had created “two sisters who were very, very different from each other.” Martin set his story in a world where dragon breath is a weapon of mass destruction and undead White Walkers are a civilizational threat, but he modeled its less-fantastical elements on medieval Europe, the constrained roles of women very much included. “The Middle Ages was very patriarchal,” Martin says. “I’m wary of overgeneralizing, since that makes me seem like an idiot — I do recognize that the Middle Ages was hundreds of years long and took place in many different countries — but generally, women didn’t have a lot of rights, and they were used to make marriage alliances. . . . I’m talking highborn women, of course — peasant women had even fewer rights.”
At the same time, he notes, “this is also the era where the whole idea of courtly romance was born — the gallant knight, the princess. In some sense, the Disney-princess archetype is a legacy of the troubadours of the romance era of medieval France.” When we meet Sansa at the beginning of the book and show, she is a happy, somewhat smug occupant of a cloistered, fluffy world, a Disney princess destined to be tossed into a sea of horrors.
“She sees the world through rose-tinted glasses at the very beginning,” says Turner. “She is completely oblivious to who the royal family are. It’s like any Justin Bieber fan — they don’t realize Justin has his darkness about him.” The younger Turner was, herself, “a Belieber, with a whole wall in my bedroom dedicated to him. David and Dan always told me, ‘Look at Joffrey as if he’s Justin Bieber and imagine that life.’ That’s the trick — how to get Sophie to act!”
Arya was always meant to be the opposite, “a girl who chafes at the roles she was being pushed into, who didn’t want to sew, who wanted to fight with a sword . . . who liked hunting and wrestling in the mud,” says Martin. “A lot of the women I’ve known had aspects of Arya, especially when I was a young man in the Sixties and Seventies. I knew a lot of young women who weren’t buying into ‘Oh, I have to find a husband and be a housewife,’ who would say, ‘I don’t wanna be Mrs. Smith, I wanna be my own person.’ And that’s certainly part of Arya’s thing.”
Benioff and Weiss had to carve their own course for the past couple of seasons, after outpacing Martin’s writing. “I’ve been so slow with these books,” Martin says, with palpable pain. “The major points of the ending will be things I told them five or six years ago. But there may also be changes, and there’ll be a lot added.”
Winter is here, both in Westeros and in this gentrifying East London neighborhood, where the season takes the form of gray skies leaking icy rain rather than a continent-spanning snowstorm that could last a generation. At 9 a.m. sharp, a groggy but cheerful Maisie Williams, straight off a plane from a Fashion Week trip to Paris, steps into a gourmet-vegetarian coffee shop right by her flat. She’s thoroughly burrowed into a cozy black turtleneck sweater over leather pants and leopard-print Coach boots. She’s toting a Coach bag festooned with cartoon characters, including a cute squirrel carrying a hammer — slightly sinister, she admits. (She used to have a Coach endorsement deal, which came with a free shopping spree.) “I feel hella rough,” she says. “But I look chic, so . . . ”
She’s big on pink these days. Her hair, cut into blunt bangs, is a metallic shade of it, offering a striking contrast with her fierce black eyebrows. Her nails are pink, too. “I love pink so much,” she says from deep within her turtleneck. “It’s my favorite color in the whole wide world. I come into the office every day” — she founded a social-media-for-creatives app called Daisie — “and I get my pink laptop out with my pink hair, and I wear a pink hoodie and I have a pink background on my screen, and a pink screen saver. For so long I pretended that my favorite color was green — I thought I wasn’t a feminist if my favorite color was pink. And then I decided that’s fucking stupid.”
The hair, in particular, is a declaration of independence, or at least of wanting a break from acting. “I guess, subconsciously, I dyed it because I didn’t want to work,” she says. “It’s a pretty good way of stopping that. And it just feels so good, so me. I’ve battled my whole adolescence with trying to put a stamp on my appearance, but also be a blank canvas as an actor.”
