Birth Name Sophia Jane Myles
Born March 18, 1980
Grew up in Isleworth (west London suburb), England
Home London, England
Education GCSEs and A-Levels, was going to study Philosophy at Cambridge university but pursued acting instead
Hair Colour Blonde
Eye Colour Blue
Height 5’6” (1.68 m)
Skills Horse Riding, Skiing, Skating, Swimming
Languages according to the resumee on her agency’s website: German, French
Trivia has an exceptionally good ear for accents
Father Peter, retired vicar in Isleworth
Mother Jane, works in educational publishing
Brother Oliver (younger) is a lifesaving guard and lives in Cornwall
[su_spoiler title=”Early Life & Beginning of a Career” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]Sophia Jane Myles was born on March 18, 1980 to Peter Myles – a vicar in the Anglican church – and Jane Myles who works in educational publishing. Together with her younger brother Oliver she grew up in the London area of Notting Hill, where she attended the Fox Primary School. When she was 11 years old, her father was relocated to Isleworth, a west London suburb. It was when she started taking Drama at her new school (Green School and later Richmond College) that her talent for acting was first noticed. Drama Teacher Kevin Broadway recalls: “I’ve taught drama for about 20 years and there were about five people in that time who really stood out. She’s one of the best, very talented and I’m really proud of her.”
When she was 16, she participated in a school production of ‘Teechers’ by John Godber and her performance caught the eye of Oscar winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes who happened to be in the audience. He cast her in the BBC Sunday Tea-Time classic drama ‘The Prince & The Pauper’ which he had adapted and was producing at the time. Such was the fairytale-like beginning of Sophia’s real acting career – and the start of her love affair with acting.
The moment the episodes with Sophia Myles as Lady Jane Grey aired on national television, more offers started coming in. Sophia could next be seen as young Saffron in one of the episodes of the 4-part Channel 4 drama ‘Big Women’ about the history of female emancipation. Only a year later – after successfully finishing her A-Levels – Sophia Myles made her debut in feature films when she played Fanny’s younger sister Susan in the adaptation of ‘Mansfield Park’. This was indeed a solid foundation of what was to become a lasting acting career. Still, Sophia intended to take up her place at Cambridge University to study philosophy. First though, she played Agnes Fleming – Oliver’s young tragic mother – in the ITV adaptation of ‘Oliver Twist‘ during her gap year. Afterwards she decided to forego her university plans to be able to pursue acting full-time.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”A Career in UK Television & Movies” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]In the following years she had parts in various projects for TV as well as in feature films. TV projects such as ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ gave her the opportunity to stretch her acting legs while her first parts in feature films were only small. Her appearance as Johnny Depp’s deceased wife in ‘From Hell’ for example lasted only a few seconds. However, bigger and better parts followed soon. She showcased her talent for comedy in the historical romp ‘The Abduction Club’ – which remains much loved, though little known – and proved she was just as comfortable in contemporary roles in the school thriller ‘Out of Bounds’ – even if it didn’t exactly reach expectations and was released straight to video. Regardless of the part or the outlet: Sophia brought the characters she played to life. Thanks to her acting, her charisma and her beauty, each and every one of them catch your attention.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Hype After a Dry Period” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]Despite this promising start, Sophia learned that the entertainment industry doesn’t exactly provide secure employment. For 18 months Sophia Myles didn’t work. There was a promising project which would have featured her in a leading role – but after months of intensive ice skating training it fell through shortly before filming was set to begin. So, Sophia decided to fly to Los Angeles to audition for Hollywood projects, determined to make it work. She was successful and got the job of selfish vampire Erika in ‘Underworld’. Once more, this was a supporting role, but as was the case before, she brought something special to the part and when the movie was released in theatres people talked about her performance. Additionally, it was a break from period dramas and characters trapped in corsets.
Soon after, Sophia Myles made headlines when she beat well-known actresses to the role of Lady Penelope in the feature-adaptation of ‘Thunderbirds’. The hype was huge and Sophia Myles together with the rest of the cast & crew enjoyed some fantastic days out at festivals, premieres and events promoting the movie in 2004. However, it wasn’t received as well as expected and Sophia didn’t become the It-Girl the magazines said this would make her. This was just as well for an actress who enjoys living a normal life and privacy. For Sophia Myles, making ‘Thunderbirds’ was one of the best film-making experiences she’s ever had.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”American Accent & More Television” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]Sophia went back to work in television and back to period costumes in summer 2004 when she accepted the part of Lizzie – the woman who gets between Jack Rose and Tom Willis in ‘Colditz’, the ITV Drama about Prisoners of War in WW2. After ‘Thunderbirds’ premiered in July 2004, Sophia Myles began shooting Terry Zwigoff’s ‘Art School Confidential’ in Los Angeles – a dark comedy with an edgy role for Sophia Myles which gave her the opportunity to showcase her American accent on screen for the first time. Later, Sophia Myles started work on another ITV drama: ‘Marple: Sleeping Murder’. The series is based on the famous Agatha Christie novels and Sophia Myles played Gwenda Halliday who is uncovering a murder from the past together with Miss Marple. It was shot during summer 2005 in picturesque South England.
