Maisie Williams recently opened up about how navigating her Game of Thrones fame as a teenager negatively affected her mental health.
The actress was just 13 years old when she began portraying Arya Stark, and Williams explains that she experienced a very dark emotional period, fueled by the negativity often circulated on social media. The 22-year-old admitted that sometimes she would seek out negative criticism in order to "sit in a hole of sadness."
"I still lie in bed at, like, 11 o'clock at night telling myself all the things I hate about myself," Williams said on the Happy Place podcast. "It's just really terrifying that you're ever going to slip back into it. That's still something that I'm really working on, because I think that's really hard. It's really hard to feel sad and not feel completely defeated by it."
The actress continued by saying she wants a "normal life," and chasing fame is simply "not worth it."
Fellow Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner opened up about her experience with mental health while working on the HBO series last month. During an interview with Dr. Phil, the actress explained that when she was 17 she started to struggle with depression, and her mental health worsened as trolls began criticizing her appearance online. "I would just believe it. I would say, ‘Yeah, I am spotty. I am fat. I am a bad actress,"' she said. "I would just believe it. I would get [the costume department] to tighten my corset a lot. I just got very, very self-conscious."
Turner noted that her close friendship with Williams meant that her co-star was often the only person who understood what she was going through at the time. "I think being friends with each other was quite destructive because we were going through the same thing," Turner explained. "We would get home from set, go to a little supermarket across the road and just buy food. We'd go back to our room and eat it in bed. We never socialized for a couple of years."