Her late-breaking embrace of a Barbie Dreamhouse color scheme is also a reaction to a decade of life as Arya Stark, which meant spending a chunk of her teenage years murdering people while wearing various shades of dirt-encrusted brown. Along the way, there were some uncomfortable, curve-suppressing wardrobe mandates. “I was becoming a woman,” she says with a sigh, “and then having to wear this thing that’s kind of like what the queen does — I think the queen has to have a bra that pushes her tits under her armpits. And it got worse, ’cause it kept growing, and they put this little fat belly on me to make it even out. I was, like, 15: ‘I just wanna be a girl and have a boyfriend!’ That was when it sucked. The first time they gave me a bra in my trailer, I was like, ‘Yes! I’m a woman!’ ”
Turner says that time was “really difficult” for Williams. “She’s going through all these changes, and yet she has to still look like a child and cut her hair short and look completely different to how she’s feeling inside. I think she really envied me because I got to wear the dresses and have nice makeup and nice hair. And I wanted the trousers and the boyish clothes!”
Williams is past all that now. She is, in general, an entirely liberated young human, radiating so much youthful possibility that it’s almost contagious. She adored Game of Thrones, but it was also an ever-looming obligation for half of her life. “What’s hit me the most about the show ending isn’t the show ending,” she says, eyes shining. “It’s like, I’m free. I can do anything now.” She has a decade’s worth of showbiz money in the bank, having essentially earned herself a trust fund. “It’s like a moment where you can just really enjoy everything that you’ve worked hard for. These last six months, I’ve really just done that.” To wit, she spent New Year’s Eve in Berlin, indulging in a 24-hour-long clubbing stint. (“I went out at 8 p.m. and got home at 8 p.m.,” she says. “We were at every party, and also no party, at the same time.”)
She does have a big-budget movie in the can, playing the werewolf-y mutant Wolfsbane in the X-Men spinoff New Mutants, but the film seems trapped in corporate limbo, thanks to Disney’s pending purchase of Fox. She doesn’t mince words on the situation. “Who knows when the fuck that’s gonna come out,” she says. There were supposed to be reshoots to “make it scarier,” she explains, but they haven’t actually taken place. She says she saw one of her co-stars, Charlie Heaton, the other day and asked him, “What the fuck is going on with this movie?” He didn’t know either. She smiles. “Hopefully this interview will make everyone hurry up a little bit!” If it does ever come out, both she and Turner — who plays Jean Grey over in the main X-Men movies — are dying to get their characters together. “It would be ridiculously stupid if they didn’t do that,” Williams says.
Williams’ wide-open options are all the more intoxicating set against her childhood in the city of Bristol, England, where money was tight. There was also some early darkness, a situation she’ll hint at without quite explaining. She moved out at age 16 — not to get away from her family, but simply to get some space for herself after sharing a room with two sisters. Her parents split up when she was four months old, and she says her birth father is not in her life. (“My stepdad is, and I love him very much.”) She alludes to “hostility” in her family history. “It was a situation myself and my siblings and my mother, we went through together,” she says, declining to elaborate. “It’s made us all a lot closer but has in no way made anything straightforward.”
She put it all into Arya, into the character’s traumatized grief and capacity for violence both frenzied and calculated. (“Arya may have a higher body count than almost any other major character on the show,” Benioff and Weiss write, “but she’s almost always been justified in the violence she’s done in one way or another.”) “I drew on a lot of very real emotions that I felt in my life,” says Williams. “People would always say when I was 12, ‘How could you ever — what did you draw on?’ They just don’t know anything about my past. It’s such a freeing thing being able to explore these emotions in a really safe environment. I think it was really helpful for me when I was 12, 13, to just, like, go crazy, and then you go home and you’re like, ‘Phew, what a good day.’ ”
She truly enjoyed Arya’s bloodiest moments. “You can feel the adrenaline,” she says, rather dreamily. “It feels incredible because it’s all pretend, it doesn’t matter. But when else do you get to do that? There was this shot we did at the end of Season Three when I’m stabbing the guy in the neck. They got me a sandbag and a fake knife, and they had blood going, and they were just like, ‘Stab! Just go for it.’ My God! You can feel ‘Ahhhh!’ ” She sips her coffee. “It was good.”
She was so young when she got the part that she hadn’t really decided to be an actor yet. She had intended to become a dancer, but was recruited by an agent who spotted her in an improv class. Arya was her second-ever audition. “I remember looking around the room at all of these really pretty girls and feeling really scruffy,” she says. “The audition I’d gone to before, in my screen test they were like, ‘We’re gonna change your top.’ I remember being so humiliated and knowing there was something about me that wasn’t right. Before that, I’d auditioned for ballet schools and stuff, with my grubby tights and crooked teeth, and all these stage kids were like they were in an advert. Even that young, I could feel that.” She grins. “But for Arya, it’s perfect. That was exactly what they wanted. Fuck you and your perfect smile!”
