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One to watch - Sophia Myles

March 2002   |   Written by Chris Murray

Blink and you may miss her in From Hell, but his is one actress sure to go the distance.

It’s just as well this 22-year-old had a crush on her drama teacher – or else the beautiful Brit may still have her head stuck in a philosophy text book at Cambridge. “Yeah, when I was 16, I was indeed fiercely academic,” she laughs. “The ambition or desire to act was never there… but he [the said teacher] was quite tasty!” The schoolgirl crush soon led to an amateur play, where her talent was spotted by the local BBC, who followed up with an offer to play Lady Jane Gray in a TV production of The Prince and The Pauper.

The conscientious young lass soon found herself auditioning for a film version of the book she hated to study, Mansfield Park. “When that audition came up I said ‘not a chance in hell’, I loathed that book. But after reading the screenplay I decided to do it since it was so well written.”

It wasn’t long before Ms Myles decided a uni course learning about Jane Austen or Harold Pinter didn’t compete with actually living out the stories on film. “I mean, when I was in Oliver Twist I had to do a childbirth scene, in Nicholas Nickleby I had a rape scene – then I jump into bed with Johnny Depp in From Hell!”

The latter was a dream that almost did’t come true – luckily, after her commitments to another production kept her from a larger role in the horror/thriller, she was talked into the brief cameo. “When they said I have his baby… I said ‘when do I start?'”

With many more projects on the way, and yet another corset romp scheduled for 2002 with The Abduction Club, Sophia Myles is a name you should get used to hearing. Modestly, Sophia sums up the journey from high school crush to slipping between the sheets with Depp: “I’ve had an amazing time, just like Hugh Grant says in Notting Hill – ‘it was surreal, but nice'”