“Tristan’s” Sophia Myles: Princes with an Edge
By Lynn Barker on 10 gennaio 2006
We first spotted pretty Sophia in a hot red and white floral Nanette Lapore frock with full skirt as she was standing next to a coffee-sipping James Franco, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills while the two were glued to a big-screen TV watching the Gavin DeGraw music video from their film called “We Belong Together”. They were alternately smiling and grimacing while watching their clips from the film.
Later on, we met with Sophia to get the scoop on hot love scenes..filmed in the freezing cold, an acknowledgement but refusal to talk about her romance with David Tennant, the newest “Dr. Who” on Brit TV, and who she most admires in the acting community. As we sat down, we noted her perfect skin, big blue eyes and her tiny, delicate hands. Tune in….
TeenHollywood: Hey, great dress!
Sophia: I bought this on Robertson Blvd. last night. I thought, ‘I don’t have anything smart enough to wear’. It’s Nanette Lapore.
TeenHollywood: It looks great. How many people have told you that you are the spitting image of Kate Winslet?
Sophia: A lot, actually. But, there was one journalist who wrote that I really look like Leonardo DiCaprio so maybe if they make “Titanic Two” I can be the lovechild. [Humm, yep, we see it. She could be Leo’s sister]
TeenHollywood: Did you have to audition for this film?
Sophia: Oh yes. I met [director] Kevin [Reynolds] and then they called back about a week later and asked would I come and screen-test with James. James was attached for about a year before I came onboard. We just hit it off straightaway and felt incredibly comfortable with each other. We had the right chemistry I suppose.
TeenHollywood: He’s an attractive man too.
Sophia: [laughs] Exactly.
TeenHollywood: Was there anyone you admire who made you want to be an actor?
Sophie: I never wanted to be an actor, never even thought about it. I was very, very shy when I was at school and, at nursery school, kindergarten, I was so terrified when they said they were going to put on a nativity play and we all had to be in it. I remember crying to my mom ‘I really can’t do it. The only character I’ll decide to play is the donkey if they’ll let me wear a mask’. They gave me this huge paper mache donkey’s head. But the people that I really admire; Johnny Depp is the king, the Elvis of the film world. And, I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with him for a few hours. I love Natalie Portman. I’d love to work with her. Reese Witherspoon, I think she’s great.
TeenHollywood: What do those ladies bring to the table that others don’t?
Sophie: I think they’re very intelligent girls. Reese has impeccable comic timing, Natalie is one of the most beautiful creatures I’ve ever seen. I met her in the Chateau Marmont and I couldn’t believe it. She’s absolutely stunning. I love Angelina Jolie. She’s a force and Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet. There’s some great girls out there and in England, apart from Orlando, we don’t have many boys who are flying the flag. I’m thinking of my generation, my age. There are a lot more good girls at the moment than good boys.
TeenHollywood: Your father is a vicar. What does he think about you being an actor?
Sophia: He’s delighted about it. Dines out on it.
TeenHollywood: You have love scenes with two different men in this movie. [Note: Tristan and Isolde is still rated PG-13] Has he seen the film?
Sophia: He’s hasn’t yet because it’s not coming out in England until April I think.
TeenHollywood: Are you worried about him seeing it?
Sophia: No. My dad’s very liberal. This has always been his job and he’s never imposed on myself or my brother. When we hit puberty, neither of us were interested in getting up on a Sunday morning to go to church.
TeenHollywood: Your costumes are beautiful in the film. Were they comfortable?
Sophia: This was rare for a period film for all the costumes to be so comfortable. It was like going to work in my pajamas. But, I remember the day we shot the wedding, it was [bug] season in Connemara on the west coast of Ireland and I was dinner! Very itchy. It was also freezing.
TeenHollywood: Was it freezing during the scene in which you and Tristan are pushing the boat out into the ocean?
Sophia: We were in the Atlantic in October and November. When I saw it for the first time I got the shakes. My brain froze. In reality, if they’d done it, you would only have done it once but we were there all day and the two of us were like two old ladies. While they were setting up, we’d go sit on the sand they they’d cover us with blankets but we didn’t have time to change and get dry or anything so we’d just sit there drinking tea and looking like drowned rats.
TeenHollywood: Not too romantic. The love scene in the forest must have been something similar?
Sophia: But we had each other to keep us warm, body heat [laughs].
TeenHollywood: Do you believe in love at first sight?
Sophia: I do yeah.
TeenHollywood: Well, forbidden love is pretty hot.
Sophia: Kevin said to me that as soon as you see him [Tristan] on that beach, he has you before he even says hello. Had me before hello?
TeenHollywood: Have you had that in your own life?
Sophia: I’ve experience love at second sight. I have no recollection of meeting him the first time and he thought I was a frosty b**ch.
TeenHollywood: So the second time you defrosted a bit?
Sophia: Yeah, I saw him and just thought ‘ding dong!’
TeenHollywood: Why do you think men and women want someone they can’t have?
Sophia: I think it’s that grass is always greener syndrome. When something is unobtainable, it’s attractive.
TeenHollywood: So did you know anything about the Tristan and Isolde legend when you got the part?