Williams is as animated and expressive as Arya is locked down, with zero poker face. “When I’m myself, people ask me all the time, ‘What’s wrong?’ It’s because I’m not aware of what my body’s doing, and I’m feeling raw emotions just as they come.” As Arya, she feels like she accesses something almost superhuman. She blinks less; her breathing becomes more shallow. “I feel hyperaware,” she says. “You know that movie Limitless? I feel like that. Arya is very calculated in the way that she conducts herself — she doesn’t like people to know what she’s thinking.”
Williams did go through a recent, inexplicable phase when her own emotions felt inaccessible. She couldn’t cry, onscreen or off. (“I’ve come out of it,” she notes. “I cry every week.”) It coincided with Season Eight, in which Arya apparently reconnects with her humanity. “It was really amazing, perfect timing because Arya’s just starting to feel again for the first time,” she says. “So it was actually kinda beautiful the way it was working. Because usually I’m trying to play Arya with no emotion, whilst feeling everything. And this time I was feeling nothing while I was trying to feel something, and it worked . . . I think.”
If the Lady of Winterfell asks you to do a tequila shot with her, protocol compels you to comply. In truth, Sophie Turner does not, at the moment, look all that much like Sansa Stark, even if her posh, mellifluous accent gives her away. (“Let’s get this pah-ty stah-ted,” she says.) Her ponytailed hair is back to its natural blond; she’s adopted an incongruously all-American look of white tee and pale blue jeans, currently set off by red bowling shoes. On her ring finger is a mammoth, blinding diamond, courtesy of her fiance, Joe Jonas, who designed the ring himself. She felt like bowling, so we snagged a private area at Bowlmor in Manhattan’s Chelsea Piers, not too far from the Nolita apartment she just moved into with Jonas. (“Our bedroom is still full of boxes,” she says, “and we have two dogs living in there as well.”)
“I bet Maisie didn’t do a shot in the coffee shop,” she says, picking up a bowling ball. She decides to list her name as “Boy George” on the digital scorecard above, claiming, dubiously, that they look alike. When the drinks arrive, she downs hers and grimaces. “Ucch,” she says. “I hate how it tastes, but it gets you drunk.” Williams describes Turner as the most simpatico scene partner imaginable — they run through even non-GoT scripts together. So it follows that Turner also cheers on fellow bowlers with near-ecstatic fervor: “You’ve got this! Believe in yourself! . . . That was fucking brilliant!”
On her left bicep is an occult-looking triangular tattoo based on “Plato’s theory that the soul is comprised of three parts — reason, spirit and appetite.” Her older brother Will got a matching one; he’s supposed to be the “spirit” part. Her eldest brother, James, is “reason,” but he opted out of the tattoo. “I’m appetite,” Turner says. “Because I’m hungry for everything. I need everything. Not materialwise, but I need to do these jobs and I have to consume everything. And, also, I like eating.” On the back of her right arm is an outline of a bunny with something a little off about its back legs. “It has no significance whatsoever,” she says. “A lot of people say it looks like bunnies fucking each other.”
She heads over to an adjoining billiards room, which happens to have two huge, distinctly throne-like chairs at one end. “Quite appropriate,” she says, curling up rather unregally in one of them. Turner has another big project, the X-Men movie Dark Phoenix, out in June. She’s optimistic about the film, calling it “Dark Phoenix done right” – a small jab at the notoriously awful X-Men: Last Stand, which butchered the same storyline. “Every other scene in Dark Phoenix is, like, the most intense scene I’ve ever done,” she says.
Stepping out as the title character in a superhero franchise brings some pressure. “I’m just a nervous wreck at the moment,” she says, though you’d never know it. For all her apparent lightness of spirit, Turner has had what she describes as mental-health issues. “Definitely,” she says. “Depression for sure, anxiety, all of those things. I still experience it, but I had therapy, I’m on medication, and I feel so much better. The fact that I spoke to someone changed my life.”
