Maisie Williams Opened Up About Her Mental Health And ‘Hating Herself’

Maisie Williams recently got candid about her career and mental health in an interview with Fearne Cotton on the Happy Place podcast.

As the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones comes to a close on Sunday with the series finale, Williams—who plays Arya Stark, killer of the Night King and arguably the most badass character on the show—opened up about how her self-hatred sometimes keeps her up at night, how she is tired of her time in the spotlight, and the steps she’s taken to improve her mental health.

“Honestly I want a normal life…I don’t want any of this crazy, crazy world because it’s not worth it,” says Williams as the podcast episode opens.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Williams continued to explain how over the past year, she’s been “very sad,” telling Fearne, “In my own personal life, I think I just went through a lot of real revelations where I was like, ‘I’m not very happy doing this and pretending everything was fine.'”

The actress added later: “I think there was a period of time where I was very sad, and then I came out of that, and now it’s just really terrifying that you’re ever going to slip back into it. That’s still something that I’m really working on, because I think that’s really hard. It’s really hard to feel sad and not feel completely defeated by it.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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She went on to admit that she sometimes stays awake because of toxic, self-demeaning thoughts. “I still lay in bed at, like, eleven o’clock at night telling myself all the things I hate about myself.”

“I went through a huge period of my life where I’d tell myself every day that I hated myself. It got to the point where I’d be in a conversation with my friends, and my mind would be like running and running and running and thinking about all the stupid things I said in my life and all of people who looked at me a certain way and it would just race and race and race.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Williams revealed that she had to look within herself to really figure out how to fix her negative thinking.

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i feel brand new

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“As soon as you start digging, you start asking yourself bigger questions than ‘Why do you hate yourself?’ but it’s more like ‘Why do you make yourself feel this way?’ I think the answers to all of these questions really are within you.”

On the upside, the Game of Thrones star explained that her mental health has been improving ever since she began focusing on her needs, her identity, and remaining true to her truest self. “That wasn’t a public thing but after going through that, now I’ve sort of tried to be a lot more genuine and it just becomes a lot more relaxing after that I think. You just drop it all and that’s when you can really have fun,” Williams said.

She’s currently working on “dropping the act” and learning about what she wants and who she is. “I think that’s definitely a first step,” Williams told Fearne. “Not trying to be who you want me to be right now in this moment…”

Maisie Williams isn’t the only Game of Thrones star (or Stark sibling) to get real about her struggles with mental health.

Just last month, Sophie Turner—who plays Sansa Stark, sister to Williams’ Arya—appeared on a podcast interview with Dr. Phil and revealed her longtime mental health battle. It all started several years after she began filming Game of Thrones, with Turner chalking it up to constant criticism and hateful comments strangers would make about her appearance.

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“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. I don’t know why though,” Turner said. “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.”

“People used to say, ‘Damn, Sansa gained 10 lbs’ or ‘Damn, Sansa needs to lose 10 lbs’ or ‘Sansa got fat.’ It was just a lot of weight comments, or I would have spotty skin because I was a teenager and that’s normal, and I used to get a lot of comments about my skin and my weight and how I wasn’t a good actress,” said Turner. “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. I would get (the costume department) to tighten my corset a lot. I just got very, very self-conscious.”

She said that when she wasn’t filming, she couldn’t bear to even leave her house or see her friends.

“I just would cry and cry and cry over just getting changed and putting on clothes and be like, ‘I can’t do this. I can’t go outside. I have nothing that I want to do.'”

Turner, like Williams, got help. And now they are both in a much better place than they used to be in terms of self-love and acceptance. THE PACK SURVIVES!!!!

h/t:People, US Weekly