One of the benefits of being discovered on a hit TV show is that a chance at a significant movie career is usually in the cards. Actually, it usually only occurs with talent on show that hits the pop culture lexicon. In this case, “Game of Thrones.”
Sophie Turner has spent the last four years on “GoT” playing Sansa Stark and as any loyal viewer can tell you, she’s been put through the ringer. She’s seen her father beheaded (poor Ned), been engaged to a mad king against her will, was almost raped and then forced to marry the show’s most popular character, Lord Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who doesn’t happen to be that popular in King’s Landing. Those key dramatic moments, among others, is just one reason Turner has come to the attention of casting directors, producers, international financiers and movie directors. She’s got talent that’s ready to be explored in other projects. The first of those new films, “Another Me,” hits theaters in select markets today, but let’s get to what all “GoT” fans want to hear about first: season five.
Turner spoke to HitFix Thursday from Belfast where she’s in the middle of shooting the current “GoT” season. She’s expected to continue production until the middle of December, but notes ” I mean it’s very unpredictable because there are so many parts on ‘Game of Thrones.’ If someone gets injured? The schedule can just like totally flip and I could be shooting a lot longer or a lot shorter.”
The 18-year-old actress obviously wasn’t going to spill specific details about the upcoming stretch, but did discuss how she’s stopped reading the novels in preparing for each new season.
“I kind of read the ‘Game of Thrones’ books as the seasons [went on],” Turner says, “But now that the storyline and scripts are kind of going away from the books I decided I’m just going to read the scripts so I don’t get confused and read the books later.”
As for where Ms. Stark will end up Turner sounded quite excited about her character’s new direction. More importantly, she thinks viewers will be too.
“‘Game of Thrones’ is so unpredictable and it was a big surprise what is happening to her this season,” Turner says. “I am so excited because it gives me the opportunity to work with new people and it goes in a completely different direction. I think the fans will really like where her storyline is going this season.”
The point of the interview, however, way to discuss “Another Me” and Turner is clearly proud of her work in Isabel Coixet’s thriller. Based on a novel by Cathy MacPhail, the movie finds Turner playing Fay, a teenager in suburban Wales who is trying to juggle the pressures of school with a her father’s debilitating illness. As time passes a number of events occur that makes her think someone is following, impersonating or playing mind games with her. What she’s unaware of is that dear old dad (Rhys Ifans) knows exactly what’s going on and doesn’t have the heart to tell her.
“Me” premiered at the 2013 Rome Film Festival this past November and has been released in Italy and Spain. It also features an intriguing cast including Claire Forlani as her mother, Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Fay’s drama teacher and Geraldine Chaplin as a very strange neighbor.
Turner says she was thrilled to play a part where she could wear modern clothes and actually be comfortable in them. She bluntly admits, “Not have your breathing affected by your clothes is a big bonus apparently. It was really nice actually.”
(Note to “GoT” costumers: Perhaps we should loosen up Ms. Turner’s bodices a bit?)
She also adds, “It was really nice to be in a world which was very similar to my own and I think she’s a relatable character anyway. So, the thing about this film is that everything came pretty easy to me. Just because you’re not living in Medieval Times with dragons around and White Walkers. It was nice to have something you could relate to.”
Considering it seems somewhat aimed for teenagers, “Me” gets much darker as it goes on and features a slightly unexpected ending. Turner, somewhat surprisingly, says they never shot alternate endings and it was always going to be the same as the novel.
“It’s a Young Adult book. It can’t be as brutal as ‘Game of Thrones’ and then it flips on its head again,” Turner says. “That’s why I was drawn to the story and the script. It was unpredictable. Maybe I’m just a sucker for a sad ending.”
While “Me” took up her “GoT” break almost two years ago, she went in a completely different direction over her last offseason. In the action comedy “Barely Lethal” Turner plays Heather, the arch enemy of Megan (Hailee Steinfeld), a teenage assassin who wants to quite the killing business and just live a normal life. The movie was Turner’s first production in the United States and she enjoyed Atlanta for a reason only those who have worked on or visited sets in Europe can understand.
“Oh my god I loved it. You guys have the best craft service,” Turner says laughing. “You have trucks full of food. You had a mac and cheese truck and it was amazing.”
(She’s not kidding. The food served on most UK sets is worse than you could imagine – most of the time.)
“Lethal” also features Jessica Alba, Jamie King and Samuel L. Jackson. The independently financed flick is still looking for distribution in he U.S., but its expected to be released sometime next year.
Turner’s upcoming “Thrones” break will be spent shooting the recently announced “Mary Shelley’s Monster” alongside “War Horse” star Jeremy Irvine. It will be directed by British TV veteran Coky Giedroyc and is said to follow the “young writer as she writes her seminal novel and is drawn into a Faustian bargain with her own ‘monster’ of an alter ego, who offers literary fame at a desperate personal cost.” Take that for what you will. Needless to say, Turner is very much looking forward to it.
“In some ways it is a lot like ‘Another Me’ because it toys with the idea of the subconscious and the conscious and another aspect of yourself,” Turner says. “It is also kind of fantastical. It has a lot of relevance in there. It’s very visual and it’s not wha a lot people will expect I think.”