‘Colditz’ aired in the UK early 2005 and ‘Marple: Sleeping Murder’ a year later while the theatrical release of ‘Art School Confidential‘ was postponed due to the takeover of the movie’s distributor MGM by Sony Classics. The movie finally celebrated its premiere at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and was released in US theatres in spring of the same year. UK residents had a chance to catch it at the 2006 Edinburgh Film Festival. Sadly, it wasn’t as well received by critics as the director’s former work ‘Ghost World‘.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Breakthrough in 2006″ style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]Let’s not forget the project with which most people associate Sophia’s name – ‘Tristan & Isolde’. Ever since the announcement of Sophia Myles taking on the leading role of the tragic heroine Isolde many were impatient to see it. It was filmed at the end of 2003 in Ireland and the Czech Republic. Unfortunately, the movie’s theatrical release was postponed until early 2006 in the US, and it wasn’t until spring 2006 that it premiered in Sophia’s home country. While the unconventional epic about love, loyalty, war and passion against the backdrop of a breathtaking scenery was received with mixed reviews – Sophia’s passionate portrayal of Isolde captured the hearts of many new fans. Irish princess Isolde falls in love with English warrior Tristan – but she doesn’t tell him her real name. When he fights for the Irish king’s daughter on behalf of his future king he doesn’t know what love triangle is thus to unfold.
With all these projects on her resumee Sophia Myles started to be a recognizable face. And it wasn’t just ‘Art School Confidential’, ‘Tristan & Isolde’ and the Marple episode that were released in 2006. In May 2006 she could also be seen as Madame de Pompadour in the hugely popular UK sci-fi television series ‘Doctor Who’. Casting Sophia for the episode ‘Girl in the Fireplace’ without even an audition turned out to be a wise choice for the producers since it is one of the episodes people are still talking about. Indeed, many a Sophia fan first saw her in this episode. Then in July we got to see her in a supporting role with an American accent in the contemporary US television thriller ‘Covert One: The Hades Factor’. Work for both these projects had been completed in 2005. But there was to be more: during summer 2006 Sophia Myles filmed the BBC version of the classic ‘Dracula’ story opposite her ‘Oliver Twist’ co-star Marc Warren and it aired in the UK on one of the last days of 2006.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Recognition & the Hollywood Dream” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]In the midst of promoting all of her projects she ventured north to Scotland during spring 2006 to play the lead role opposite Jamie Bell in independent filmmaker David Mackenzie’s edgy drama ‘Hallam Foe’. The movie premiered at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival and was released in UK theatres in August of the same year after it was screened at the Edinburgh Film Festival. Her layered performance of troubled Kate who becomes the object of Hallam’s obsession – including a perfect Scottish accent – deservedly won her a BAFTA Scotland award.
Sophia spent the last few months of 2006 in remote Canadian Nova Scotia, where she braved the cold for her physically most demanding part yet. She played princess and warrior Freya opposite John Hurt and Jim Caviezel in the sci-fi Viking drama ‘Outlander’.
Before we got to see the movie however, Sophia Myles got an interesting job offer: at the end of June 2007 she was offered the female lead in the US vampire television series ‘Moonlight’ which would mean she’d get to work in the Warner Brothers studios each day. With only days to decide she decided to take her chance to live the Hollywood dream and moved to Los Angeles. The show premiered in September 2007 and instantly won many dedicated fans. Despite the long hours and the many night shoots Sophia enjoyed playing Beth Turner – the mortal who falls in love with vampire PI Mick St. John – not least because she became good friends with her co-star Australian Alex O’Loughlin. Sadly, the show was affected by the writers’ strike and went on hiatus early 2008. After a few months it went back into production and the remaining 4 episodes of the 16-episode series aired in spring 2008. Despite relatively good ratings, winning the People’s Choice Award for Best New TV Drama and a dedicated following the show was surprisingly cancelled after just one season. Sophia’s first foray into serial television and her third American character gained her many new fans, mostly from America.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Taking a break” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]Some consolation could be found when ‘Hallam Foe’ was released in the US under the new title ‘Mister Foe’ during summer 2008 – even if it was a very limited release only. In August 2008 Sophia travelled to Switzerland for the world premiere of the much awaited Viking drama ‘Outlander’ at the Locarno Film Festival. Sadly, the movie’s distributor The Weinstein Company delayed the movie’s release for unknown reasons and eventually the movie was released with very little promotion in just a few theatres in January 2009. The release was slightly better handled in the UK a few months later. Despite great visuals the movie didn’t win the critics over but it was well received by genre fans and Sophia’s portrayal of tough Freya is a must see.