Sophia: No. I think I’m one of many people that when you say ‘Tristan and Isolde’ they say ‘oh, Wagner’ [the opera]. That was the knowledge I had.
TeenHollywood: Did you read up on it?
Sophia: James is like Mr. Method actor. James constantly has a book in his hand and he said he’d read all the versions that he could find. I think he scoured the world. I just looked over my script with a pint of Guinness.
TeenHollywood: So beer to keep you warm?
Sophia: [laughs] No drinking on set but we had some great times in Connemara in Ireland, myself, Bronagh Gallagher [who plays her lady-in-waiting] and Rufus Sewell [who plays the king], we were like the three amigos and had a really great time. We worked incredibly long hours and it was freezing. It was a strenuous shoot for everybody so we liked to let our hair down in the evening and had a bit of a giggle.
TeenHollywood: Did you go out in Prague while shooting there? We hear the nightlife is pretty fantastic.
Sophia: Yeah but I didn’t really go out. By that time, we’d already shot a month and a bit and the hours were so long that it was rather boring in Prague for me. All the boys were going round in Prague. They were going right through the night.
TeenHollywood: What kinds of music are you into?
Sophia: I like guitar-based music. I love a bit of James Taylor, I love Tracy Chapman. I like the oldies. Very simple music.
TeenHollywood: Are you based in London? Are you thinking of moving over here?
Sophia: Yes. But, I’m a Londoner at heart. I love it here but I love the homeland as well. I like to mix it up and it’s great because I get the best of both worlds.
TeenHollywood: Was it a difficult adjustment to do anything in the states?
Sophia: The driving. I had to learn to drive to live here. It’s fine but because I don’t drive in London, I get scared. They’re so aggressive, the drivers here and the horns!
TeenHollywood: Can you talk about dating “Dr. Who”?
Sophia: Well, it was great working on “Dr. Who”. We met when we were doing “Dr. Who” but I don’t talk about my personal life.
TeenHollywood: You aren’t still on the show?
Sophia: No. I only did one episode. I think the way they’ve revamped it now, it’s a fantastic show.
TeenHollywood: Your character received a gift from her guy (a bracelet). Have you ever gotten a great gift from a guy or friend?
Sophie: Humm, nobody has given me jewelry actually yet. I hope soon. No. [laughs]
TeenHollywood: What is your dream role?
Sophie: I’d love to do a really good romantic comedy with a happy ending. I would also like to do an action film because it would force me to the gym. I didn’t have to work out for this one.
TeenHollywood: Do you have any set secrets to tell us? Any funny stuff?
Sophie: It took sixty-nine takes to get the Franco sandwich without us all bursting into laughter [a scene in which Sophia and her lady-in-waiting have to cuddle up to the freezing Tristan to keep him warm]. If Kevin Reynolds had had a gun, he would have killed us. It was so awkward and Bronagh is one of the funniest human beings on the planet. And her line, ‘I haven’t been naked with a man in fifteen years’, of all the things to say. What would happen is I would get down and feel Franco starting to shake [with laughter] and once he went, I’d go.
TeenHollywood: How do you prepare for scenes like that?
Sophie: I was really lucky because Kevin was very good about it all. I think for women, you feel very vulnerable and that’s probably why I always end up getting the giggles in those scenes. It’s probably nerves I think. I was lucky with Kevin and that makes you feel comfortable and James was so easy and so sweet and an absolute gentleman about it all as was Rufus so it was fine.
TeenHollywood: How about stage work? Would you like to do that?
Sophie: I would love to. I didn’t go to drama school so I didn’t have any vocal training and I look at theater as almost a different profession. It’s a totally different medium and it requires such different skills. I’d like to do it but I’d like to do some vocal training before I’d tread on the boards. But, I’d love to. No one’s asked me yet. Comedy is what really gets me going. I love comedy.
TeenHollywood: Would you ever consider being a Bond girl, maybe now with Daniel Craig as the new Bond?
Sophie: I would love to, yeah. Who wouldn’t want to be a Bond girl? It would be fantastic.
TeenHollywood: What is the overall message of this film that you think people should take away?
Sophie: When love comes your way just ride it till the wheels come off. Love is fundamentally what we human beings all crave and wish for. It makes the world go ‘round. It’s what it’s all about.
TeenHollywood: It’s probably what makes your world go ‘round now except for no jewelry.
Sophie: [laughs]. You wait. The next time you see me I’ll be blinged out. Maybe before this goes to print.
TeenHollywood: What was your favorite film of last year?
Sophie: We get stuff a lot later than you and I don’t get to the cinema very often. I wait till stuff comes out on DVD. Pride and Prejudice? Say that, yeah.
TeenHollywood: What are you working on next?
Sophia: I don’t know yet. I’ve got Art School Confidential coming out at Sundance. That’s exciting. Never been there before. And, I did my first bit of American television. It’s called ‘The Hades Factor’ by Robert Ludlum from the Bourne books and it’s two parts, two hours, about viral warfare. It’s quite scary, actually. I play an American, an infectious disease researcher called Sophie Amsden and I’m engaged to another doctor played by Stephen Dorff and Angelica Huston is the President of the United States. It’s on CBS. I think it’s on in the Spring.