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Watch this face: Sophia Myles

20 June 2004   |   Written by The Independent on Sunday

At last, Lady Penelope is made flesh. Thunderbirds are go next month, and we are pleased to see that, as well as wielding a pink parasol with distinction, Sophia Myles is bringing out the female protagonist’s complexity: “She’s in no way ditzy or stupid, even though she’s always dressed in pink.”

Myles, a vicar’s daughter aged 23, was spotted at 16 by Julian Fellowes, and invited to play Lady Jane Grey on television. As with Helena Bonham Carter before her, this character’s misfortunes were rather to the actress’s advantage, and Myles went on to star in Mansfield Park, Foyle’s War, and Nicholas Nickleby. (She also cradled a puppy in a Ronan Keating video, but we won’t dwell on that.)

But Myles, a Grace Kelly blonde with “more than a hint of a dotty Fenella Fielding, too” is no prissy madam. “I wish I was a bloke!” she bellows. “I froze my arse off being tarted up for the Baftas.” This kind of tomboy posturing worked for Kate Winslet. And we trust Sophia will bring this spirit to her next role, as Isolde. Oi Tristan, get a move on, I’m freezing!