Belfast Telegraph

Glad to be leaving Northern Ireland - Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner says abortion laws means she's luckily moving on

Sophie Turner plays Sansa Stark (Arthur Allison/PA)
Sophie Turner plays Sansa Stark (Arthur Allison/PA)
Sansa Stark
Sophie Turner
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner said she was glad to be moving on from filming in Northern Ireland over the country's abortions laws.

The star who plays Sansa Stark in the hit HBO show spent almost a decade in Northern Ireland filming.

She has joined a host of Hollywood names in pledging to boycott US states which have moved to implement stricter abortion laws.

The state of Alabama passed a near total ban and Georgia - which is one of the largest film production areas in America - introduced a "heartbeat law," making abortion illegal as soon as a heartbeat can be heard which could be six weeks into a pregnancy.

During a publicity tour for the new X-Men: Dark Phoenix film, Turner revealed she supported the boycott campaign - which also calls for equal rights for those in the LGBTQ community - although had not told her representatives.

When it was put to the 23-year-old there were similar laws in Northern Ireland, she told Sky News: "There was a lot of work of Game of Thrones there.

"So luckily we're moving on."

The actress also ruled out returning as her Game of Thrones character saying it would "just be more trauma".

Saying she had the "best time" in the role it was time to say goodbye.

“I feel like if I played her again it would be just be more trauma.”

She also revealed her relief at having to keep the shows secrets from diehard fans of the show eager to get a clue as to what direction the show would be taking in future episodes.

To those fans upset with how the final series panned out - with over a million signing a petition for it to be remade - she said the show had a long history of "crazy" twists and turns.

"It shouldn’t be such a negative thing for fans. It’s a shock for sure, but I think it’s just because it hasn’t gone their way.”

The Avengers series of films - one of the biggest franchises in cinema history - has been produced in Georgia.

Among those supporting the boycott campaign in the States are Alex Baldwin, Minnie Driver, Michael Sheen and Alyssa Milano saying they can not "in good conscience continue to recommend our industry remain in Georgia" if the heartbeat remains on the statue books.

Their letter continues: "We want to stay in Georgia.

"But we will not do so silently, and we will do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women if [this] becomes law."

Abortions are illegal in Northern Ireland except in cases where a woman's health is at risk. In 2017 almost 1,000 women travelled to the England and Wales for an abortion.

There has been pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May to implement reform in the continued absence of government and a number of attempts made to pass a law through parliament.

Game of Thrones' stars line up at Waterfront Hall, Belfast for the final season premiere (Liam McBurney/PA)
Game of Thrones' stars line up at Waterfront Hall, Belfast for the final season premiere (Liam McBurney/PA)

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