Unique Beautiful with Sophia Lillis
Young stars had once been known as little gems to the industry with Natalie Portman wonderfully running amok in “Leon: The Professional” to Leonardo DiCaprio proving his legacy early with an Oscar nominated performance in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”. Yet nowadays as fame becomes the epicentre of everyone’s ambition- the title of child actor or the colloquially preferred term star is taken very much so with a grain of salt. Music is now at the standards of the “catch me outside” girl, modelling no longer requires an agency just a filter on a beach will do whilst acting the once pristine path of performance is arguably now less about storytelling then it is a statement of how can far one can push censored seduction.
Fame is seemingly not only at the envy of almost every youth but in this day and age of modernity can be easier to achieve than ever before. Why have an education when Vine is free to download? Why bother looking for a career when the influencer lifestyle is so easy to access and why enjoy youth when proving outrageous maturity to the real world is so seemingly so much cooler? Yet in this climate of pretentiousness where every actor from a teenage drama argues about the unrealistic standards for youth whilst at the same time excuse themselves from the conversation to collect cheques which were born from promoting those same standards-= there are still a rare few performances and melodies that ring genuine to audiences. A small collective of talent whom earn our respect before they earn our ‘clout approval’ - with their latest fraternity member being Sophia Lillis.
When you first look at Sophia Lillis, it is fair to say the first thing you take notice of is unfortunately her hair- unfortunate not in the sense that her hair is unappealing, quite the contrary but the fact that a young girl’s short hair is even a point of discussion is almost silly. But as annoying as it is to discuss - it does however mirror the traits of Lillis that commentators and audiences have come to adore, an unintentional rebellion founded on the love of craft and a genuine lack of caring of what anybody else thinks. Once you move past her looks however you begin to realize that this is a young actress whom is on the rise to becoming a woman- not in the “douchey” sense that many young stars follow but in an almost distinguished manner one that has gained the approval from the likes of Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain. She may be new to the industry but seemingly is a name to remember.
1. For someone who is so young and only beginning their acting career- you have already achieved quite an impressive resume of roles. What has been a standout moment/ lesson for you so far?
I started acting for the fun of it, as most actors do. I think getting the role in IT was pretty amazing because I didn’t have a very long resume at that point so it was a big jump for me. I got to spend the summer living in Toronto working my first big studio film with other kids, many of which were pretty much in the same situation. And it’s still going on with “IT2” coming out later this year!
2. What is your favourite thing about being an actor and what made you pursue it at such an early age?
Being an actor allows you to learn about people, places and things that you might never have known. Even imaginary characters like Gretel, who I play in the film “Gretel and Hansel” coming out later this year. You immerse yourself in a character; you imagine their experiences are your own; and do it in a place you’ve never been too before, surrounded by people doing cool jobs (gaffer) you didn’t know existed.
3. You are also starring as another iconic figure- Nancy Drew. Did you know about her and what was that experience like for you?
I had heard of Nancy Drew, but I had not read the books before I got the role. I read two books very quickly to prepare, and I’ve read three more books since. I love them. They are for a young audience but are great fun.
4. The crew for Nancy Drew were for a large portion female- what was the vibe of the set like?
It was great! I’ve been lucky with all the films I’ve worked in that the crews, the men and women, have been terrific. I do think the fact that the director and so many of the crew on Nancy Drew were women did make a difference: everyone was really supportive. There was a lot of positive energy on set.
5. What is the message you would like young viewers to take away from seeing the movie?
I hope kids come see this movie, and feel inspired to follow their dreams like Nancy Drew, with gumption and optimism.
6. In this day and age- there is a lot of pressure to be typically beautiful. What is your perspective on that and how would you describe individual beauty?
Everyone has their own way of expressing themself. Everyone looks different from one another, and cookie-cutter is boring. There’s no denying that there is this pressure to be “beautiful.” I have to get dressed up for premieres and press and it can be fun to wear something I would never wear in my ordinary life. I’ll tell you though, no one would think I was beautiful if they saw me in the morning on the subway on the way to school, and I couldn’t care less.
7. What do you wish for the next generation to learn in regards to their sense of beauty?
I think the next generation should focus on other things. Beauty in art, of course, is always a worthy endeavour. I draw and would love it if I could create something truly beautiful and meaningful. I love being a part of filmmaking where as a group we are trying to create something. I know it’s popular to say these days--”find the beauty in yourself”--or some such thing, but maybe that’s looking in the wrong direction.
8. What is coming up for you- what are you excited about in the near future?
Next week I’m headed off to Wilmington, North Carolina to start filming a movie called “Uncle Frank” which is written and directed by Alan Ball. I’m so excited to work with Alan. I love his other work, particularly “Six Feet Under.” I’ve been working on my southern accent which is really fun. Later this year both “IT2” and “Gretel” will come out in theatres. I’m really looking forward to seeing how both those films turned out.