The Muse: actress Sophie Rundle talks the changing tides of cinema and channelling icons

The star of gender breaking show 'Gentleman Jack' opens up...

From Peaky Blinders to Bodyguard, Sophie Rundle is making waves with her versatile abilities and sharp sense of self: growing from a drama kid to a screen queen, she’s ready to show us just what she’s got. Starring as the lesbian love interest in Gentleman Jack, Sophie is changing the perceptions of a small screen star, instead focusing on how she can use her platform for good. Talking the power of film, alternative careers and being a woman in 2019, Sophie Rundle is ready for the big time, and the big time sure better be ready for her…

Do you remember the moment you fell in love with film?

I don’t remember a specific moment but film and tv was huge in our house when I was growing up. We would always sit and watch something on the telly after dinner and all talk over it about what was good and what was bad, which characters we were rooting for, why the villains were doing that etc. So that probably goes a long way to explaining why I’ve ended up doing this job.

Did you have a creative upbringing? Were film and TV a major part of your childhood?

Yes I definitely had a creative childhood. In our house someone was always making something or drawing or writing or showing off. I wrote a lot of dreadful poetry. My older brother was in a band. I think art, in whatever form, is the most natural and cheapest way to entertain a bunch of rowdy kids.

How does it feel to create in the current climate? Does it feel like a positive time to be an actress?

In some ways yes and other ways no. Things like the ‘Time’s up’ and #MeToo movements have opened up the conversation and focused the spotlight on to the specifically female experience of being in the industry. Which has much wider ramifications for women everywhere because we look to the arts to reflect our society back to us. I meet a lot of women on set now with that look in their eye that is just daring someone to try to fuck with them. I love that. I am one of those women. But there’s an enormous way to go. I think a lot of people are biding their time, hoping that it’s all just a passing trend.

What do you think still needs to change in the industry?

Equal pay is the most obvious one. I’m baffled that we’re still challenging that. Equal representation is vital, in front of the camera and behind it. And if we could stop insisting hyper unrealistic beauty standards on young people, that’d be great. I reckon those are good places to start but I could go on.

What five films have shaped you the most?

Moulin Rouge. Truly, Madly, Deeply. Battle Royale. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Out of Africa

Who is your ultimate style icon?

Katharine Hepburn by day. Dita Von Teese by night.

If you weren’t an actress, what would you be doing right now?

I’ve always fancied being a florist. I think about that quite a lot when I’ve got to do something terrifying like a sex scene or live telly.

What’s your personal relationship like with social media?

I love Instagram but that’s the only one I really use. It has its problems but if you use it in the right way it’s a nice way to both touch base with the people who are watching your work and show off pictures of your dog to your mates.


Do you think social media has the power to be a place for change?

I think it’s one of the most powerful platforms for communication in the modern age, so yes definitely. Whether its change for good or bad remains to be seen but it’s certainly democratised opinion sharing which is a fascinating shift. Some of us are still just using it to post pictures of their dog of course, but I think it’s healthy that theres a bit of everything out there.

Finally, what’s next for you?

Probably floristry.

Gentleman Jack is out now. Follow Sophie Rundle on Instagram here.

5 July 2019