Sophia Myles On The Set Of 'Moonlight'
The CBS television series Moonlight is British actress Sophia Myles’ first experience with doing U.S. television, and she’s loving every minute of it. No stranger to the sci-fi/fantasy genre, Myles has had memorable roles in Underworld, Thunderbirds, Doctor Who and a BBC production of Dracula. Now, as Beth Turner, she is the love interest of vampire private investigator Mick St. John (Alex O’Loughlin).
Myles took time out of filming the second to last episode of the season to talk to MediaBlvd Magazine about what’s in store for her character.
MediaBlvd Magazine> Were you surprised by the success of the show?
Sophia Myles> Yeah. Coming into it, none of us really had any expectations and the success of it all has blown my mind. It’s really, really thrilling. The one thing that we love the most is that our fan base is so huge. I hear they’re giving blood now, and that says something, in itself. They’re donating blood to the Red Cross to try to make sure CBS gives us a second season.
MediaBlvd> What’s up with you and vampires, with Dracula, Underworld and now this show?
Sophia> I don’t know. I can’t seem to keep them away from me. You’ll have to ask the vampires about that.
MediaBlvd> Are you a fan of the genre?
Sophia> Not really, if I’m honest. I don’t mind it, but I’ve yet to make the connection between why drinking blood from somebody is sexy. It doesn’t quite float my boat. But, I’m very interested in the immortality theme, more than anything else. As a storyteller, I enjoy playing out that relationship, and the fact that Mick won’t age and Beth will. That’s what I’m interested in.
MediaBlvd> For those who might be unfamiliar with the series, how would you describe your character?
Sophia> To me, Beth is a very pure and honest girl. She embodies femininity, and she’s this archetypal female. I like to play her in such a way that women who are watching the show can use this character as a vehicle to imagine themselves in that situation. I try to make her as real as possible, and somebody that people can relate to.
MediaBlvd> Are you happy with where Beth is at, in the final episodes of the season?
Sophia> Yeah, I am. It’s interesting. Reality is setting in now. It’s definitely clear that they’ve made a commitment to each other, but a lot of things are coming up. There are a lot of stories about Mick’s past and past loves, and that’s something that they have to deal with. A vampire has a lot more history than your average human being because he’s lived so much longer.
MediaBlvd> Is your new short haircut going to be worked into the show?
Sophia> Not as of now, no. I had extensions in my hair, for the series. I’ve got very, very fine hair, naturally, and when I took them out, it completely destroyed my hair. Note to any girls out there: don’t start with extensions because it’s a recipe for disaster, especially if you’ve got fine hair. I had it all chopped off to cut out the damage, so now they’re wigging me. I have a 3/4 piece wig, so they use the front bit of my hair. It’s all fake. It’s Hollywood, baby.
MediaBlvd> Where would you like to see Beth go in Season 2? Should she and Mick get together, or should they stay apart?
Sophia> I don’t know. It’s really interesting. The more that this story continues to progress, sitting back objectively, I don’t see how there is a happy future. I wouldn’t recommend, to any girls out there, to get involved with a vampire, now that I know what it entails, because there are issues. Can they have kids together? She’s going to age and he’s not, so I don’t know. But, they’re madly in love with each other, so that takes over from everything else. Gradually, she is starting to think about the realities of the situation. As with any relationship, human or non-human, after a couple months of hanging out, you do get to that point where you say, “Well, where are we going then? Is there a future in this?” So, I expect that there will be some kind of ultimatum, at some point. There’s going to have to be.
MediaBlvd> And, Eric’s character presents a new option for Beth?
Sophia> Yeah. They brought in a new hunk to spice things up a bit, so we’ll see. At this point, it’s purely a professional relationship between her and him. Mick and Beth are quite wary of him, at the beginning, because he’s very tough and forthright and rude. I think she’s only interested in him professionally, at this point.
MediaBlvd> Do you think ADA Ben Talbot is a better match for Beth?
Sophia> I’m not sure. I don’t know the character well enough yet to say.
MediaBlvd> Are you opposed to Beth being turned into a vampire?
Sophia> I think it’s an option, and I’m sure that it’s one that she will think about, but I think she still needs to actually learn more about the realities of it. And, also, Mick hasn’t yet given her any kind of solid commitment. I’d like to see a nice big diamond, before she gets turned.
MediaBlvd> Can you talk about the working relationship that you and Alex have?
Sophia> Alex is the older brother that I’ve never had. And he’s also the best acting partner. He really is the co-star of my dreams, especially on a show like this. I see him more than I’ve ever seen any boyfriend in my life. We’re with each other for 20-hour days sometimes, and if we didn’t get along, it would be an absolute nightmare. But, our relationship is based on humor, so we laugh a lot. Too much, sometimes.
