Sophia Brown stars as the Elven Princess Warrior Éile in The Witcher: Blood Origin …
Sophia is best known for Marcella, Giri/Haji, The Capture and Clique. The actress graduated from Arts Educational Schools, London, and the Identity School of Acting and has since had a steadily rising career.
Set in an elven world 1200 years before the world of The Witcher, Blood Origin tells a story lost to time – one of seven outcasts who unite against an unstoppable power that took everything from them. Their blood quest giving rise to a prototype Witcher in a conflict that brings about the “conjunction of the spheres,” when the worlds of monsters, men, and elves merged to become one.
We spoke to Sophia about her role and her upcoming roles in the new year …
Please introduce yourself…
My name is Sophia, I’m an actress based in London.
Please describe your life right now in a word or a sentence…
Quite fulfilling, hectic, intense, exciting and new.
Were you aware of The Witcher series and books before getting involved in the project?
Yes. I watched the show before auditioning and getting the role. I binge-watched the series again before the chemistry read with Laurence to familiarise myself because it had been a while since I’d watched it.
Please tell us about your character Éile in The Witcher: Blood Origin – what is her goal, how does she fit into the story and how does she develop throughout the series?
She is an elite warrior with a voice blessed by the gods, a messenger with stories and tales to be told and that’s what drives her throughout the series. We learn that that’s who she is and that she is trying to accept that part of herself so I think it’s like a real self-discovery journey for Éile and for a lot of the characters.
It’s a redemption tale for her so I just sat on my own a lot, thinking about what I could pour into her personally and what sort of thing I could fabricate, tweak and create. It’s been amazing to play her and for people to now see what we have made and the world we created. We put a lot of heart and soul into the show and I’m excited for it to be showcased.
What was it about the script that made you say, “Yes, I want to be a part of this”?
I was in a strange period between auditioning and getting the part and it’s strange because the day before the audition came to me I had decided I would stop acting. Then within the space of 24 hours, my agent came to me and said that the part had come through and would be amazing for me. I remember reading the part of the synopsis that told us what the character would be like and I thought “wow, that’s definitely something I can do“. I got a little twinge in my gut and then low and behold it snowballed into me doing the tape and it worked in my favour. The process was I whirlwind.
So when you were on set, who are the people who are most important to you in getting your job done?
I mean, so many people both personally and professionally day-to-day being on set. Laurence and I started this journey together from the prep period. We had a Bootcamp to get our fitness and stamina up, and we were combing through the script so we were just building our characters together this world together and familiarising ourselves with this place that we built. So by the time we were camera-up in Iceland, we really leaned on each other for everything and anything during the process. Even just the crew and cast members we all just poured in and could lean on each other.
My family, my friends and my partner also gave me the space I need but were also checking in emotionally throughout the shoot, so I had a lot of people to lean on which was really beautiful to have. There are so many people to mention.
You worked with Michelle Yeoh [an amazing actress] how was it working with her and what did you learn from the experience?
When I heard Michelle was doing it I was like “hold on a second”! I’d seen so much of her work and I hadn’t pictured her or any actress in my mind for her character Scian so when I heard it was her it was so exciting and she just completely lived up to my expectation of meeting someone who you admire. They say don’t meet the people you admire but luckily I did and it turned out the best for me – she was a big support throughout the process. Just for me to ask her questions about her journey navigating the acting industry as a woman, an Asian woman, she was a resource of knowledge I could just tap into. She was phenomenal. She was my sword mother – to say Michelle Yeoh was your sword mother is pretty legit.
If you weren’t an actress what would you be?
Probably a therapist. I’ve always been interested in people, that’s why I like playing people because I am constantly interested observing them and working out their minds. I also do my own performance art so I would probably be doing that on the side to express myself creatively.
Tell us a memorable moment on or off set …
Landing at the airport in Iceland and the song that was playing was the song I sang in the audition. It was like a burst of synchronicity. Ed Sheeran has a song called Give Me Love and at the end of it he sings this Irish folk song called The Parting Glass and I took it from there for the audition.
What’s made you sad, mad and glad this week?
Sad – the cold bite in the air. I’m mourning summer this week. Mad – I mean it’s been a pretty good week.
What are you watching right now?
I’m so late to the party, I’ve binge-watched Stranger Things and I’m such a big fan. My favourite programme which I think is the greatest is Pen15; The Bear on Disney+ and I’m re-watching The White Lotus and am about to start season 2.
What are you reading right now?
The last thing I read was A Little Life which took absolutely everything out of me.
What are you listening to right now?
Yebba, Coco Rocco, old school Brandy, D’Angelo, Musiq Soulchild and Common. I recently saw Erykah Badu at the Southbank Centre, which was the best gig I’ve ever been to and was listening to her in the build-up. And also Paramore who have released a new album which brought me back to my early Noughties vibe which was the greatest.
The last thing you saw on stage?
The Rapture by Lucy Kirkwood at the Royal Court but it was under an alias name, I think it was Dave Davidson and was called This Is Not Me so you thought you were seeing a different play but it was actually Lucy Kirwood’s which was a ride.
What’s on your bucket list?
I would love to go to Easter Island and visit the Polynesian heads. I’d love to create a project with my sisters and I would love to direct and produce a film of my own one day.
What’s next for you?
I just finished The Crucible which was filmed for NT Live so that comes out mid to end of January then after that I have a project called You and Me which is coming out late Jan / early Feb. Then I have a film called Borderland coming out in March. Then I’ll see what comes up after that, go with the flow and see what comes up.
The Witcher: Blood Origin streams on Netflix on Sunday 25th December.