Onscreen Arya Stark’s journey is coming to an end; but in real life Maisie Williams is still early on in hers.
Cast in Game Of Thrones at just 12 years old, the actress showed prodigious talent right from the start, winning a handful of awards and even being nominated for an Emmy. She absolutely nailed her performance and became an instant star.
Unfortunately, along with that level of fame came commensurate expectation.
No, not from the outside — from Maisie herself.
The Daisie app co-creator sat down with interviewer Fearne Cotton for the latest episode of her Happy Place podcast and opened up about how she treated herself in her early days of celebrity.
“I was so set on trying to look like I was really grown up and that I wasn’t going to ruin my life and that I was going to be a good actor who did all the right things. It did take a lot of trying to be squeaky clean — I was a real teacher’s pet, but on the fame spectrum and not school.”
Awww. She was masking her true self like a faceless man in an effort to keep some imaginary flawless appearance.
It took a long time for her to realize she wasn’t “happy doing this and pretending everything was fine.”
“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 just really have fun.
That can be a dangerous thing for more than just the celeb trying to uphold an impossible standard; Maisie realized keeping that up could instill that same standard on young girls who look up to her.
It wasn’t fair to her or to them:
“There’s no worse role model than someone who isn’t being genuine. So I thought, no matter what happens, whether it’s good or bad, everyone makes mistakes and things happen that you regret. And if you try and paint this picture of a perfect girl, you’re only gonna get found out. So just do you. And that’s what girls should look up to.”
Such a great lesson!
— fearne cotton (@Fearnecotton) May 14, 2019
Of course, Maisie isn’t done with her own journey.
One of her biggest hurdles is still self-loathing.
See, holding herself to such high standards obviously meant she was always falling short. She revealed:
“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.”
It seems impossible someone beloved by so many would hate herself. But she did. And she still does:
“I still lay in bed at like eleven o’clock at night telling myself all the things I hate about myself. There’s still a journey, I think. But at least dropping the act and just being who you truly are, I think that’s definitely a first step.”
So what’s the key to getting yourself out of that hole?
You have to dig.
Maisie has found the only way to get to overcome her mental health issues was to get to the root of them:
“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.”
So wise! And at such a young age still!
Arya’s story may be over, but we can’t wait to see what Maisie does.
[Image via Ivan Nikolov/WENN/Maisie Williams/Instagram.]
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