A month after Sophie Turner opened up about how social media scrutiny surrounding her performance and physical appearance on “Game of Thrones” added to her depression as a teen, her co-star and close friend Maisie Williams revealed her own struggles with the same problem, which has consumed her at times.
“It used to really get– I mean, it still does, who am I kidding? It got to me a lot because it’s just a constant feed in your back pocket of what people think of you,” the 22-year-old Williams, who has played Arya Stark on the hit HBO series since she was 13 years old, said on the Happy Place podcast. “And I think we would all like to say we would turn a blind eye and wouldn’t care — but it’s impossible to do.”
“But there did come a time where the show — like, I just took a step away from it all,” she continued. “My mum would always have the logins to my social accounts and so she would always see everything that sort of came in and like you know if it was a bit negative or if there was anything bad then she would say like, ‘Maybe don’t look for a little while, ’cause it might upset you.’
“I think when people are on social media they feel like whatever they write, no one is gonna read it and no one is gonna see it,” Williams added. “But they do, and it will affect them for a really long time.”
Williams says she now tries to “disarm the gun really and try not to consume too much media at all.”
“And, you know, when I do feel myself like going down a rabbit hole — because it gets to a point where you’re almost like craving something negative so you can sit in a hole of sadness,” Williams said. “And it’s really bizarre the way it starts to consume you. So it’s like when you feel yourself maybe close to stumbling upon something that’s going to ruin your entire day, it sounds so simple, but it’s just about switching that off and speaking to someone human.”
“Look, I’m definitely not a model human. I still lie in bed at, like, 11 o’clock at night telling myself all the things I hate about myself,” she added. “There’s still like a journey, I think. But at least dropping the act and just being who you truly are, I think that’s definitely a first step. And not trying to be who you want me to be right now in this moment, which would be OK, but for me, it’s like really underwhelming and where there’s applause at the end you don’t feel like it’s for you because that wasn’t you really. So I think just dropping everything and trying to be as honest with yourself as you are with other people.”