The Role Joe Jonas Played In Sophie Turner’s Battle With Her Mental Health Is So Important

It's all about support.

Sophie Turner has recently been very open about the struggles she faced growing up in the extreme spotlight that came along with her Game of Thrones fame.

Turner has admitted that she dealt with depression for the majority of the time she has been on the show, including suicidal thoughts and an eating disorder. She has openly celebrated therapy as a saving grace for her and encouraged others to seek professional help (a necessity that’s unfortunately not accessible to everyone financially or time-wise, but important to encourage to help destigmatise).

Now in an interview with The Sunday Times, Turner highlighted how important the actions of your support network can be when you’re facing these kinds of mental health struggles.

Specifically, she called out the role of her now-husband Joe Jonas played in her recovery. Speaking about when she met Joe back when she was 20 years old, the now-23-year-old said,

“I was going through this phase of being very mentally unwell.

“He was like, ‘I can’t be with you until you love yourself, I can’t see you love me more than you love yourself.’

“That was something, him doing that. I think he kind of saved my life, in a way.”

Supporting a loved one who is struggling with their mental health can look like a lot of different things. Sometimes it takes just ‘being there’ for them, and sometimes true support requires a stronger approach, like the one Joe Jonas seems to have used to support Sophie Turner.

It’s a good example of how selflessness and not always opting for the ‘easy’ route is so crucial in relationships.

Like her co-star and best friend Maisie Williams’ recent admission, Sophie Turner also indicated that the cost of the Game of Thrones fame may not be worth it.

“Having your adolescence being displayed in public, that’s something I really wish hadn’t happened.” she said.

“Being in the age of social media when that’s happening, I think I would be a much saner person if I hadn’t been documented from 13 – your most awkward, uncomfortable, unsure-of-yourself years.”

Both Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams being honest about the intimate details of their experience with mental health difficulties helps to dismantle the stigma around talking about it, and it’s part of what makes them such amazing public figures.

How Would The Jonas Brothers Transition From Purity Rings To Unashamedly Sexual Adults Have Gone Down Without The Band Hiatus?

Would they have needed a Miley moment or gotten away with a cruisy Zac Efron evolution?

The Jonas Brothers reigned during their 2005-2010 heyday with the classic squeaky-clean image that is signature of Disney child stars. After the band broke up in 2011, the Jonas Brothers brand was latent and the individual fame of each brother garnered significantly less public scrutiny.

Basically, what that meant was that Joe, Nick, and Kevin could transition out of the purity ring-wearing ~good~ boy image they repped under Disney without extreme public attention.

They managed to skip the inevitable public shock that most Disney child stars face and waltzed back into our lives in 2019 as the older, spicier versions of themselves. Now they’re celebrating successful music debuts with ‘Sucker’ and ‘Cool’, an upcoming album and going on tour for the first time in six years.

Congratulations boys.

In the interview that accompanies this incredible cover shoot with Paper magazine, the Jonas Brothers talk about outgrowing their juvenile Disney image.

“We were having to censor ourselves, I think any artist could relate. That’s not fun. We were at a standstill with our TV show and the movies. We were young adults, having to pretend like we’re young teenagers,” Joe said.

While all the boys are very clear about their gratitude to Disney, Nick notes that breaking out of the wholesome aesthetic is something that a lot of artists find challenging, and they were glad to skip it.

“If we had continued to try to push things forward the way we were operating, it might have been difficult.” Nick said. “Perhaps we would have had to make bolder statements… shocked people into understanding who we are. I think the world is more accepting of us as adults than they would have been if we insisted, “This is who we are now, accept us.”

So, how would things have gone down if the Jonas Brothers had stayed together and had attempted their transition from virtuous children to the mature, unashamedly sexual young men they openly are today?

Based off the experiences of other Disney-born child stars, most of the shock and outrage is focused on women when their virginal girlhood faltered. Boys never receive the same level of scrutiny – though there were few with such a thoroughly wholesome image as the Jonas Brothers.

At the end of the day, the Jonas Brothers would have provoked more shock, but the intense slut-shaming is reserved for women.

As soon as Britney Spears dropped the virginal aesthetic and took ownership of her sexuality it was the subject of judgement and obsession. Every tabloid and every person had an opinion on whether Britney grew up ‘too fast’, or dressed ‘too sexy’, and everyone was obsessed with her virginity.

Dealing with the public’s judgment and sense of ownership over her body through her journey into adulthood became a defining factor of Britney’s career.

Miley Cyrus is a perfect example of how the pressure to stick to the wholesome image we were first introduced to can lead artists to lean into the outrage and make extra bold, shocking statements on purpose. That’s more descriptive of Miley’s later career moves, but back in 2008 she faced pubic outcry over appearing scantily clad in a Vanity Fair cover. 

She was 15 and released a statement of apology, which she has since retracted. Because girls and women should not feel like they have to apologise for taking ownership over their bodies.

Vanessa Hudgens was slut shamed by the public and Disney itself when a hacker leaked her private nude photos onto the internet without her permission. The fact that a young woman had enjoyed her sexuality in her own privacy incensed the public is just about the most misogynist attitude to have about that situation.

Vanessa Hudgens deserved better than apologising for a man committing a cyber crime against her.

Meanwhile, Vanessa Hudgens’ High School Musical co-star Zac Efron never garnered any significant attention during his transition into adulthood. He has enjoyed smooth sailing.

I actually can’t think of a time when Zac Efron’s sexuality wasn’t just openly celebrated.

The list goes on, and the double standard is potent. There’s no doubt that the Jonas Brothers experience would have looked different to Efron’s had they stayed in the limelight, but it would have looked nothing like Miley’s, or Britney’s, or Vanessa’s, or any of the female child stars.


Game Of Thrones Fame Is Bittersweet And Maisie Williams Has Decided To Instead Prioritise Her Mental Health

"It's not worth it."

Maisie Williams was 13 years old when she joined the cast of Game of Thrones as the definitive fan favourite Arya Stark, and now at 22, she’s being very frank about how the past eight years have affected her mental health.

In an interview on the Happy Place podcast, Williams admits that her mental health and self-esteem suffered because of the extreme fame brought on by the Game of Thrones franchise and the social media criticism that is inevitably paired with that.

“It got to me a lot, because there’s just a constant feed in your back pocket of what people think of you,” Williams explained.

“It got to the point where I’d be in a conversation with my friends and my mind would be running and running and running and thinking about all the stupid things I’d said in my life, and all of the people that had looked at me a certain way, and it would just race and race and race,” she said. “We’d be talking and I’d be like, ‘I hate myself.’”

Maisie Williams has made it abundantly clear time and time again how grateful and appreciative she is of her opportunity to be a part of Game of Thrones, and publicly sharing the darker side of that experience is a bold stand for the importance of mental health.

In spite of the perks of fame, notoriety and money that came with her role, Williams has decided that fame is “not worth it.” So, as the series comes to a close, Maisie Williams plans to take a break from acting.

“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 opened up about the pressure she felt to assure herself and others that “everything is fine” because her situation was so envied. But understandably, going through your teen years with that immense scrutiny took its toll.

“It gets to a point where you’re almost craving something negative so you can sit in a hole of sadness, and it’s really bizarre the way it starts to consume you.” She said.

It seems it was only last year that Maisie Williams developed a hold on self-care and “just took a step away from it all.”

“Last year, I think in my own personal life, I went through a lot of revelations where I was like, ‘I’m not very happy doing this and pretending that everything’s fine’. She said.

“That wasn’t like a public thing, but after going through that, I’ve tried to be a lot more genuine. It just becomes a lot more relaxing after that. Once you drop it all, that’s when you can really have fun.”

She’s still working on her self-care, admitting that.

“I still lie in bed at, like, 11 o’clock at night telling myself all the things I hate about myself,” Williams 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.”

Maisie’s co-star and best friend Sophie Turner similarly has opened up about mental health challenges she faced amidst the extreme fame. Talking about the struggles that were coupled with their Game of Thrones experiences is a brave way to help debunk myths around mental health and success.

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