She was hurt by social media posts suggesting that celebrities’ newfound openness about such issues was “a trend.” If anything, it’s simply famous young people following wider trends. “It’s definitely a generational thing,” she says. “My mom still asks me, ‘Why do you need a therapist?’ ”
Turner is also just a “very emotional person,” with a deep wellspring of empathy. She used to lie in bed at night and literally “cry for my character,” bemoaning Sansa’s endless parade of perils at the hands of some of the worst men in any world. “The things that girl has gone through are just unbelievable and awful,” she says. Sansa’s was a slow journey toward mastery of her environment; she was always smarter than she might have seemed, with Turner showing us just how acutely she examined her world through crystalline blue eyes.
Sansa’s travails hit their nadir in Season Five, when she married the monstrous Ramsay Bolton. On their wedding night, he raped her in front of another character — an agonizing-to-watch scene that may have been the most controversial in the show’s history. It was far from the only instance of sexual violence on Game of Thrones, and for some, it was the final straw. “Rape is not a necessary plot device,” Jill Pantozzi of the feminist website the Mary Sue wrote, announcing the site would no longer be “actively promoting” Game of Thrones. Benioff and Weiss defended the episode, but it’s an apparent sore point. When I asked how the reaction changed their approach, they deleted the question from their email interview.
Turner anticipated the criticism, and simply disagrees with it. “I think the backlash was wrong because those things did happen,” she says, mentioning GoT’s medieval roots. “We can’t dismiss that and not put it in a TV show where it’s all about power — and that is a very impactful way to show that you have power over somebody.”
For Turner, the fact that the season ends with an “empowered” Sansa presiding over Ramsay Bolton’s well-deserved gruesome death — she helps arrange for him to be consumed alive, piece by piece, by a pack of his own hungry dogs — “made it a really great storyline. Killing him with the dogs, that was the most satisfying scene. It made me so emotional because I’ve been waiting so long for her to stand up to the people who have done her wrong.” Turner also relished Season Seven, as a newly savvy Sansa finally began to master the show’s rites of power. More than one fan theory has the show ending with Sansa ascending to the Iron Throne as Westeros’ ruler — a long shot, but now an entirely plausible one.
“In the beginning, I was jealous of Maisie,” says Turner, “because she got to do all these sword fights and be the badass. I was like, ‘I know my character is very powerful.’ Sansa adapts better than Arya. If Arya was in Sansa’s situation at the beginning, she would have had her head cut off. And if Sansa had been in Arya’s position, Sansa would have been bullied to death. . . . It was really frustrating how slow it was, but it just makes it all the more satisfying. I’m happy she’s only just coming into her power now.”
She sees parallels between Hollywood and Westeros. “There’s a lot of Sansa in me,” Turner says. “You go into something and you think it’s going to be a huge dream, and then you figure out, ‘Oh, wait. I have to be very strategic about everything. And Harvey Weinstein is Joffrey or Ramsay. Probably worse than that. A White Walker.’ ” She never had to work with Weinstein, but another disgraced figure, Bryan Singer, did direct her previous X-Men outing. Singer also directed Bohemian Rhapsody, and Turner echoes that film’s star, Rami Malek. “Our time together was, like Rami said, unpleasant.”
Turner’s upbringing, in Central England, was infinitely more comfortable and uneventful than Sansa’s, largely divided between the Game of Thrones set and school. (She did have a deranged stalker for a while in high school: “It was horrible,” she says matter-of-factly.) Her teenage rebellions were exceedingly normal, in the vein of sneaking vodka from her parents’ house to drink with friends in the park. Like Williams, she planned to be a dancer at first; at age 11 she turned down admission to the highly competitive Royal Ballet School in favor of acting classes.
Turner never thought she’d get engaged so young, or at all. “I was fully preparing myself to be single for the rest of my life,” she says. “I think once you’ve found the right person, you just know. I feel like I’m much older a soul than I am in age. I feel like I’ve lived enough life to know. I’ve met enough guys to know — I’ve met enough girls to know. I don’t feel 22. I feel like 27, 28.” As for the “girls” part: “Everyone experiments,” she says with a shrug. “It’s part of growing up. I love a soul, not a gender.”
On her final day shooting Game of Thrones, in Northern Ireland last year, Williams was still in her no-crying phase. She felt numb. “I went back into my trailer after we wrapped,” she says. “I took a shower, ’cause I was dirty. Arya is always dirty.” She stood outside, washed clean of Arya Stark, taking in “really glorious sunshine, the nicest day.” She went into the assistant directors’ trailer and grabbed a beer as the crew officially marked the end of the line: “This is a wrap on Game of Thrones.”
