By Max Nicholson
Today, IGN was able to speak with Sophie Turner, aka Sansa Stark, in anticipation of Game of Thrones: Season 5, premiering this April on HBO. (More on that soon!) Of course, being the comic book nerds we are, we also had to ask Turner a few questions about X-Men: Apocalypse, in which she’ll be playing the young Jean Grey. While production on the film is still a couple months out, Turner was able to give us a few details on her mutant role, including Jean’s similarities to Sansa and what she’ll be taking from Famke Janssen’s Jean.
The Dark Phoenix Sansa
If you’re not already familiar with Jean Grey in the comics, she’s one of the founding members of the X-Men, known for her powerful telekinetic and telepathic abilities. Jean is also renowned for her central role in X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga, which chronicles her corruption and eventual redemption as Phoenix.
Going off that, there’s a bit of a parallel between Jean and Sansa Stark, the latter of whom developed her own dark streak in Season 4 of Game of Thrones (which birthed a million “Dark Sansa” gifs and memes). According to Turner, those similarities may have very well led to her casting in X-Men. “I think maybe one of the reasons that they chose me for [Jean] is because they saw the dark side of Sansa,” she said.
“Maybe they’re thinking, ‘Oh, Phoenix, Jean Grey.’ I definitely see a lot of parallels in there.”
Turner continued, “[Jean] struggles with her power… and not being accepted in the human world. I think in terms of [Game of Thrones], that’s kind of the way Sansa felt in that she really wanted to be a normal princess/queen and live a normal life — and she doesn’t, because of all this havoc happens. I think Jean, in a way, feels that.”
On Janssen’s Jean Influence
We still know very little about director Bryan Singer’s plans for X-Men: Apocalypse, but we do know that Turner will be playing a younger version of Famke Janssen’s Jean from X-Men and X2. In terms of her portrayal, Turner said that she wants to “bring something different to the character,” while still paying respect to Janssen’s earlier performance.
“I think Famke played Jean incredibly well, but also, I’m playing a younger version of her,” Turner explained. “I want to emulate Famke in a sense, because she has to seem like the Jean in the first two movies, but I’m also going to put my own twist on her. I think I’m also going to take inspiration from the comics. I don’t know, we’ll see.”
Technically, X-Men: Apocalypse is still in pre-production and won’t begin shooting until April. Such as it is, Turner didn’t have much info on the movie itself. When asked about it, she said that she still hasn’t read the script and doesn’t know what Jean’s costume or storyline will be. However, she is looking forward to the research. “It’s all very secretive at the moment, so I’ve just done my auditions and a few pieces,” she said, “but I’m really, really excited to play [Jean]. She’s an icon.”
X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters stateside on May 27, 2016.