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Interview: Sophie Turner Plays Powerful Dark Phoenix

The Game of Thrones actress talks X-Men stunts and challenges.

Jun 03, 2019

By: Lynn Barker

23-year-old British actress Sophie Turner, who recently married singer Joe Jonas, was a teen when she took on the challenging role of noblewoman Sansa Stark in the long-running TV saga “Game of Thrones”. The red-haired Sansa went through personal torture and more to finally become the Queen she deserved to be. Sophie, who played Jean Grey in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, reprises that role in her current action film Dark Phoenix in which we see Jean gain incredible powers that corrupt her until her fellow X-Men must consider killing her!

Dark Phoenix Final Trailer

 

Sophie as young Sansa StarkSophie as young Sansa StarkCourtesy of HBO

How did Sophie feel about taking this new journey with Jean? What mental issues did she study to get into Jean’s head? What were her first and last scenes in both “Phoenix” and “Game of Thrones”? Find out by reading this cool interview.

The change beginsThe change beginsCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: Sophie, who was your favorite X-Man growing up?

  • Sophie: Jean Grey and I’m not lying. She really was. The first ever comic book I read was the Dark Phoenix comic book and I never read another one until I got X-Men then I read the Dark Phoenix comic book again so it’s the only one I’ve ever read.

Sophie as Jean Grey in X-Men: ApocalypseSophie as Jean Grey in X-Men: ApocalypseCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: Did you ever talk to Famke Janssen (who played Jean in early X-Men films) about playing the character?

  • Sophie: I did. As soon as I got the role in X-Men Apocalypse, I got her e-mail and we e-mailed back and forth about where I was coming from approaching the character and if she had any movies or music that she listened to or any kind of material she read to get into the psyche of Jean. She just kind of gave me her blessing for the role which is really nice to have. When you’re taking over a role from someone you always want to make sure it’s okay with them and she was lovely.

Jean (Sophie) on a less dangerous dayJean (Sophie) on a less dangerous dayCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: What was the biggest challenge taking on the role of Jean Grey in this movie?

  • Sophie: There were a lot of challenges playing this character. I think the biggest challenge was just trying to ground all these fantastical things that are happening to her and ground it with something that will resonate with the audience so it’s not like ‘Oh, look at all those crazy things that are happening to Jean’. We wanted to study mental illness for it, specifically schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder and addiction. That was the hardest or it took the longest. It was a process to figure out what is going on in her head in this movie. So, that was extensive. It was fun.

Jean Grey is exhausted after using her powersJean Grey is exhausted after using her powersCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: There are some brilliant action scenes in this film. What was your favorite to shoot and what was the most challenging to shoot?

  • Sophie: Luckily for me I’m telekinetic (she illustrates moving something by a flash of her fingers). (Not really) but I did a lot of wire work. It’s always fun going up on wires. I love it. I think that’s movie magic. But the most challenging one to shoot was probably a scene where I’m trying to defeat the bad guys and they’re coming at me but they’re otherworldly and they run incredibly fast.
  • They would be on a wire that pulled them along really quickly and they would have to stop right in front of me and we had to make sure the mark was just right because I had to hold my hand out like this (she indicates a stiff arm all the way out). They would come very close to my hand to the point of me thinking ‘Oh my God. Am I going to break my hand?’ But, it was a lot of fun. That was the most dangerous thing and it really wasn’t that dangerous. I’m safe. I’m unhurt.

Jean Grey in full Dark Phoenix modeJean Grey in full Dark Phoenix modeCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: You have a lot of quality time in this film with Jessica Chastain who is obviously new to this franchise, what was it like working with her?

  • Sophie: It’s amazing working with Jess. To have such amazing scenes between two, strong female characters (is great). Jessica is kind of an antagonist but she is also empowering Jean so it’s these really wonderfully complex scenes that aren’t just between good and evil so that was amazing but also Jess is just so much fun to work with. She’s a real prankster. She likes to have a lot of fun. She dances a lot on set. She sings.

Jean is empowered by Jessica Chastain's characterJean is empowered by Jessica Chastain's characterCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: Fun! What distinguishes Dark Phoenix from other films you’ve done in the past?

  • Sophie: I’ve never worked so much with visual effects. I don’t think I’ve ever had such an extensive storyline in two hours. This was definitely an emotional roller-coaster. I’ve never felt as challenged as I have on this movie, especially in a scene where Jessica is showing me all the things my powers can do. We were shooting in like a bedroom and she would go ‘Look at this universe.’ And I’m like ‘Wow, look at those curtains’.

Jean is shown so many wondersJean is shown so many wondersCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: We have to ask. What was the first scene you ever shot on “Game of Thrones” and what was the last?

  • Sophie: I think the first one was kind of a feast scene with all the characters present in Winterfell and Arya flicks pigeon pie at my face. And, the last scene I ever shot was when we had the council and we decide on Bran becoming king and I say ‘The North will be independent’. Those were my last words spoken. ‘The North will remain an independent kingdom as it was for thousands of years’.

Sophie as Sansa Queen of WinterfellSophie as Sansa Queen of WinterfellCourtesy of HBO

Q: And first and last in Dark Phoenix?

  • Sophie: First scene I shot was with Tye (Sheridan) in the bedroom and we were making out. And I remember the last was a scene with Jen (Jennifer Lawrence) that I can’t talk about.

Q: We can’t wait to see it!

See Dark Phoenix in theaters this Friday, June 7th

Jean Grey Character Poster Jean Grey Character Poster Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
What is Your Opinion?

We all want to hear your take on the Dark Phoenix character or X-Men in general or were you a “Game of Thrones” fan who watched Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark? Let everyone know with a comment and/or use your powers and write about it on your Kidzworld profile page!