MediaBlvd> What is the best way to get Alex to laugh?
Sophia> Talk about poo.
MediaBlvd> How did you first get into acting?
Sophia> I was never interested in drama. I was very, very academic at school, and I had a place to read philosophy at Cambridge University, which I never went to. When I was 16 years old, there was a very, very handsome teacher, walking around the halls, and I thought, “Oh, who’s that?” He was new, and he turned out to be the new drama teacher, so I thought, “I’ll do that subject then.” And then, I was doing a play as part of the exam at 16, and Julian Fellowes, who was the scriptwriter for Gosford Park, was producing a lot of stuff, at the time, and he offered me a job in a period drama for the BBC. The minute I walked onto a film set, I just completely fell in love, hook, line and sinker. I was madly in love with it. From then on, I knew that that was the only thing I wanted to do, so I got myself an agent and just kept plowing away.
MediaBlvd> Did you come to the United States just for acting?
Sophia> I’ve been coming to L.A. since I was 21, and I just turned 28. I came over here, for the first time, with literally $200 in my pocket and a massive overdraft in my bank account, back in England. I was actually very lucky because the first audition I went to, when I first came here, was for Underworld, and I got the job, and then got an agent out here as well. Alex and I have both been coming over here for the best part of a decade, knocking on people’s doors and trying to get jobs. I came out last March and had a hideous trip and couldn’t get arrested. I said, “That’s it! I’m sick and tired of trying to sell myself out here. They can wake up and smell the coffee. Unless I have a job, I’m not coming back.” And, about three weeks later, once I had decided I’d had enough with L.A., I got a letter at my door, offering me this gig. The rest is history.
MediaBlvd> How do you like L.A.?
Sophia> I really like it. L.A. is great. It’s the most fabulous city in the world, if you’re employed. It’s the most awful city in the world, if you’re unemployed. But, both Alex and I have been made to feel so welcome. We’re working at Warner Bros. It’s a dream come true. I got so giddy when we came back to film the final four episodes of the season because they had spray-painted my name on my parking space. I called my parents and said, “You’ll never believe it. I’ve made it! I’ve got my own parking space at Warner Bros.” That was a big deal.
MediaBlvd> How does film and television in the UK differ from America?
Sophia> There’s definitely a huge difference. I’d never done television before. The main difference is the hours. I had no idea. This is definitely going to prepare me for childbirth because sleep deprivation is a big key in this job. A 17-hour day is a regular work day. And because it’s a vampire show, a lot of it’s shot at night, so I’m seeing the moon a lot more than I’m seeing the sun. But, it’s very, very fast, and it’s a lot more about the money here than it is about the creativity. That was a big adjustment for me to make. It’s 99% about the cash and 1% about the creativity. We’re working for corporations, and they’re more concerned about who is advertising during the commercial breaks. But, I’m not interested in any of that. I’m interested in how many hearts and souls we’re moving in people that are seeing the show. The fan base eliminates all the rest of that crap.
MediaBlvd> You have a Viking/science fiction film, called Outlander, coming out? Can you talk about what that is?
Sophia> It will be out sometime this year. It’s set in 709 A.D. I play a Viking warrior princess in a small Viking village. Right at the beginning of the story, an alien ship crash lands onto Planet Earth, and onboard is Jim Caviezel, from The Passion of the Christ, and this terrifying Morwin, that looks like a dragon/bull. He’s brought that with him, from a galaxy far, far away. It’s an epic adventure, where we try to slay the beast. I haven’t seen that mixture of period and science fiction before, so that was interesting to me.
MediaBlvd> Why do you think you’re attracted to these larger-than-life roles? Are you a fan of sci-fi?
Sophia> I’d pick sci-fi over vamps. I’m into that. There’s got to be other forms of life out here. I think we’d be incredibly self-centered to think that us, on Planet Earth, are the only thing out there. That fascinates me.
MediaBlvd> Have you watched Doctor Who since you’ve been on it?
Sophia> No, I haven’t for awhile, actually. I haven’t seen it over here.
MediaBlvd> Don’t you think your character on Moonlight almost mirrors your character on Doctor Who?
Sophia> It’s like the girl in the fireplace, but it carries on and on. From making that episode of Doctor Who, I know how riveted people were by that story and the power of that story. This explores that much more deeply, which is interesting.
MediaBlvd> Is there an actor that you’d like to work with?
Sophia> I’d really like to work with Christian Bale. He’s up there on my list, definitely.
MediaBlvd> What about directors?
Sophia> I’d like to work with Tim Burton.
MediaBlvd> In real life, what’s your greatest fear?
Sophia> I’m very frightened of deep water and the sea. I’m not great with that. And humans frighten me as well, quite a lot.