Interview: SOPHIA MYLES from MOONLIGHT on CBS

Sophia Myles - Moonlight

Last week, SOPHIA MYLES, who plays reporter Beth Turner in CBS’ MOONLIGHT, took some time to speak with a few reporters.

Sophia Myles comes from England and is thus part of what we call this season’s British Invasion, not that we are complaining.

In our interview, Sophia Myles talks about some of the differences between working in England and in the United States. She also shares some of her views on the whole celebrity thing, and how she stays away from it. Finally, she looks forward to Moonlight‘s return as much as we do.

(Daemon’s TV questions are in blue)

What is in store for Beth when the show comes back?

Sophia Myles: Well I don’t know yet until the strike is over. I’m not sure and it’s very exciting. I mean I think you’ll see in the final episode, talk about leaving the audience hanging. When I read the script, you just want to know more and I think there’s definitely a story for us still to tell. I won’t be satisfied if we don’t come back and make anymore, but we’ll see.

Have you seen any preliminary ideas or anything?

SM: No, everyone’s speculating, everyone’s excited. We’re just waiting, waiting for the strike to lift, but just having won the people’s choice awards and Alex, I’ve just been told that Alex has been voted the sexiest man (one of the sexiest stars on TV) by TV Guide, and we love making it so much and people seem to really love it. It’s all very optimistic.

There’s been a few different executive producers on “Moonlight” since it was first presented at Comic Con, are you surprised how well everything turned out?

SM: Yeah. (laughs) I’m baffled because it’s like, it’s strange, Moonlight is such a force to be reconned with, because I had no idea what I was getting myself involved with coming over here making this show. I kind of saw a pilot that they had shot before and I didn’t know if it had any life. I didn’t know and it has been this organic thing that A) refuses to die and B) it just gets stronger and stronger, and I think more and more powerful and sexy and exciting each show. So bring it on. I think there needs to be more.

What attracts you to a role? What kind of qualities to you look for in a role or a script?

SM: If I want to go on the adventure, you know, if I read the story and I want to go to that world and experience that. It’s as simple as that. I think I’m a storyteller, it’s like, am I interested in this guy on this journey and can I kind of bring something to this that’s gonna make it even better than what’s already on the page? What’s my part in this? I don’t know, I like to play strong women. It’s hard to find really good roles for women, so I like to play females that are really well written and not just written for men, not just written to be just the sex object because that’s boring and lots of people can do that. I’m interested in the workings of the female mind.

Daemon’s TV: As an actor how do you prepare for parts?

SM: You know I am like the most non-method person for acting. I kind of figure it out as I go along. You start thinking about it once you’ve read the script. It kind of helps once you see the costume or meet the costume designer. It’s a collaborative thing you see, it’s not just me creating Beth Turner, there’s somebody who designs her clothes, then there’s my make-up artist, there’s hairstylists, and then there’s the set designer who designs her apartment. If you think about it, someone’s apartment is as important, it tells you a lot about a character so it’s kind of a cumulative, collaborating thing rather.

In your “Doctor Who” episode you play a very interesting woman also where you’re in love with an immortal, is that something that attracted you to the “Moonlight” role?

SM: I never thought about that actually and I realized only recently there are a lot of parallels between the Moonlight story and that Doctor Who episode, “The Girl in the Fireplace,” actually. But no, I hadn’t thought about that at the time.

There seems to be so many fantastic actresses coming from Britain lately, like yourself and Ashley Jensen and Lena Heady, do you guys keep in touch in Los Angeles?

SM: It’s sort of the British Invasion this year, we’ve all kind of come over because there’s no work in England, there’s no industry over there, it’s rubbish. So I’ve become good friends with Anna Friel. I’ve known of her and she’s known of me cause we’re kind of the same age and we always kind of been up for the same roles over the last decade, but she’s a lead on Pushing Daisies, so she’s been here. We talk on the telephone because it’s a big experience. Moving to a foreign country is a big deal, but also working on American television if you’ve never done it before. I mean, I plan to write a handbook for anyone that’s never done it, because it’s such a different experience than making a film. It’s a big deal, so we would kind of compare notes and leave meltdown message “Oh my God, you’ll never believe what they made me do today.” And it’s funny.

