Maisie Williams was just 13 when she was cast as Arya Stark on Game of Thrones. Now 22, she recently opened up about how fame and growing up in the public eye almost destroyed her mental health.
Williams appeared on Happy Place, a podcast hosted by Fearne Cotton, to talk about the heavy toll stardom has taken on her over the years.
It got so bad that Williams considered walking away from acting entirely. She admitted that there are still times when she thinks that life outside the spotlight would be better and questions whether fame is worth it.
It seems that a lot of the negative messaging came from social media, where strangers felt emboldened to tear down a teenage girl for her looks. Williams admits that she sought out those negative comments during her darkest moments.
Sophie Turner, who portrays Sansa Stark, admitted that she went through a similar experience. The two women are almost the same age, and they became best friends while filming the show.
Like Williams, Turner became addicted to reading negative comments about her appearance, acting ability, and other criticism on social media. Often, she said, the online discussions involved her weight, though people also talked about her skin as well.
“I would say, ‘Yeah, I am spotty. I am fat. I am a bad actress.’ I would just believe it,” Turner said, explaining how she became extremely self-conscious.
Williams reportedly makes $175,000 an episode for her work as Arya on Game of Thrones. While most of us would love to rake in a million dollars a year, the experience seems to have hurt both Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner in some ways.
It sounds like newlywed Sophie is in a better place and coping with her self-professed anxiety. Maisie appears to be working on her own issues, and working on her own new projects as well.
She recently launched Daisie, a social networking app for creative types to share their work with like-minded creators. And, back in February, she also gave a compelling Ted Talk about striving to be talented as opposed to famous.
As she grows more comfortable with the spotlight, we think we’ll definitely be seeing more of her in the future.