Maisie Williams reveals details of her childhood for the first time

The 25-year-old has previously spoken about her mental health struggles
Maisie Williams reveals details of her childhood for the first time

Connie Evans, PA Entertainment Reporter

Maisie Williams has spoken candidly about her “traumatic” relationship with her father, which she says left her feeling like there was “something wrong” with her.

The 25-year-old actress grew up in Somerset with her mother and three siblings, before finding fame as Arya Stark on Game of Thrones at the age of 12.

Speaking on The Diary Of A CEO podcast, Williams told host Steven Bartlett: “I, as a young child before the age of, like, eight, had quite a traumatic relationship with my dad. And I don’t really want to go into it too much because it affects my siblings and my whole family.

“But that really consumed a lot of my childhood. Ever since I can remember I’ve really struggled sleeping.

“I think a lot of the traumatic things that were happening, I didn’t realise that they were wrong.

“But I knew, I would look around at other kids and be like, ‘Why don’t they seem to understand this pain, or dread, or fear? Where does the joy… When does that come for me?'”

Williams grew tearful during the interview, prompting Bartlett to say: “We can stop as much as you want by the way. We don’t have to carry on,” before eventually getting up from his chair to give the actor a hug.

Williams detailed her experience of finding help while at school, saying: “When I was about eight…it had met its peak and I was at school and I was obviously really struggling.

“I was taken by a teacher to the staff room and she was saying ‘What’s wrong, what’s happened, are you hungry?’.

“She said ‘did you eat breakfast’ and I said ‘we just don’t have breakfast’ and then she said ‘do you normally have breakfast’ and I said ‘not really.’

“And so you know they were asking the right questions.

Premiere of Pistol – London
Maisie Williams arriving for the premiere of Pistol (Ian West/PA)

“My mum came to school and picked me up…It was the first time that all of the doors were open and all of these things that we were experiencing were out on the table and it was really really hard.”

While further explaining her relationship with her father, Williams said she feels as though she was “indoctrinated in a way”.

“I think that’s why I’m obsessed with cults.

“My whole world flipped on it’s head,” she said.

“It’s not because of me that these bad things happened when I was a child.

“I felt that there was something inherently wrong with me or us because we did lots of things wrong all the time which is like why you would be mistreated.

“Taking that step back and seeing it more objectively kind of like makes me more interested in the guy.

“I’m like what happened to you as a kid? Did you pull the legs off bugs or did you learn this?

“That’s how I feel about him now, he would make a fascinating documentary and it’s nice to not feel the personal pain of that anymore.”

Williams has previously been open about her mental health struggles, including dealing with depression and low self-esteem.

She spoke frankly about the impact Game Of Thrones has had on her life, telling Bartlett: “I sometimes worry that I’m alienated because it all happened when I was so young and like literally from the age of 12 I’ve been, like, set for life.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more