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Five Stars ...

January 2001   |   Written by Marianne Brace

Marianne Brace talks to five artists who are about to be big

SOPHIA MYLES ACTRESS
She has given birth on screen, been ravished an a billiard table, and ridden horseback half-way across Ireland – and all before hitting 21. Vicar’s daughter Sophia Myles was spotted at sixteen in a school play and offered a small part in the television version of The Prince and the Pauper. Filming during her GCSEs, she revised at night in a hotel and still got ten grade As. During her A levels, she appeared in Fay Weldon’s Big Women. She turned down a place at Cambridge in favour of acting. ‘Doing what I do sets me on fire.’

Rather like Kate Winslet with Slavic eyes (she has a Russian grandmother), Sophia was cast as Susan in Patricia Rozema’s feminist Mansfield Park and as Oliver Twist’s mother in the Bleasdale adaptation (‘I had to stand for hours on top of a cliff crying’). Now she’s starring with Charles Dance in Nicholas Nickleby as the hero’s sister. This year also sees Sophia in two movies – The Abduction Club, a period romp, and From Hell, an American thriller. What is the most exciting thing that has happened yet? ‘I snogged Johnny Depp in From Hell,’ says Sophia. ‘To get paid to spend four hours in bed with Johnny – I kept thinking, “I’m so lucky.'”

‘Nicholas Nickleby’ will be shown on ITV in January.