“I didn’t go out that night,” Williams says, “because I didn’t want to say goodbye to everyone again. You can’t be like ‘Goodbye forever’ to this show. You can’t put that weight on any day. It’s like a divorce. It takes a very long time.”
For her part, Turner totally cried, “because I cry at everything,” she says. She was particularly moved when Benioff and Weiss presented her with a storyboard of their favorite Sansa scene, which happened to be her very last scene of the entire show. Turner already has it hanging at home; no one’s noticed.
“I feel very satisfied with the ending of the entire show,” she says. “Every story arc came to a really good close.” (Williams offers a cryptic hint: “After I read Season Eight, I watched Season One — there’s a lot of similarities.”) For whatever clues it may offer, Benioff and Weiss mentioned two finales they admire: “Breaking Bad stuck the landing. We always talk about the Sopranos ending — as controversial as it may have been at the time, it’s hard to imagine a better ending for that show, or any show.”
Whatever happens, at least we got to see Sansa and Arya Stark together again, safe at home — however briefly. “Sansa, this whole show, the only reason she has willed herself to survive is for her family,” says Turner, who has a ‘The Pack Survives’ tattoo, quoting the show. “The power of family and unity is so strong that it can keep people alive. That’s the biggest thing I’ve taken away from the show: Family is everything.” She smiles, sitting in her bowling-alley throne, vaping. “I think Papa Stark would be very proud of us,” she says.
Source: Rolling Stone
Our SS19 coverstars get candid.
Yass Queens! Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams became megawatt stars as the slaying Stark Sisters in Game of Thrones. Here, in their first-ever joint cover shoot, they let us in on the friendship and the fierce attitude that will take them beyond Westeros. Words By: Josh Smith
“People always think Maisie and I are a couple. I mean,
I am obsessed with her, so you never know,” Sophie Turner deadpans about her Game Of Thrones on-screen sister. “She’s my drug. I’ve got an addiction to Maisie Williams. I actually stalk her hashtag on Instagram!”
When the two actors are united on GLAMOUR’s shoot there are squeals, huge hugs and even – to prove the above point – a bit of dry-humping. The on-set vibe? A sticky floor away from a Saturday night out OUT.
Anyone who might suggest their chemistry isn’t real off-screen would likely be met with the full ‘Stark sister’ wrath; an electrifying on-screen pairing that has helped turn Game Of Thrones (GOT) into the biggest TV show in the world, with a global audience of millions. Yet the world of ‘Mophie’ (as fans have dubbed them), is as free from Hollywood artifice as you could wish for.
Maisie, 21, and Sophie, 23, met aged 12 and 13 respectively during the audition process for GOT, back in 2009. Practically love at first sight, email addresses were exchanged and, “Honestly, we’ve been best friends ever since,” says Sophie. Following many raucous nights in and out (more on that later), their constant stream of text messages to one another, and the matching ‘07.08.09’ tattoos on their forearms (the date they landed their roles), these two – in true GOT fashion – have pledged allegiance to each other for life.
“Put us in the same room and we pick up where we left off,” adds Maisie. “We’ve always been really open with each other. As you get older, the stakes are higher, the problems get worse – so it’s built into a lifelong friendship. Sophie knows too much about me to not be my friend.”
Now, as the eighth and final Game Of Thrones series hits our screens, we’ve united our favourite TV sisters to reveal their zero-filter, no-BS life lessons that we can all relate to, from mental health to men. Yes, this is the Mophie Manifesto.
Sisters In Arms
Pushing her vegan meal around a takeaway box with her fork as they both take a break from shooting, Maisie serves a refreshing dish of disclosure. “I can’t tell you the amount of times Sophie said, ‘Go to therapy,’ before I actually did. She really helped me through some messy break-ups and some friend break-ups. Whenever I’m like, ‘I need help! This is bigger than anything I can sort out on my own,’ Sophie is my point of call. I think therapy is so important. You should absolutely speak to someone, even if in your head you go, ‘Yeah, I knew that!’”
Sophie agrees, “We’ve helped each other through a lot of mental-health problems, especially around body image. She’s been my crutch in that, and I’ve been hers because it seems everything she goes through, I go through. You know when girls are together a long time, their periods sync up? It’s like our emotions and personalities sync up, too.”
