'Game of Thrones' Season 4 Premiere Date: Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) Reveals 'Secretive' Show Casting and Auditioning Process (PHOTOS)
Sophie Turner, who plays the quietly tough Sansa Stark on HBO's hit show "Game of Thrones," recently opened up in a new interview with Coventry Telegraph, revealing what it was like to audition for the medieval fantasy series and her struggles with stardom.
"I really dislike watching myself on-screen. I am very insecure about my acting," the 17-year old told the Coventry Telegraph. "We are our own biggest critics. I have to sit in another room to my parents when they watch it," adding that her mom and dad "love it."
Turner was cast as the ill-fated underdog Sansa Stark at just 13, but the young actress had already begun her acting career as a toddler.
"I first started acting when I was three and joined Playbox Theatre," she said. "That was how my obsession grew. I am still in Playbox. My first lead was in a production called Scary Play directed by Stewart McGill, who is amazing. Playbox is a fun environment. It's not just a place for kids to hang around and be silly. We are all very serious about acting. They do not mould you into the actor they want, but let you be yourself."
However, it was through Turner's drama teacher and not her theater company that she was led to audition for the role of Sansa Stark, which she did at King's High School in Warwick where she was a student.
"I had four more call backs in London. It was really intense, but fun," said Turner. "I did a lot of chemistry tests with other people - the last one was with Maisie (Williams) who plays Arya. She is lovely."
However, her parents initially had mixed feelings about the role.
"It was really exciting, but a bit scary as we had no knowledge of that world," her mother, Sally, said to the Coventry Telegraph. "I had to chaperone for her when she first started at 13. Her scenes are filmed in Belfast and Croatia, but the series is also shot in Iceland and Morocco. It is a fascinating process to watch. 'Game of Thrones' is brilliantly done, and keeps you hooked. Sophie is a very lucky girl."
Turner got along well with all of her castmates, though none of them had any idea how successful the show would become.
"We did not even get the full script in the beginning, it was all very secretive," she said. "We never knew if the TV audiences would like it. As a 13-year old it was so exciting. After reading the script we knew it was good. I was 13 and didn't really know who the other actors were. You learn so much.
"On set everyone is friends with everyone. I am really close with Natalie Dormer (Margary Tyrell) and Sibel Kekilli (Shae). Jack Gleeson who plays Joffrey is one of the most lovely, intelligent and funny people on set - he's just so nice, unlike his character. Kit (Harrington) is lovely but I do not get so many scenes with him. He's like an older brother to me, as is Richard (Madden - who plays Rob Stark)."
The star even adopted Zunni, the dog that played the direwolf Lady in season one of the hit series that met a terrible fate and foreshadowed the downfall of the Stark family.
"Growing up I always wanted a dog, but my parents never wanted one. We kind of fell in love with my character's dire wolf, Lady, on set," she said. "We knew Lady died and they wanted to re-home her. My mum persuaded them to let us adopt her."
Despite her catapult to fame, the teen star leads a relatively normal life when she's not busy filming "Game of Thrones" in Belfast and Croatia, still keeping in touch with old friends from back home and continuing to pursue her education.
Not only is Sophie Turner a wonderful actress, she's a brilliant student. Last year she passed the British GCSEs with five As and four Bs, and is currently studying for her A levels in psychology, history, English literature and language. Though she hopes to continue acting for the rest of her life, she also has plans to go to university.
"I would like to do something different to drama," she said. "I don't think you can get a better drama education than being in 'Game of Thrones'. I'd like to study psychology or history. My favorite period of history is the Tudors."
Very fitting for someone who plays a high-born lady on TV!
Season four of "Game of Thrones" has currently begun filming in Iceland, a location that Sophie Turner does not get a chance to visit for her role. The first episode of season four will premiere in Spring 2014.
Click here to see photos of Sophie Turner, including a shot of her with Zunni (Lady), the dog she adopted from the set of "Game of Thrones."