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Hype: Sophia Myles

August 2002   |   Written by Ceri Thomas

The Abduction Club‘s feisty tomboy on whining actors, playing the virgin and bedding Johnny Depp

Your average thespian probably can’t remember exactly when they decided an actor’s life was for them. Not Sophia Myles. She recalls the instant with crystal clarity.

“The defining moment was being in bed with Johnny Depp,” laughs the 22-year-old. “I thought: ‘Okay, this is serious now… I obviously haven’t done too badly’.” The bedroom antics in question came about when she was cast as Depp’s wife in Ripper thriller From Hell “I flew out to Prague for one night to do this love scene with him and then came back. It infuriates me when journalists say things like: ‘Oh, it must have been so difficult and so on.’ Um, no. I was paid money to go to bed with Johnny Depp. I have a fantastic life!”

Over the last year, that “fantastic life” has seen her appearing in videos for Bush and Ronan Keating, racking up TV work and starring in this month’s The Abduction Club. Set in 18th century Ireland, it centres on the efforts of dashing but poor noblemen Matthew Rhys and Daniel Lapaine to kidnap themselves a rich heiress for a wife. But they bite off more than they can chew when they abduct Myles’ feisty Lady Anne Kennedy.

“I was so excited about The Abduction Club,” says the star of period telly adaptions Oliver Twist and Mansfield Park. “I’ve been playing the innocent young virgin for a long, long time, always the wronged maiden, suppressed and innocent. And suddenly this role came along that was so much closer to me. Anne’s a tomboy, she’s adventurous, she’s upbeat.”

Filmed during three months in Ireland, the shoot wasn’t always easy. “I was just desperate to go out at lunchtime and fly kites with the boys but the costume department said: “No, you can’t. You’ll get your dress dirty.’ Matthew and Daniel complained that it was cold and they had to trundle through this mud. I said: ‘Try it in a pair of high heels and a corset that’s restricting your waist by five inches!”

She’s not complaining though. “I do get pissed off when actors whinge about how it’s hard and it’s not real and all that. But at the end of the day, it has to be fun. And as soon as it stops being fun, I won’t do it any more.”