While many high-profile actors may balk at being open about their mental health so early in their careers, both Maisie and Sophie feel passionately about sharing their struggles. With a combined social-media following of 20 million and counting, they’re fully aware of how their position enables them to help others. “I’ve gone through some lows in my life and I want to come out of them in a positive way and help people,” says Sophie. “I actually have a really big problem with not being able to stand up for myself,” she adds. “Especially if I’m arguing against a man. Jessica Chastain [who Sophie worked with on new X-Men film Dark Phoenix] is the one that said it to me, ‘You need to stand up for yourself more!’” She’s referring to the time when an actor she worked with “walked off set” when it was time for her to say her lines, and a writer stood in for him. “She [Jessica] said, ‘Just go and talk to him, go and say something to him!’ I’m a bit of a shy, pushover person, but I’m getting there, I’m working on it.”
The work is paying off: in January this year, she went into battle on Twitter with Piers Morgan after he said celebrities were making mental-health problems ‘fashionable’. Sophie blasted back: “Or maybe they have a platform to speak out about it and help get rid of the stigma of mental illness, which affects one in four people in the UK per year. But please go ahead and shun them back into silence. Twat.” Don’t mess with a Stark.
Sharing The Throne
While they seem incredibly in tune with their bodies on GLAMOUR’s set, like anyone constructing an identity in our social-media age, the topic of body image has been part of their lives since GOT first drew swords in 2011. How has playing tomboy Arya Stark – who is largely devoid of sexuality – during her formative teenage years affected the way Maisie perceives herself? “I’ve never felt very pretty because I’ve never been portrayed as very pretty on screen. I actually think that’s really great, but in terms of how I personally feel, it’s been difficult sometimes,” she says.
But being on set with women of all ages, shapes and sizes, from Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey to 6ft 3in Gwendoline Christie – has helped both actors. “I’ve met incredible women who all look very different. They all had really positive messages for us,” adds Maisie. “But I don’t know that you can ever really get away from the intense pressure of body image when you’re an actor. It was something I never cared about. I never thought I was fat until I became an actor – and I’m not fat! I don’t know any young woman that I’ve spoken to in this industry who hasn’t struggled one way or another with their appearance. I just think it’s very hard to escape.”
Building a positive body image is something Maisie has struggled with outside the bubble of GOT’s seven kingdoms, “Especially when you get down to the final three for a role. You can all be really talented, but ultimately it comes down to the way you look. It’s hard not to obsess over that. I try to nip it in the bud because it’s self-destructive.”
These doubts have also, in turn, sadly affected Sophie. “When I first started out acting, I thought, ‘Arghhh, I’m going to have to be really skinny for the rest of my life,’ and I’m not naturally that kind of person. But when it came to filming X-Men [Sophie started playing Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypsein 2016], I saw Jennifer Lawrence, who is small, but curvy and not your typical ‘skinny star’. It made me feel so good that people see these women as powerful superheroes, and they don’t have to be stick thin – that’s how it should be. That’s how women should be depicted in every film.”
The Wedding Is Coming
Sophie’s life has transformed, over the past two years in particular, with one fashion ambassadorship for Louis Vuitton and one blindingly huge engagement ring from her pop-star other half – Joe Jonas – who proposed in October 2017 after an 11-month romance. In true Gen-Z fashion, an Instagram announcement followed, along with his and hers Addams Family Halloween costumes, two pooches and a Swiss ski holiday with her in-laws to be, Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra(who Sophie affectionately nicknames her J-Sister).
But the biggest changes, she says, have actually come from within. “I think for the longest time I didn’t have a real sense of myself. I had a bit of an identity crisis where I was playing all these people and I’d grown up faster than I probably should have done. I hadn’t been able to experience university, or just spend a lot of time with friends, so for a while I kept thinking, ‘Who am I?’
“A lot of [my happiness now] is to do with being with a person I’ve fallen in love with, who loves me more than he loves himself, and who wants to see me find my own happiness. That was probably the biggest thing that pushed me to find who I am – and find my happiness in things other than acting.” Her happy hobby: “I love a painting sesh. It’s actually really tragic; it’s like the worst painting you’ve ever seen, but I love doing it!”
