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Sophie Turner talks wrapping Games of Thrones and mental health in Dark Phoenix at NYCC

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Feb 4, 2019, 3:00 PM EST (Updated)

2019 is going to pretty big for Sophie Turner. She will be starring in the final season of the cultural phenomenon Game of Thrones. She's reprising her role as Jean Grey in the movie adaptation of arguably the most famous X-Men story of all time, Dark Phoenix. That's a lot of pressure for one person. Sophie stopped by Shop Studios during New York Comic Con to discuss this and more.

Sophie started off talking about how she got into acting, "I started by faking sick at school," she laughed, "I was SO good that they sent me home every time." She started getting acting jobs around ten years old, and then around 13, her drama teacher sent her and some classmates to audition for Game of Thrones. She was the only one that got a part, but it was okay with her classmates, "They were pretty short, so they all auditioned for Arya."

"Game of Thrones is DONE!" When asked if she wrapped the series, that was her emphatic response. Even though the fans knew it already, it was still hard to hear.

The discussion went more in-depth into Sansa and her character arc during the final season. "I know I have said this before, but this time, Sansa comes into her own this season. Throughout the series, she has felt lost. This season she is very self-assured. She knows what she wants. She will face threats against what she wants. We'll see how that goes." We wonder what the over under is on her sitting on the Iron Throne?

Her last day on set was very emotional for her, and the present she received from the cast and crew didn't help. I was  lucky my last day was surrounded by a LOT of the cast members. It was highly emotional. When I wrapped, they brought out a storyboard of everyone's favorite scene of my character, and everyone signed it. I started bawling."

It's fitting that the discussion moved from the ending of one franchise to relatively the beginning of another for Sophie. Next summer (well, as of right now), the Dark Phoenix will be unleashed on the world. When she originally got the role of Jean, she watched the other movies "hundreds of times" to prepare. For Dark Phoenix, director Simon Kinberg didn't want that approach. "One thing that Simon wanted to emphasize with Dark Phoenix is that this movie is very different from the other X-Men movies. Don't rewatch them, because we are trying to do something completely different."

One difference from the original films that Sophie says will be at the forefront of Dark Phoenix is the storyline of Scott Summers (Tye Sheridan). "At the center of this movie is the relationship between Scott and Jean. Scott is the one who stands by her while she is falling apart. [Dark Phoenix] is an amazing storyline for Scott. He is finally able to step up as a leader in the X-Men." In the previous films, he always took a step back to Wolverine. Seeing the Cyclops that runs the show is a long time coming.

What drew Sophie to this particular movie were the issues that it addressed. "This is the thing with the X-Men movies. They deal with genuine problems. They are alienated from society. They deal with segregation and racism. It's really exciting that they deal with women empowerment. This movie also deals with mental health. My family has a history of mental health, and this story deals with it in a non-gimmicky way that's awesome to put on the screen." While mental health has become a more open issue over the last few years, it still has somewhat of a stigma about it. There will be many fans pleased to know that it will be addressed and talked about on one of the biggest stages possible.

The panel closed with Sophie talked what the future held for her, now that she has finished shooting two huge franchises. "I am going to take a LONG vacation. I haven't even thought about my next project, and I am LOVING it." 

After the stunning performances we've seen Sophie give over the years, this is a vacation well-deserved.

Dark Phoenix opens in theaters June 7th, 2019 

The Final Season of Game of Thrones premieres April 2019

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of NYCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.