The Thirteenth Tale

A haunting psychological mystery on BBC Two

Interview with Sophie Turner

Ghostly things don’t really scare me but they really intrigue me. Especially within this - it’s mysterious and psychological and keeps you hooked. It’s not just like a normal ghost story, as we don’t really know what’s going on. That’s something else that stood out for me in the script - it definitely draws you in, you can’t put the script down, that’s for sure."Sophie Turner
Category: BBC Two; Drama

Who do you play?

My character, young Vida, is Emeline’s twin and they have a very special bond with each other, which puts them in a kind of bubble. Vida is very protective of Emeline and of anyone interfering with their relationship. They are each other’s existence; they can’t survive without each other. They were brought up very feral and didn’t really have anyone to teach them the rights and wrongs or social boundaries of life. They are very much involved with each other and have no experience of the outside world so they’re very interesting, intense characters.

What is the Thirteenth Tale all about?

It's the story that Vida Winter has never told.  She’d previously written a book, The Thirteen Tales, but she hadn’t told the ‘thirteenth’ so we are introduced to the audience, knowing that a story is going to be told that is so meaningful to her and deeply affecting, it’s going to be a good story and something that’s integral to Vida’s life. It tells us why she’s so scarred and it’s the untold story that is eventually told.

What appealed to you about the role?

The writing of the script, that’s the kind of thing that you look for. Also the fact that Christopher Hampton had adapted the book so that each and every character had an integral storyline; there were stories within stories and so much going on but it’s all important to the main narrative. Also the element of twins, as I had a twin (who died before birth) I am always drawn to stories about twins and the intense relationship between them. There’s something special about a relationship like that, especially identical twins. I was keen to explore that and how with no social boundaries or knowing how these twins react to each other.

Which of the cast did you work with?

Antonia and I have pretty much every scene together and by the second day people thought we’d known each other for years. We formed a really intense bond, like the twins, and it’s so fun to watch things play out. I also get to work with Janet (Amsden) and Robert (Pugh) who is the funniest person alive. I didn’t have any scenes with Olivia (Colman) but I had lunch with her a few times and freaked out and then ran into my trailer and rang my mum! Don’t tell her that…!  It’s amazing to work with actors that you’ve never worked with before and it’s really fascinating to watch. I think that you form the way that you act from others around you, it’s a kind of an environmental thing.

Do you see any connections between Vida and Sansa, your character in Game Of Thrones?

Well, they are both pretty unhappy and they never smile… Apart from that, I think they are totally different. Sansa is strong in her own right, but when it's towards to her sister, she’s pretty submissive, whereas Vida is the protective one and takes Emeline under her wing. Vida is a very strong, direct personality – she’ll say what she’s thinking, she won’t have any nonsense. Sansa’s very much hidden behind a façade she’s developed and she’s very indirect. So they’re pretty much polar opposites, but they’re both very strong characters.

Are spooky stories something that you enjoy?

Ghostly things don’t really scare me but they really intrigue me. Especially within this - it’s mysterious and psychological and keeps you hooked. It’s not just like a normal ghost story, as we don’t really know what’s going on. That’s something else that stood out for me in the script - it definitely draws you in, you can’t put the script down, that’s for sure.