As someone who fiercely protects her private life, talk of Joe is usually off limits. How has the prying media reshaped her life? Showing a hint of exasperation with the situation, Sophie says, “I appreciate the private moments more than the public ones; I don’t go out as much as I used to. I’m a hermit. As an actor, it’s important to be able to dissolve into a character, to maintain some sort of anonymity and it’s hard if you’re dating a Jonas brother. Well, I think they [the paparazzi] follow Joe – I’m just the tag-along!”
Faced with following the wedding of 2018 (sorry Meghan!), of Priyanka and Nick, a leaked ‘save the date’ suggests Sophie’s dream wedding will take place in France this year. While Sophie won’t confirm or deny any of the details, her bridesmaid Maisie revealed that she’s got a full-throttle hen do planned. But how much of a planner is Sophie? Did she ever foresee getting married at just 23 years old? “I’m actually not a planner at all,” she laughs. “I’m more of a procrastinator. I plan at the last minute and definitely don’t have a five-year plan. I’m not thinking, ‘I wanna have an Oscar by the time I’m 30.’ I just like to ride the wave of life and see where it takes me, rather than setting a plan out for myself. It’s more fun that way, it’s more spontaneous.”
Growing up on set, hundreds of miles away from their homes in Warwickshire and Somerset, meant Sophie (who has two elder brothers) and Maisie (also the youngest in her family, with three older siblings) became each other’s standard bearers on set. How much did this closeness help when working in an industry at the centre of #MeToo? “I never experienced any of that,” Sophie says. “But Maisie is definitely my protector and I’m hers, too. I know if anything happened – especially if it was on Game Of Thrones, which it never, ever would – she’d go fucking crazy and protect me. To have a sister there, a woman who gets how degrading and awful it can be, and how you’re expected to be so submissive in your work, can be very comforting. Maisie is my strong home.”
And the feeling is mutual: “Sophie is someone who really looks out for me. I could call her at any time, and she would pick up. I think that goes a long way in this industry, because you have a lot of friends, but you’re never quite sure of how deep that goes. People surprise you all the time in life.
“I broke up from a best friend in a really messy and difficult way. It was so hard because I like to stay in touch with the people I grew up with. I couldn’t figure out what I’d done and whether I was a bad person – it was tough. Sophie helped me realise I wasn’t the bad person I thought I was.”
Does Maisie still worry about fame affecting her friendships? “Oh God, yeah. It’s all I think about. Well, it’s not, I think about boys a lot, too!” She has remained notably low-key about her long-term relationship with Ollie Jackson – who she met at school – except for the odd exchanging of fire emojis on Instagram and public Trivial Pursuit disputes.
As well as being there to support each other away from The North, Sophie and Maisie are also partial to a prank on set. “Even though we’re sisters [in GOT], we tried to sneak a kiss into every scene we did together to freak everyone out a bit,” Sophie laughs. “It kept them on their toes; making sure they were following the script.”
This sense of fun has helped them cope with the unblinking barbarity their characters face in GOT. Spoiler alert – by the close of season seven, Arya (Maisie) had murdered 64 people and Sansa (Sophie) had been forced into an arranged marriage and suffered continuous abuse. But they have become each other’s escape off camera. Maisie recalls one memorable night out-out when they went to [London nightclub] Fabric the night before flying to LA for the GOT premiere, two seasons ago. “I don’t think either of us went to bed. That was good fun!” Although, she admits, “Our nights in are better than our nights out. We put on Frank Ocean’s Blonde, go to Tesco and get a meal deal. We love watching clips of people on X Factor who get aggressive.”
It gets better, “When we were filming and staying together, we would give each other makeovers,” says Sophie. “I turned Maisie into a Goth once – and just ran around the hotel. We also like to play Ding Dong Ditch a lot, just stupid, childish shit.”
Done Playing Games
Fundamentally, what makes this friendship so remarkable is that there’s zero competition between them. They even constantly recommend each other for potential new roles, something that Maisie thinks is rare in the industry. “For a long time in my career, I didn’t really meet anyone whowas mean or acted like a diva, but then I did,” she says.
“There’s a real lack of respect when people are bitchy on set.” For someone who was heavily bullied when she returned to school after filming the first series of GOT (Maisie even discovered that an anonymous account abusing her online was set up by someone she knew) this experience brought back painful memories of playground politics. “It felt like I was back at school,” she says. “It’s like, ‘We’ve all been given this amazing opportunity and now you’re making it unpleasant for me.’”
