‘They had known me since I was 13 and they were like, “This is so wrong.”’ Playing the role has brought dark feelings closer to the surface.
‘I just completely gave everything to her, all of my emotions. ‘Now I cry all the time – I am an emotional human being.’ Turner says all this with the glimmer of a smile – she’s got whatever the opposite of a bitchy resting face is, like she’s constantly just heard a good joke.
Now 21, she’d probably be gearing up for her third year at university and stressing about her student loan, not steaming into her seventh season of what is officially the biggest TV show of all time.
She would not be famous, as Sansa Stark, in 170 countries.
‘Both of us went home and told [our mums], “I really hope that girl gets it.”’ Their friendship has eliminated the otherwise lonely experience of being a young person on a mostly adult set, but it’s also inspired a loyalty that cuts deeper than affectionate tweets and red-carpet bear hugs.
‘We’re so close that I’ve been put up for projects and been like, “[Maisie] you need to go for this.” Then she’ll say, “I said no to this because I think you need to go for this.”’ She looks at me for a moment.
Where does that leave someone who’s spent a third of her life as Sansa Stark? When it’s done, it’s going to feel like a death in the family,’ she says. When Turner filmed the infamous rape scene of season five, writer Bryan Cogman felt so guilty he put his head in his hands and cried.
‘He was sat there going, “I am so sorry,”’ she says.
‘There was a period in my life, when I was 14/15, and I was like, “I want to be seen as a real actress – I can’t fuck around.
I don’t know what this means.” My dad was like, “You’re so dumb, this is what she’s always wanted to do, you have to let her do it.” So, thanks Dad,’ she says, with a flash of teenager-ish side-eye.
Since the sun never sets on the empire, she’s rarely far from a fan with an i Phone. I could be out with my mum on her birthday and I will ask them to delete it.
This is my career,”’ she says, pronouncing career ‘caraar’ and mock fainting into the sofa cushions. ‘The painful part is finding another job.’ Unemployment is on Turner’s mind right now.
At one point it seemed like the HBO juggernaut, with its rich tapestry of characters and seemingly infinite plot lines, could keep chugging on forever, but the show’s bosses confirmed last June that season eight would see the final, dragony showdown.