A chat with the star about her role as a moody Jean Grey in
Considering that she's best known for making
viewers squirm in sympathy for her agonizing portrayal of Sansa Stark—a damsel regularly subjected to some of the most depraved (and creative?) psychosexual torture on television—it's a relief that Sophie Turner, IRL, is kind of a goober. “
is my favorite movie in the world,” she says breathlessly, recounting her nervous glee at landing a seat near Steve Carell at the SAG Awards. “I was yelling, like, ‘I love lamp!’ and waiting for him to reply.”
the 20-year-old English actress will finally get to dish out some hurt as young Jean Grey, an angsty teenage version of the Lycra-clad telepath Marvel Comics made famous. Turner says she devoted lots of downtime to practicing Grey's mind-control squinch in the mirror: “I was like, ‘I don't want to look like an idiot doing this.’ ”
On a scale of 1 to 10, how badly do you wanna see Sansa fuck shit up this season?
“Ten! TEN! Obviously. I want her to raise hell.”
GQ: Whose hair takes longer to style on the show: Yours or Kit Harington's?
That's a good question. If it was up to Kit, as to how long hair would take, he would take longer on those. But it's mine that takes longer. He wakes up and his is terrific naturally. He's got like the perfect little pin curls. He looks amazing. Mine takes a while. I don't wake up looking like Kit Harington.
He'll kill me for saying this, but if we're on the red carpet, I promise he'll stand in front of the mirror for hours. I've seen him do it. Even though he wakes up perfect, it's never good enough for him. He's gonna absolutely kill me.
"I don't wake up looking like Kit Harington."
Do you ever see Maisie [Williams, who plays Arya Stark] killing people on the show, and think,
I can't wait till Sansa gets to do that too
? Ugh, yes. Totally. Like the past five seasons, when Maisie is getting to run around with swords and in trousers and stuff, I'm just like, "Gah. Man that looks like so much fun!" But Sansa's never gonna be doing that. Her weapon is her mind. Her intellect. She's a sharp one.
Do you ever get scared when you're flipping through a script that Sansa's gonna die?
Yes, oh my God. Yeah. It's crazy. Almost every day we're on set we're like, "Who do you think is gonna go next?" It's almost like living in the
There's always a lot of drinks at the bar. But by now we're so used to it. We used to have big things when other people died. But there's so many people who die now, we're like, "Can't really afford it, man. We've been out every night."
With Sansa it seems like you're always having to tap into this dark, demented place to play her. And then on Twitter and Instagram you're, like, a hilarious teen ray of sunshine. Is this a contrast you're aware of? Something you're perpetuating on some level to show everyone, like,
I don't know if I'm trying my best to be happy when I'm shooting this depressing show. I don't know if it's an intentional or conscious [thing], but I definitely am just a very happy person.
have to go to some headspace to play Sansa. But you leave that at work. I'll never take that home. Especially because—and people don't realize this, but—when you're on set it's a very jolted thing. It's not like you're in that headspace all day. Sometimes you'll have like two hours in between [set ups] where you'll go and sit with the rest of the cast, and you can't just sit there being quiet and miserable all day. It's a headspace I go to for 15 minutes at a time and I hop right back out of it. It never really affects me too much.
So you're never up at night dreading some horrible scene you're about to film?
No, I leave that at work. If I did, it would really affect me. But I don't let it linger with me. I brush her off. She's not me.
film you're playing a MUTANT. You can control minds. What can we expect from your Jean Grey?
This Jean Grey isn't the Jean that we've seen in the previous movies, because obviously this is a prequel kind of thing. This is about how Jean became this incredibly powerful mutant. In the first three movies, seeing her was fun because she was herself. She has a career together, she knows exactly who she is, and her morals. She's got a steady relationship, job, everything.
This movie is about her as like a teen struggling to come to terms with growing up in the world and boys and everything that makes a teenager tick, but she's also a mutant. And a very powerful mutant. But she doesn't know how to control her powers. It's all kind of about her coming to grips with that as well, and at the same time trying not to feel alienated. It's pretty intense.
Oh yeah! It was really cool to be able to play a character that gets to do stunts and is kind of like, a hero. A superhero. It was really fun to like explore that side because I've been dying to do that for years.
I had a stunt double. But I didn't really have huge stunts because she's telekinetic.
Ah! So a lot of squinching your eyes, raising your hand at stuff.
Did you practice that in your mirror? Your mind control "look"?
Oh my God, I practiced that in the mirror every day! I was like, I don't want to look like an idiot doing this. I'm really terrible. I really had to learn my body in that movie. I had to learn how to run! Apparently I run really stupidly? They had to teach me how to run well in
. All the shots were so embarrassing because if I was running around, my arms would be flailing everywhere. Apparently I have no motor control.
I should. Maybe that would help. In the fourth season I felt like I was running in literally every shot. But no, I haven't had to do much. Now all I do is sit and cry. That's, like, my thing. Trademark it.
What would you do if you weren't an actress? I know that's sort of a boring question, but...
I would want to be at uni. I would want to be studying psychology or history. I'm fascinated by psychology and psychopaths and sociology. I just read
Oh my God, you have to read it. It's just like mind blowing. I just started on this book called
as well. My mom thinks I'm crazy. She's like, "Why are you reading all this shit? This is terrifying. Why are you obsessed with that stuff?" I just find it so fascinating.
Anything else I forgot to ask you? Anything you wanna plug?
I don't know. Is there anything I have to plug? No. Oh! I really like Nando's.
It's N-A-N-D-O-S. It's a chicken shop in London. It's amazing. It's like the world's best. If you ever go to London you have to go to Nando's. Like, if celebrities mention them in interviews they get black cards. A black card basically gets you free chicken for a year or something. This is me trying to get my black card.
I'm gonna do everything in my power to make this happen.
Thanks you, Sophie! You're great and I hope all your dreams come true.
Thank you! You too, man. We should finish every interview with that.