Maisie Williams Got Real About Why 'Game of Thrones' Made Her Feel "Lost"

"It's hard to even put myself back there and talk about how tough it was."

Maisie Williams exiting NYC building
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Growing up in the spotlight isn't easy—just ask any of the former child stars from Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. But aside from long hours and mistreatment by the industry and fans alike, there's a less-discussed factor at play. How do you differentiate yourself from the character you've come to be known for?

Maisie Williams, for instance, signed on to play Arya Stark in Game of Thrones when she was only 12. "I was so lost for so long and I knew that I was, and when I couldn't pin down what I felt my identity was within that, it brought me a lot of discomfort,” the actress said to The Sunday Times (via People). "It's hard to even put myself back there and talk about how tough it was just because I think it's done."

The HBO series ran for eight seasons, coming to a close in 2019. Since then, Williams has appeared on a number of other TV shows, the most recent being Apple TV's The New Look, where she plays legendary designer Christian Dior's sister, Catherine. She's also experimented with daring new style looks, including a Matrix-inspired getup for the 2021 Met Gala and a slicked-back pixie cut.

Met Gala 2021

Maisie Williams at the 2021 Met Gala

(Image credit: Theo Wargo / Getty Images)

And while Williams told The Sunday Times that she's now "a lot more comfortable in my own skin," that feeling of being "lost" affected her auditions for non-GOT projects.

"It was at its absolute worst when I also was the most out of touch with myself—not knowing your identity and that kind of thing—I think rejection at that point felt so personal, so painful," Williams told the U.K. outlet. "I'd solely compare myself to other actresses, and the way people looked, and all of the most destructive ways that you can compare yourself."

Williams' post-GOT journey hasn't always been easy, but the show did bring her lifelong friendships. She was one of two maids of honor at her costar Sophie Turner's wedding to Joe Jonas. The pair attended Kit Harington and Rose Leslie's 2018 wedding, too.

Meghan De Maria
Celebrity News Writer

Meghan is a freelance news writer at Marie Claire. Her work has also ppeared in Bustle, Refinery29, Popsugar, and other outlets. When she isn't writing, Meghan runs a community for plus-size people in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina.