Culture

‘Game of Thrones’ Star Maisie Williams Speaks on Mental Health, Used to ‘Hate Herself’

Maisie Williams is the latest young celebrity to speak about her trials with mental health. The star appeared on the Happy Place podcast, hosted by Fearne Cotton, in a live conversation on May 4. Outlets first shared Williams’ comments on Tuesday.

Williams detailed her past struggles with mental health and self-acceptance. Much of her pain was due to social media, she explained, where she was unable to ignore cruel comments.

The actor took listeners inside her mind during those time periods. "It got to me a lot, because there's just a constant feed in your back pocket of what people think of you,” Williams explained, as reported by BBC. "It gets to a point where you're almost craving something negative, so you can sit in a hole of sadness, and it's really bizarre the way it starts to consume you."

Williams, who plays Arya Stark on HBO’s Game of Thrones, began filming when she was only 14 years old. She’s been in the spotlight since. Williams explained she took a journey to finding her inner peace.

"I think so many of these problems are linked to things in your past or whatever, and as soon as you start digging and start asking yourself bigger questions than 'Why do I hate myself?’ It's more like 'Why do you make yourself feel this way?’” she explained. “The answers to all of these questions really are within you. It sounds really hippy-dippy and, like, 'Look within you to find peace,' but it is true, and at the end of the day you're making yourself feel this way for a reason."

Williams revealed she used to “hate herself” and still has moments where she lies in bed and thinks about the things about herself she dislikes. She’s not the only Game of Thrones star to reveal similar thoughts that were born during young life in the public eye.

Sophie Turner, fellow Game of Thrones star and close friend of Williams, shared details about her struggles with mental health in an April podcast conversation with Dr. Phil McGraw. Turner said she used to think about suicide often. “It’s weird. I say I wasn’t very depressed when I was younger, but I used to think about suicide a lot when I was younger,” she explained. “I don’t know why, though. Maybe it’s just a weird fascination I used to have, but yeah, I used to think about it. I don’t think I ever would have gone through with it. I don’t know.”

Turner also revealed social media played a large role in her struggles. She noted comments on her weight, acne and acting ability dampened her happiness when she was growing up while working on Game of Thrones. “I would just believe it. I would say, ‘Yeah, I am spotty. I am fat. I am a bad actress.’ I would just believe it,” Turner said. “I would get [the costume department] to tighten my corset a lot. I just got very, very self-conscious.”

Join the Discussion

Editor's Pick