What are the differences or the similarities between working in the industry in the United Kingdom and in the US?

SM: Well the one thing I’ll tell you, and I’m not complaining here, but the hours, God I mean they really work you hard. We’re talking sometimes, it’s six days a week and it can be sometimes up to sixteen hours a day, on a really tough day. You’re working a lot, when you’re on the show, you’re pretty much always at work. You might be home for only ten percent of your time. And it’s fast. You know on films there’s lot sitting around and having cups of tea while they’re setting the lights, but in America it’s go-go-go, but it’s good it keeps you on your toes.

Daemon’s TV: Can you tell us how you got the part of Beth?

SM: Yeah, I was written a letter from the producers of the show and Joel Silver’s people basically asking me to come and do it and so I kind of couldn’t really believe it at first, I didn’t think that it was legitimate just because I couldn’t believe that I would be offered something so magical like this out right without auditioning or anything. But they had already made a pilot and then they were kind of recasting and changing everything around and they were going to kind of reshoot the pilot. So I just was so intrigued by the opportunity to come and be in Los Angeles already with a job, you know, paid to come and do a fabulous job working at Warner Brothers. I mean I couldn’t say no really, I would have been an absolute idiot. So I was just kind of interested in the kind of adventure of it all, it sounded so different to me, and that’s how it happened.

You’ve had quite a few roles in genre title, “Underworld,” “Doctor Who,” “Moonlight,” are you a fan of sci-fi or horror?

SM: I love sci-fi, I don’t know about horror. Horror freaks me out, like I’m not gonna watch any of it because I just get terrified and then can’t sleep on my own you know, stupid. And vampires, I can take or leave them. I like science fiction, anything kind of other planets and all that kind of stuff, I like that.

Moonlight - Sophia Myles as Beth Turner and Alex O'Loughlin as Mick St. John in

With Josh now dead, was it something you were surprised at how quickly within the first nine episodes the love triangle has been evaporated?

SM: No, I thought for a long time especially after Beth and Mick had kissed, I was saying to the producers “come on guys, she needs to deal with this, morally be a good girl and she’s gonna need to be honest with Josh and end it or stop hanging out with Mick.” You know you can’t really send him off on vacation, that’s not really dealing with it, because he disappeared for a few episodes if you remember, and then he was back. So when they finally did end the relationship, I mean I thought it was a little extreme killing him, but there you go. But I’m glad, I mean not that I’m glad he’s dead obviously especially for Jordan Belfi, the actor who played him, but I’m relieved in a sense that that kind of dilemma is gone, it makes it so exciting and kind of deep now because it’s such a huge thing, I mean it’s really traumatic what’s happened to her.

What has been your favorite project to be a part of?

SM: Well, so many I mean if you say favorite in terms of the film that I think is the best as a finished piece or the film that I loved working on the most. “Tristan + Isolde” was such a magical experience, the scenery and working in Ireland, just completely took my breath away. And then I had a great time on “Thunderbirds.” I love being on films, I love making films, like I love my job, so kind of all of them for different reasons. but the best ones are when you really luck out and you work with great people. Working with Alex O’Loughlin for example, that’s such a joy of Moonlight, and then I loved working with Jamie Bell. I did a film with him that’s coming out this year in the United States. It’s a film I did with Jamie Bell, directed by David Mackenzie, and it’s called “Hallam Foe.” It’s the name of the central character, and that’s really interesting. Then another film called “Outlander” with James Caviezel, John Hurt, and Ron Perlman. It’s set in 709 AD and this alien ship crash lands on planet earth. It’s kind of a science fiction slash period drama, very interesting. I play a viking warrior princess in that one. And in the other one, the Jamie Bell film, I play a hotel manager in Scotland.