It’s hardly surprising that Maisie and Sophie’s anti-Mean Girls approach applies to supporting other young actors they know, too. “Sometimes I think, ‘Oh God, we’re probably all going up for the same roles,’” says Sophie. “‘We’re all the same age, [are we] just going to be catty towards each other?’ But all the women I’ve worked with have been very supportive – and vice versa. I want them to do well because women should be all in it together. I go for a lot of roles that people like Zoey Deutch go for, or Chloë Moretz, but they’re my friends – I really want them to get those roles, and half the time they’re better at the roles than me anyway, so I’m fine with it. I’m glad I didn’t embarrass myself!”
The End Is Coming…
As they both venture into a post-GOT world – Maisie will follow Sophie into the X-Men franchise, with a new, separate film: The New Mutants. Don’t bank on seeing them reunited on screen any time soon, though (sigh). “Everyone on set is sick and tired of us being so loud and laughing so much!” says Maisie. “I don’t know if we’ll work together again. I don’t know if people would cast us in something together because we are so known for these two characters. Game Of Thrones will be some of the funniest days of my life.”
However, their rallying call to young women will outlive GOT. “It’s about what’s in your mind and how clever you are at playing the game – that’s more important and will get you further than how you look,” Maisie adds. “Being switched on, aware, analysing, and understanding people is going to get you so much further than being pretty.”
So, what about those final series plot spoilers? While Maisie jokes that you’d have to get her “very drunk”, to reveal the ending, someone else is already in the know. “I’ve just told Joe [Jonas],” confesses Sophie. “But he’s so mad at me – he loves the show!” She shrugs sheepishly. “Well, I have to tell someone, otherwise I’ll burst.” That’s right, Mophie play by their own rules.
Game Of Thrones season eight airs on Sky Atlantic and Now TV
on April 15. To watch Sophie and Maisie share their hilarious life advice stay tuned to GLAMOUR UK ON MONDAY
The trailer is here.
The Final Season begins April 14 on HBO.
Kicking ass and taking names for seven seasons of Game Of Thrones, speaking out against unreachable beauty standards, landing major covers (inc. Highsnobiety, NYLON and Dazed) and charming a 7.5 mill Instagram following, it’s safe to say that Maisie Williams has made an impact. This year, she’s stepping into a new side of film in Aardman Animation’s latest release, Early Man, and continuing the conversation for positive societal change. Here’s what happened when ASOS Magazine caught up with the 20-year-old actress to talk about work, film, style and power…
Is your new role in Early Man an indication of a broad range of genres that you want to cover?
‘Absolutely, I want to try comedy. I’ve got a comedy film coming out soon. I enjoy indie movies. I enjoy super-harrowing stories. I’m just like, “Try it all’.’ I’m in a position where there are times when I can choose and I want to choose wisely at this really crucial point in my career.’
Tell us about your newly launched a production company, Daisy Chain…
‘We’ve had scripts coming in all over the place, which is so exciting. I want to move my hand to directing. I have stories that I want to tell, and I think there are things that I have not yet seen done the way I’ve experienced them. I want to get at the effects that [one generation’s behaviour] has on another generation and what that pushes them to do or become. There’s stories I know that I can do.’
How would you advise the next generation?
‘I want to let people know, that from a young age, there’s going to come a time in this system where you’re going to think you’re stupid and you can’t cope and that everyone else can, but you have another gift, it’s just not been exercised yet. If you figure out what it is now, great! Never forget about it! But if you don’t, then it’s cool, because one day [school] is going to be over and you can go and figure out what that is, and you’re going to feel like you have a real purpose in this world.’
Do you have a style persona?
‘I feel like I’m quite eccentric. I’d be the auntie who everyone’s like, “Oh look, it’s red auntie Maisie!” and I’m there, head-to-toe in red, looking fabulous. I like prints, I like colours. There’ll be an outfit leader in the group, today it’s the trousers. It’s all very comfortable and always f***ing fresh.’
What would you most like to be remembered for?
‘I want to make sure I’m part of a generation that did better than the last, and to bring in the new generation and make sure that they do even better than we did. I don’t necessarily want people to know my name throughout history for the humanitarian things I did, but for them to know that if we all keep pushing forwards in a positive way, we can really make a change.’