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Maisie Williams breaks into tears while talking about traumatic childhood

Emma Guinness

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Maisie Williams breaks into tears while talking about traumatic childhood

Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams has broken down in a new interview, which saw her open up about her traumatic childhood.

The actor, 25, made the emotional revelation during an appearance on the Diary of a CEO podcast, which was released today (26 September).

Williams, who was just 12 years old when she landed the role of Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, explained that she has struggled with her mental health from an early age.

She told host Steven Bartlett that a teacher first became aware of the problem when she was eight years old and was struggling to sleep at night.

The 25-year-old said: "I had a traumatic relationship with my dad and ever since I can remember I have struggled sleeping.

"When I was about eight I was really struggling. It had met its peak and when I was at school I was taken by a teacher to the staff room. She ask me what had happened.

"She asked me if I ate breakfast, I said no, and asked if I did most mornings. I said no. They were asking the right questions.

"My mum came to school and picked me up. It was the first time that all of the doors were open and it was the first time things were on the table."

However, she admits that because she was a child, she didn't want to acknowledge the 'traumatic relationship' she had with her father and how it was affecting her.

"I still wanted to fight and say these things aren't wrong, that you're just trying to take me away from my dad," she recalled.

"I was indoctrinated in a way. I think that's why I'm obsessed with cults! My world flipped."

Maisie Williams broke down when describing her 'traumatic' relationship with her father. Credit: The Diary of a CEO podcast
Maisie Williams broke down when describing her 'traumatic' relationship with her father. Credit: The Diary of a CEO podcast

However, the brave actor was able to find a silver lining in her difficult start and explained that it's helped her in her career.

Williams also explained she has suffered from battles with anxiety and her identity, and she taps into them when playing the roles of other people.

"I've known how that feels and it's hugely influenced [me]," she said. "I get to access all of that confusion and pain in my job, and really feel it in every fibre of my being.

"It's all pretend but the emotion is real, it all just came to the surface.

"To be honest, I have been thinking about this a lot - it's not because of me that these bad things happened when I was a child.

"I thought it was. I thought there was something inherently wrong with me, that it could be anyone experiencing the pain.

"It made me more interested in the guy. What could make you mistreat your own children? What happened to you as a kid? Did you pull the legs off bugs? Did you learn all this?

"That's how I feel about him now. He would make a fascinating documentary."

Williams as the fearless Arya Stark. Credit: HBO/Game of Thrones
Williams as the fearless Arya Stark. Credit: HBO/Game of Thrones

The actor said that she's ultimately made peace with her past because she believes that by sharing her story, she might help other people.

She remembered: "I would look around at the other kids and look at the joy and would be like 'when does that come for me?'

"I had the sense of impending doom as a child and didn't know how to make it go away.

"I felt when I saw a kid that all my problem would go away, but then all my problems didn't go away.

"I feel now there is some sort of closure to it, where the journey may help other people whereas before it was just pain, pain pain and pain."

Featured Image Credit: Diary of a CEO podcast/HBO

Topics: Celebrity, TV and Film, Mental Health

Emma Guinness
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