Sophie Turner on how Game of Thrones (and a meme) won her the X-Men gig as the new Jean Grey

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Feb 10, 2015, 6:12 PM EST

With a key role on HBO’s monster hit Game of Thrones, young actress Sophie Turner was already doing pretty well. But here’s how the fantasy series helped her score a role in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Turner, best known to Thrones fans as Sansa Stark, recently signed on for a role in X-Men: Apocalypse as the young version of X-Men team member Jean Grey, previously played by Famke Janseen in the original trilogy of X-Men films (plus a few other cameos). According to Turner, we can apparently thank the hilariously awesome “Dark Sansa” meme for scoring her the gig.

In an interview with IGN, Turner said she believes the darkness she was able to show on the HBO series convinced casting directors that she could definitely handle a character who eventually flips out and turns into the ultra-powerful (and super-dark) Phoenix:

“I think maybe one of the reasons that they chose me for [Jean] is because they saw the dark side of Sansa. Maybe they're thinking, 'Oh, Phoenix, Jean Grey.' I definitely see a lot of parallels in there. [Jean] struggles with her power... and not being accepted in the human world. I think in terms of [Game of Thrones], that's kind of the way Sansa felt in that she really wanted to be a normal princess/queen and live a normal life -- and she doesn't, because of all this havoc happens. I think Jean, in a way, feels that.

I think Famke played Jean incredibly well, but also, I'm playing a younger version of her. I want to emulate Famke in a sense, because she has to seem like the Jean in the first two movies, but I'm also going to put my own twist on her. I think I'm also going to take inspiration from the comics. I don't know, we'll see.”

For a young woman of just 18 years old, Turner seems to have an excellent grasp of what makes Jean Grey tick — and now we’re more excited than ever to see her make the role her own. What do you think? Was she a good choice?

(Via IGN)