Tristan & Isolde
“I'm quite shy naturally so acting is good for me because it's really forced me to face my biggest fears and come out of my shell.” Sophia Myles
Spotted by screenwriter Julian Fellowes of “Gosford Park” fame in a school play, British actress Sophia Myles, also known as Sophia Miles, was first noted in her native country for her performances in period dramas like “Mansfield Park” (1999) and the miniseries versions of “Oliver Twist” (1999) and “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” (2001). She, however, did not attract Hollywood's attention until she was cast in the role of beautiful vampire Erika in “Underworld” (2003) and its sequel, “Underworld: Evolution” (2006). Myles continued to build her resume with roles in Jonathan Frakes' “Thunderbirds” (2004, as Lady Penelope), Kevin Reynolds' tragic love story “Tristan & Isolde” (2006, starred with James Franco), Terry Zwigoff’s dark comedy “Art School Confidential” (2006), Howard McCain's “Outlander” (2008, as the Scandinavian warrior princess Freya), and the CBS supernatural series “Moonlight” (2007-2008), where she starred as Beth Turner. For her portrayal of a hotel manager in the Jamie Bell vehicle “Hallam Foe” (2007), the young performer picked up a BAFTA Award and a Best Actress nomination at the British Independent Film festival.
Moviegoers should not miss Myles' performance in the upcoming film “Buddha's Little Finger” (2009), based on Victor Pelevin's novel “The Clay Machine Gun.”
Currently single, Myles was romantically involved with British actor Charles Dance, whom she met on the set of “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” (TV, 2001). Dance is 34 years her senior. Myles was in relationship with Scottish actor David Tennant (born on April 18, 1971) from 2005 to 2007. She had worked with him in episodes of “Foyle's War” and “Doctor Who.”
“My biggest ambition is to have a family. To have a baby is one of the most amazing things a woman can do. Not that I want to do it until I'm ready. There's so much I want to do first.” Sophia Myles
Childhood and Family:
Sophia Myles was born on March 18, 1980, in London, England, to Peter Myles, a church vicar, and Jane, an educational publisher. She was raised in the celebrated Notting Hill area until at age 11, when her father moved to Isleworth, a suburb west of London. She was educated at the Fox Primary School at Notting Hill, and the Green School. Originally, Sophia had no interest in acting, but she subsequently signed up for drama class after developing a crush on the school drama teacher. Sophia said, “Basically there was a really gorgeous, or so I thought, drama teacher called Kevin Broadway who’d I’d seen walking around the corridors. I kid you not. Truth be told, I only did drama because I quite wanted to be taught by Mr. Broadway.”
Before long, the 16-year-old Sophia was discovered and began her acting career. She was a straight A student and was accepted at Cambridge University to study Philosophy. She later put her education on the back burner to pursue a full time career.
Sophia has a younger brother named Oliver. Her maternal grandmother was Russian. She loves skiing, horse riding, swimming and skating.
Sophia Myles began her journey in acting when she was 16 years old. Attending a drama class partly because she was infatuated with the teacher, she soon appeared in a school production of “Teacher” by John Godber, a performance that put her under the radar of Academy Award-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes. Recognizing her potential, Fellowes gave Myles the role of Lady Jane Grey in his 1996 BBC adaptation of Mark Twain's “The Prince and The Pauper,” where she had the opportunity to act alongside James Purefoy, George Murphy and Rachel Rice. As soon as she walked on the set, Myles was completely bit by the acting bug and wanted to become a professional actress.
Myles next landed a part in the British miniseries “Big Women” in 1998, and a small role in the feature film adaptation of Jane Austin's “Mansfield Park” the next year. A straight A student, Myles, who had already been admitted to Cambridge University, later dropped out to focus on acting. In 1999, she assumed the role of Agnes Fleming on the miniseries “Oliver Twist,” opposite Keira Knightley, and appeared in the British thriller “Guest House Paradiso,” directed by Adrian Edmondson.
2001 saw Myles portray Kate Nickleby on the based-on-novel television movie “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby,” opposite James D'Arcy and soon-to-be-lover Charles Dance, and the small role of Victoria Abberline, the wife of Johnny Depp, on the hard-hitting Gothic horror film “From Hell,” adapted from an acclaimed graphic novel by British writer Alan Moore. She also landed a guest spot in the long-running British drama “Heartbeat.” Myles memorably played the supporting role of Anne Kennedy on the Stefan Schwartz-directed romance “The Abduction Club” (2002), opposite Alice Evans and Daniel Lapaine, and offered another notable turn in an episode of “Foyle's War” called “A Lesson in Murder” (2002), where she was cast as Susan Gascoigne. It was not until the following year that Myles landed the role of Erika on the vampire-werewolf action film “Underworld” (2003). She later reprised her role for the 2006 installment “Underworld: Evolution.”
In between, Myles also starred as Louise Thompson on Merlin Ward's drama “Out of Bounds” (2003), alongside Sophia Ward, and returned to television with a guest role in the series “Coming Up” (also 2003). She also had a supporting role opposite Damian Lewis in the British television movie “Colditz” (2005) and portrayed Lady Penelope on the sci-fi film “Thunderbirds” (2004), by director Jonathan Frakes.
Next, director Kevin Reynolds hired Myles to play the female lead role on his period drama “Tristan & Isolde” (2006), opposite James Franco as Tristan. She then appeared on the small screen in a guest role on the David Tennant adventure series “Doctor Who” (2006), and in the unforgettable role of Gwenda Halliday on the TV film “Agatha Christie - Marple: Sleeping Murder” (2006). Also in that year, Myles could be seen as Max Minghella's object of affection on the Sundance Film Festival-premiered “Art School Confidential,” directed by Terry Zwigoff and written by Daniel Clowes, supported Stephen Dorff, Mira Sorvino and Blair Underwood in the miniseries “Covert One: The Hades Factor,” helmed by Mike Jackson, and portrayed Lucy Westenra on the horror television movie “Dracula.” She also appeared as a defense lawyer on an episode of the BBC comedy series “Extras.”
Myles again enjoyed victory with her role on Scottish independent filmmaker David Mackenzie's big screen version of Peter Jinks' book, “Hallam Foe” (2007), which starred Jamie Bell. As Kate, a hotel manager in Scotland, Myles was handed a BAFTA Scotland for Best Actress and earned a British Independent Film nomination in the same category. The film was screened at various festivals.
Her growing career was furthered established when Myles was cast in the regular role of Beth Turner on the CBS supernatural TV drama “Moonlight,” executive produced by veteran action producer Joel Silver. Debuting in September 2007, the show took home a 2008 People's Choice for Favorite New TV Drama. Among her costars in “Moonlight” are Alex O’Loughlin, Jason Dohring and Shannyn Sossamon.
In 2008, Myles co-starred with the Washington-born James Caviezel on the adventure film “Outlander,” from director Howard McCain. The film, which debuted at the Cannes festival on May 16, also starred John Hurt, Jack Huston and Ron Perlman.
Myles will star as Anna in director Tony Pemberton's “Buddha's Little Finger” (2009), adapted from the novel “The Clay Machine Gun” by Victor Pelevin. Also starring in the film are Rupert Friend and Jean-Marc Barr.
BAFTA: Scotland Award, Best Actress, “Hallam Foe,” 2007