from The Knowledge (The Times UK), April 15-21, 2006 / by Nigel Kennedy
Sophia Myles went back to 18th-century France with Doctor Who and liked it so much she’s now sharing the present with a Time Lord
When a beautiful young woman dressed like Marie Antoinette comes charging at you out of a French palace, your first instinct is to run for cover. But all Sophia Myles wants is a light for the Marlboro in the corner of her mouth.
We’re just outside Stratford-upon-Avon, at a country house that is doubling for Versailles, and Myles is taking advantage of a break in filming the new series of Doctor Who. Immaculately coiffured and made up, the 25-year-old actress has been shoehorned into a deep-cut, flowing 18th-century dress for the role of Madame de Pompadour in the fourth episode of the new series, which starts on BBC One on Saturday. Not that she is overly impressed with her costume.
“This old thing? It’s the same dress that Helen Mirren wore in The Madness of King George. They’ve just made a few alterations to make sure I can get into it.”
This sort of down-to-earth comment is typical. Almost in defiance of her alabaster complexion, supermodel looks and cut-glass English accent, Myles comes across instantly as warm and completely unaffected. When she’s not puffing away on her cigarette, she is discussing the hangover she is nursing after what sounds like a hell of a night with the BBC cast and crew at their hotel.
Five months on, in a swanky Soho hotel, Myles is still a breath of fresh air. The ballroom gown has gone to be replaced by jeans and a plain top. She has given up smoking