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
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.
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.
‘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‘.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2014 was also an exciting time for Sophia personally as she became a mother to Luke on September 27.
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