Sunday, October 28, 2018

Exclusive Interview: Sophie Thatcher Talks Her New Film, "Prospect"

I recently had the opportunity to interview Sophie Thatcher, the star of the upcoming Sci-Fi film Prospect.  

The film follows a teenage girl and her father who travel to a remote alien moon, aiming to strike it rich. They've secured a contract to harvest a large deposit of the elusive gems hidden in the depths of the moon's toxic forest. But there are others roving the wilderness and the job quickly devolves into a fight to survive. Forced to contend not only with the forest's other ruthless inhabitants, but with her own father's greed-addled judgment, the girl finds she must carve her own path to escape.

MERC WITH A MOVIE BLOG: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.  Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, like where you're from and what got you into acting?

SOPHIE THATCHER: I'm a Chicago native! I've been acting most of my life. Music is my first love and I would love to pursue that one day alongside acting. I have a twin sister who is an artist and also a musician!

MERC: What films have inspired you the most in your career?

SOPHIE: 'A Woman Under the Influence' directed by John Cassavettes. Gena Rowlands delivers one of my favorite performances in that film. Also 'Paris, Texas' holds a very special place in my heart and Nastassja Kinski is stunning as Jane. As a child, I was always drawn to anything Kate Winslet was in. I admire her strength as an actress.

MERC: You've done mostly short films and TV work up to this point.  With 'Prospect' being your feature film debut, what has the transition been like for you?

SOPHIE: The transition from TV to feature film wasn't very difficult. The more time I spent in front of the camera, acting in episodes here and there, the more comfortable I felt in my own skin. The transition from stage to screen proved to be the hardest to adjust to. I wanted to conserve all of my acting techniques from what I had learned in the theater world but somehow condense it all to fit the smaller world on camera. The repetition and familiarity of doing a show every night in theater was something I had become so accustomed to; switching over to a film set and taking it scene by scene was a refreshing change. 

MERC: With this being your first film and you also being the lead, did you feel an increased amount of pressure to perform to a higher level?

SOPHIE: Definitely. But Zeek and Chris trusted me with the character and that allowed me more confidence and freedom. I had no idea what to expect coming into the experience, but it helped that other people on set were on the same page as me. One of the most difficult parts for me was being able to carry a scene with no lines and just through my eyes. Much of the film consists of Cee just reacting to her surroundings, and I didn't know how I was going to keep the audience engaged. The directors and the crew helped to make my job easier. 

MERC: What was it about this project that drew you to it?  Were you a fan of science fiction before this?

SOPHIE: I was immediately submerged into the Prospect universe as I read through the script the first time. The otherworldly characteristics felt reminiscent of Miyazaki films. There was so much thought put into every micro detail. In my film class, I studied the classic sci-fi films like 'Doctor Strangelove' and 'Solaris', which led me to become much more fascinated with the genre.

MERC: Some of the best sci-fi characters are women, whether it be Sarah Conner, Ellen Ripley, Uhura, or Dana Scully.  Did you take any inspiration for any existing characters for the role of Cee?

SOPHIE: I mentioned earlier that I drew some similarities from Miyazaki films. The young female heroines in his films were the biggest inspiration to me. I bonded with the directors about our love for the female protagonists in NausicaƤ of 'The Valley of the Wind' and 'Princess Mononoke'. Both San and NausicaƤ served as my biggest influences for Cee.

MERC: There's some great actors in this film with Pedro Pascal and Jay Duplass.  What has it been like working with them, and have they taught you anything that you'll take with you into future projects?

SOPHIE: I learned so much from Pedro and Jay. They were both incredibly generous and present scene partners and both of them brought a warmth to the set. They taught me that no matter where you stand in your career, it is always important to stay humble and treat the cast and crew with respect. 

MERC: If you only had one sentence to hook the audience to come see this film, what would you say?

SOPHIE: Prospect is a coming of age story focusing on a father and daughter relationship as they travel to a remote alien planet in search for riches, soon they discover they are not alone...

MERC: Is there a specific message you hope people take away from this film?

SOPHIE: I want this film to help bring strength and serve as inspiration to anyone who feels out of place. Cee's character trajectory is what amazes me most. She blossoms into a powerful young woman who trusts herself, stands up for herself and remains resilient through strenuous circumstances. 

MERC: And lastly, do you have any new projects on the horizon that you'd like to talk about?

SOPHIE: I have a few projects up in the air but nothing is fully put into place yet! 

Thank you so much, Sophie, for taking the time to answer my questions.  Prospect hits theaters this Friday, November 2nd.  So be sure to check it out and let me know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. This is a truly refreshing film. It is absolutely back to the basics of what true science fiction ought to be. Imaginative and mind stretching without endless digital special effects or excess budgets to steer the project off track. 100x better than anything in the current Star Wars product lineup. Really worth watching. And thinking about....