Daemon’s TV: How would describe the atmosphere on the set on Moonlight?

SM: It’s funny, it’s a family. We have our good days and we have our bad days, but when it’s good, it’s amazing. There’s a lot of laughter, it’s infectious. I think because there’s such talented people working on this show across the board everyone, all the actors are really strong, the directors are fantastically creative, everyone’s clever so there’s a really great creative sets. We’re a good one.

What is your biggest fear?

SM: Human beings scare me, probably more than vampires. I don’t know, human beings scare me, but I’ll tell you, the ocean scares me. I’m ok if it’s a clear white sandy bottom like in the Seychelles or somewhere exotic, but when it’s too deep and murky I’m really scared. I mean even when I’m in the swimming pool I think a shark’s gonna come out of trapped door somewhere, you know what I mean. (Laughs)

Were you surprised with the finale? Is it a good cliffhanger?

SM: They leave you hanging. I’ve just seen the last scene, I haven’t seen the whole episode yet, but yeah it’s left totally open ended and utterly unsatisfactory as far as I’m concerned. There must be more episodes of Moonlight given the way that we leave it.

Have you guys pretty much written off the rest of the season because of the strike?

SM: I have no idea, I’m just waiting now. We’re all kind of very excited because we just won the People’s Choice Awards, it’s great fan base. As soon as the strike lifts I think we’re all hoping that we, you know, off we go again, so fingers crossed. Well if they’re not I’m going to be going knocking on to somebody’s door at CBS. I really hope that we make more.

You mentioned in a previous interview that you try to lead as normal a life as possible. There are so many well known faces in Los Angeles that you don’t necessarily stand out in the crowd, does it make it easier to go about your life?

SM: Oh I could talk hours on this subject. I think it’s absolutely fascinating this whole celebrity thing, which I’m not a part of and I never want to be a part of. There’s no one that’s walking around being followed by paparazzi that has not courted that, that has not started that, if you know what I mean. That stuff doesn’t happen out of nowhere. That is a two-sided relationship and it’s very easy to stay well clear of it. If I talk to the press I’m talking about my work, I’m not talking about what I did on a Friday night, you know. So it’s pretty simple. But it’s sad I think when young girls aren’t protected by either their families or don’t have a close adult confident to keep them. It’s a very scary beast now, especially in this day and age. I mean poor Britney Spears, she’s the first, this is a whole new thing you know, a hord of men with cameras following around a young mother, I mean that didn’t happen even five years ago. Somebody needs to do something about it because it’s very scary. Anyway, that’s that.

Daemon’s TV: I read a few trivia facts on your imdb page and I was curious to know if they were true. It says that you listen to Tracy Chapman, that your favorite movie is “The Goonies,” and that you speak German and French. Is any of that true?

SM: No, I don’t necessarily speak German and French. I can understand German pretty well. I haven’t spoken it for years though. French no, that’s not true. I can understand though if somebody was being rude about me in French or German. And the same goes with Italian, if someone was rude about me I’d know. “The Goonies,” no. I mean I’ve got lots of different favorite films so I would say no that’s not really true, but I do love it, it’s one of my favorite childhood films. And yeah, I like Tracy Chapman but I like a lot of other stuff. Other music, I’m quite into Snow Patrol at the moment.

You don’t get to work a lot with Jason Dohring, are you hoping that would change when the show comes back?

SM: Yeah it would be nice. Jason’s great, he’s really cool. He’s a nice guy so yeah it would be great. I want to work with Shannyn (Sossamon) though, she’s who I really want to work with.

Why do you want to work with Shannyn Sossamon?

SM: I think she’s great. I was a fan of her ages ago. I was really excited when I found out she was on the show. I loved her from “Knight’s Tale,” I just think she’s great, she’s gorgeous. She’s my friend now so it’d be fun. We laugh a lot.