Sophie Turner was just 14 years old when she was cast in HBO’s mega-franchise Game Of Thrones as the spectacularly braided, flame-haired Sansa Stark (cool fact: in real life, she’s actually blonde). Despite a pretty unusual adolescence juggling the demands of international fame, the 18-year-old we meet at InStyle’s shoot is an endearingly normal and softly spoken sort, thrilled that she’s getting to try on our rail of eccentric granny-chic-themed Miu Miu, Mary Katrantzou and Peter Pilotto. ‘I would wear all of this in real life – if I was brave enough,’ she laughs.
Warwickshire-raised Sophie – who says her acting talents stem from an am-dram-loving grandpa – has survived all the shock character kill-offs that have become a Game Of Thrones trademark. She also has some pretty exciting new projects coming up too, including the part of Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse. Does this mean she’s going to be hanging up her Thrones cloak soon? We know, she’d have to kill us…
So, we’ve gone pretty wild with the InStyle shoot… ‘I kind of love it. It’s like I’m a collector of curiosities and I’ve stashed tonnes of it in this quirky, crazy little house. It’s very different to any other shoots I’ve done.’
Anything you’ve spotted on the rail that you love? ‘The military-style vintage jacket. I think I could get away with that. I probably wouldn’t wear the incredible Miu Miu heels though, as I’m clumsy enough in flats.’
How has your style evolved in the past few years? ‘I’ve only just come to realise it isn’t about dressing in what’s fashionable, it’s about dressing for your shape. When I was 13, I was tiny and could wear pretty much anything. Now I’ve gone through adolescence, I’m just figuring out what clothes suit me. I can’t just throw anything on any more.’
Which designers do you love? ‘I really like Dolce & Gabbana, because their clothes fit a real, womanly shape. They design for girls with hips and boobs, which is nice.’
Have you learned any cool hair tricks from Sansa’s amazing braids? ‘No, there’s definitely no way I could do any of it myself. The Game Of Thrones hair people are so talented, and they do it all in such a short space of time.’
You starred in Barely Lethal with Hailee Steinfeld. Did you become pals on set? ‘She’s become one of my best, best friends. We hit it off really quickly. For all the success she’s had – being nominated for an Oscar – she’s managed to remain one of the most level-headed actors I’ve met.’
Are there any other actors you really admire? 'I’m a big fan of Jack Nicholson, I just think he (especially at the beginning of his career) chose his projects so well. There isn't one thing that he’s done that I haven’t totally loved. He doesn’t do it for the money, he does it for the love!'
Do you sometimes find it tough holding onto a sense of normality? ‘My friends find it weird when I jet off to LA for meetings or screenings. If I wasn’t doing this, I think I’d be studying history or psychology at university, tearing up the town!’
What was life like growing up? ‘I had a country childhood in this really small village in Warwickshire. We had a paddock round the back of the house and these little barns we’d play in. Most of the time, though, I was totally submerged in acting at a local theatre called Playbox. I think a taste for performance runs in my family. My great-great-grandfather was a violinist in an orchestra.’
Have you had any good advice from other actors? ‘Just before my 16th birthday, Natalie Dormer said to me, “As soon as you turn 16, you’re going to work adult hours, people will try to take advantage of you, so it’s important not to be a pushover.” Now I’m a total pushover and I let people work me too hard so, in hindsight, that was probably some very good advice!’
Photographs by David Schulze
Watch the Game of Thrones trailer here: