It’s not a secret that actors often get motivation for their performances in real-life situations and people. For Sophie Turner a motivating force between her character Sansa Stark and Joffrey Baratheon, during the earlier seasons of Game of Thrones, was none other than Justin Bieber.
You might remember that Sophie’s character was engaged to King Joffrey from pretty much the beginning of the series, before she was shunned for Queen Margaery. Spoiler: King Joffrey ultimately died after being poisoned, but not before killing Sansa’s father and her horrible wolf.
But at the very beginning of the series, then-naïve Sansa was infatuated — maybe even in love — with Joffrey and his royal status. So Sophie did what any of us would have and looked to her IRL crush for motivation.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Sophie shared that she pictured Joffrey as Justin during early filming of the series, following the advice of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. There may not be much physical similarity between the “Sorry” singer and actor Jack Gleeson, who played GoT’s malicious young king, but Sophie’s rationale kind of makes sense.
“She sees the world through rose-tinted glasses at the very beginning,” Sophie told the magazine about Sansa’s early days.
“She is completely oblivious to who the royal family are. It’s like any Justin Bieber fan — they don’t realize Justin has his darkness about him. [I was] a Belieber, with a whole wall in my bedroom dedicated to him. David and Dan always told me, ‘Look at Joffrey as if he’s Justin Bieber and imagine that life.’”
Apparently, that isn’t to say Justin is a brutal oppressor, but that an initial (and borderline obsessive) besotted-ness can disregard the reality that we’re all intricate human beings with flaws and emotions, superstar or not, royal or peasant.
We can see where young Sophie was going with the inspo and speculate what other celebs could have impacted her acting now that GoT is coming to an end.