Sophia Myles remained in Los Angeles until the end of 2008 when the homesickness became too much and she returned to London. Despite having an amazing time in LA while she was working and ticking all the material aspirations boxes she realized that something inside her wasn’t fulfilled. Combine this with the fact that the economic crisis also hit the entertainment industry – which meant that there were less original movies and more franchises being produced – and this lead to Sophia’s decision to take some time off from acting. She packed her backpack and travelled to Thailand on her own in summer 2009. On a personal level it was one of the most amazing experiences for her.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”The Comeback” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]On one of the first days in 2010 Sophia was secretly cast for a new role in the 9th series of popular UK spy series ‘Spooks’ (MI-5 in the US). She started filming opposite Richard Armitage and Peter Firth in London in February and it wasn’t until a month later that the secret was out as to what her new project was. Sophia’s debut in ‘Spooks’ as MI-5 agent Beth Bailey who is based on the story of a real life spy premiered on 20th September 2010 on BBC One in the UK. Sophia received a great reception for her portrayal of Beth, however on April 1st 2011 it was revealed that Sophia would not be returning to Spooks for series 10. [/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Project Diversity” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]In September 2011, we received some brilliant news – Sophia Myles had been cast as Grace in Jacob Proctor’s short film ‘A Sunny Morning‘ opposite Charlie Cox. The short film premiered at FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival before going on a festival run before being publically released on June 3rd 2013.
2011 also bore witness to Sophia’s return to stage after 12 years (she had previously had a small role in “The Four Alice Bakers” in 1999). First up was The 24 Hour Plays Celebrity Gala: The Ultimate Theatre Challenge at The Old Vic. Sophia played Kat, a Welsh Star Wars fan who, along with her husband John and fellow Star Wars fans Molly and Jack had kidnapped George Lucas in ‘Greedo Doesn’t Shoot First – a play that had been written, rehearsed and performed within 24 hours. Although Sophia herself claimed that she wasn’t much of a stage actress, this wasn’t the end of her theatre work. In June/July 2012 Sophia played one of 6 wise fools in The Soho Theatre’s production ‘Utopia‘, a story about visions of a perfect world, and received some very positive feedback about her stage presence.
In another ‘first’ for Sophia, June also saw her take part in a Radio Play for BBC 4’s Afternoon Drama. ‘Kicking the Air‘ told the story of a young Iranian student, Reza Mostafai, who is facing deportation and claims asylum on the grounds that he is gay, fearing for his safety if he is returned to his homeland. Sophia plays Fiona his barrister.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”Back on the Big Screen” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]2013/14 proved to be a fantastic time for Sophia career. She filmed two horror films, Blackwood, playing Rachel Marshall opposite Ed Stoppard, and Gallows Hill, where she played Lauren, the fiance of David Reynolds played by Twilight star Peter Facinelli. Sophia was also cast as geologist Darcy Tirrel in Transformers 4: Age of Extinction, the fourth installment of the Transformers franchise. Sophia also made a welcome return to television with roles in the UK and internationally. Sophia guest starred in the two-part finale of global crime drama Crossing Lines as Dr Anna Clarke, a prison psychologist who is kidnapped by an escaped prisoner. She also became a series regular on BBC One’s new drama Our Zoo, based on the creation of Chester Zoo, as Lady Katherine Longmore.
2014 was also an exciting time for Sophia personally as she became a mother to Luke on September 27. [/su_spoiler]
Sophia Myles is one of the most talented and natural British actresses. Over the years she has slowly but steadily built up a reputation of being a serious actress. By only accepting parts that she could believe in she was able to deliver outstanding performances in each one of them. Often, critics are quick to praise her acting – even when Sophia only had a small part in a project or when they didn’t like the movie very much (e.g. Underworld or Thunderbirds). This, combined with her intelligence, down-to-earth attitude and good character makes it a pleasure to follow her career. We cannot wait to hear what is next for this fabulous actress!!
written by Mia and Natalie, don’t copy without permission. Thanks!
last updated: October 26, 2014