Maisie Williams says 'Game of Thrones' fame seriously affected her mental health and self-esteem

The star, who plays Arya Stark in the show, said it was a challenge for her to balance life as a teenager while managing her fame on the franchise.


                            Maisie Williams says 'Game of Thrones' fame seriously affected her mental health and self-esteem

Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams says fame has had a detrimental effect on her mental health and overall self-esteem.

During an appearance on the Happy Place podcast, Williams, who plays Arya Stark in the hit HBO series, explained how it was a challenge for her going through the roller-coaster life of a teenager while also coming to terms with her fame on the show.

Williams was only 13 when she was cast as Arya, one of the leading roles in the show. There was a period when she became overwhelmed with all the criticism on the internet.

"It gets to a point where you're almost craving something negative, so you can just sit in a hole of sadness," she said.

Actor Maisie Williams attends the premiere of HBO's "Game Of Thrones" season 7 at Walt Disney Concert Hall on July 12, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

Williams, who is now 22, said she has tried to move past what people had to say about her role. However, she sometimes still thinks about the comments that hurt her.

"I still lie in bed at, like, 11 o'clock at night telling myself all the things I hate about myself," she said. "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."

Sophie Turner, Williams' co-star and close friend who plays her sister Sansa Stark, revealed last month how she dealt with depression during the show.

Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner at the "Game of Thrones" Season 8 screening at the Waterfront Hall on April 12, 2019, in Belfast. (Getty Images)

Now, as the hit series comes to its logical (or not) conclusion on Monday, Williams is looking forward to her fame quieting down so she can take out some time to live a "normal life."

"Honestly, I want a normal life," she said. "I don't want any of this crazy, crazy world because it's not worth it."

Williams wants to find happiness by not trying to be who people want her to be, but rather focus on being herself. "It sounds really hippy-dippy and like look within you to find peace, but it is true," she said. "At the end of your day, you're making yourself feel this way for a reason."