Sophia Lillis is the freshest Scream Queen in Hollywood
Regardless of what you may think, Sophia Lillis is not clowning around. Her breakout role in the reprisal of Stephen King’s IT was simply the first performance that made us take notice. The somewhat disturbing and exceptionally difficult material was the perfect medium to showcase her talent. For a young actor, Sophia seems to present a brittle vulnerability, but she is bright and forthright. She has the capacity to strike an outward flexure of confidence that’s deeply unguarded. It’s no wonder her resume has attracted a number of moody, sometimes disturbing roles such as The Lipstick Stain and Sharp Objects. It’s worth mentioning that not all of her work is dark and discerning. Sophia is exceptionally versatile and proves it in her work as the crime solving Nancy Drew. However, she will be taking a step back into the woods with her upcoming performance in Gretel & Hansel, a distant fairytale revived with a modern translation. We can expect her vivid and cinematic point of view to render beautifully in this film.
You can tell who Sophia Lillis is by the things that she does and does not do. She operates from a place of deep instinct. She’s not afraid to play. She does not do social media. And she’s fiercely supportive of her fraternal twin brother. There’s no doubt, Sophia Lillis is the next IT girl.
We heard you started acting after your stepfather encouraged you to take classes. Was there a moment that made you realize you wanted to pursue acting professionally?
It was really more of a process. I started thinking this year about what I wanted to do with my life as high school is coming to an end. I realized I really didn’t want to go to college right now and I really want a chance to focus on acting and see where it takes me in the next few years.
What do you imagine yourself doing if you weren’t acting?
I think I would be interested in pursuing a career in the fine arts. I like to draw, and I think I would enjoy art school.
“I think I make him laugh, or at least he laughs at me a lot.”
Some people don’t know that Jake is your fraternal twin brother. What was it like shooting with him for your feature with us?
It was fun. I’ve always wanted him to join me. I don’t mind photo shoots but doing them with other people is always more entertaining. He really likes fashion (more so than I do in fact) so it was nice to be able to share that with him.
Twins always seem to have a special relationship. What is it about him that inspires you the most? What do you think he would he say?
I feel like I’ve always looked up to Jake. He is older after all by one minute or so. He’s always been really smart and has an amazing memory and organized mind. As we’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to rely on him less, but I still do a lot. He’s also really good in social contexts so if I need a “date” for a fashion or other kind of event, it’s always good to have him along.
I think I make him laugh, or at least he laughs at me a lot.
As a young actor, how do you stay grounded? With over two million followers on Instagram alone, how do you balance your private and public life?
My life really hasn’t changed that much. I don’t have a huge social life and I don’t care too much about social media, so I don’t look at it that often. Jake does most of my postings for me—apparently, this is pretty well-known. Often, when I post a photo, they’ll be someone who comments something like, “nice photo, Jake”.
If you could give one piece of advice to young women out there, what would it be?
Dress comfortably. Also, seriously, I think a lot of what has been going on in the women’s movement recently has been a great help to girls who want to have careers and they should not be afraid or intimidated but do what they want to do with their lives.
Most people recognize you from your breakout role in the reprisal of the movie IT. We thought it was absolutely terrifying. What is your greatest fear?
Driving a car.
“Climate change and other issues facing the environment affect all of us and at a minimum, we need to be aware of the problems facing our world and try to make modifications in our lifestyles to support positive change.”
What is it about your character Beverly Marsh that you connect to most?
She is sort of introverted and I am too. People think I’m shy and I definitely used to be I think. But now, I’m not so much shy as just a girl of few words.
Although IT is a horror film, the cast and crew that you worked with were far from a horror. Tell us about one of your favorite behind-the-scenes moments.
There wasn’t anything specific. We just had a lot of fun. It was like being at camp. We would just hang out.
Having starred in this iconic film, you must have the most fascinating fans out there. What is one of the strangest things you have received from a fan?
I can’t think of anything. I think the fans are great. Once in a while I get to meet some of them at Comic-Con and such and they’re always nice—sometimes they bring artwork or other small things they know I like and it’s really sweet.
You’ll be facing fear again in the upcoming film Gretel & Hansel. Tell us more about this project.
It’s a reimagining of the classic fairy tale “Hansel & Gretel” but it really focuses on Gretel and is told from her perspective. In the fairy tale, Gretel really doesn’t do much and Hansel makes all the decision but, in this version, Gretel takes care of her brother. She meets the witch and has to decide what she’s going to do with her life. It’s got all the scary creepy elements of the fairy tale but really looks at what’s happening through a different lens.
We will also be streaming you on Netflix’s I Am Not Okay With This. What do we have to look forward to?
The show is basically about a “normal” teenage girl going through “normal” teenage challenges in school, with her family, with her identity, etc. As she’s trying to deal with all of that, she suddenly realizes that she has superpowers that she can’t really control. The cast is great, the director (Jonathan Entwistle) has this really dry sometimes dark British humor and the show just looks amazing. I’m very excited for it.
Sirsa at Art Department
Misha Shahzada at Forward Artists
Many of the characters you have taken on are complex and often dark. Is there any type of role you are eager to take on?
All of it. There are new things to learn no matter what the genre. Dark roles are fun but lighter work, like Nancy Drew or like my role in the upcoming film Uncle Frank, which is really a family drama but has a lot of humor in it also, were also challenging and rewarding in their own right.
You are a huge activist for climate change. Tell us what drew you to this cause and what it means to you. How would you like to see young people get more involved?
I wouldn’t call myself a huge activist, but I certainly support the efforts of those people out there giving their lives to these issues. Climate change and other issues facing the environment affect all of us and at a minimum, we need to be aware of the problems facing our world and try to make modifications in our lifestyles to support positive change. Something as simple as not littering, or recycling or buying something used and fixing it up instead of something new all the time, things we can do in ordinary life, are good ways to get involved.
Last but not least, who would you rather face IRL: Pennywise, Trump or Fear Itself?
Driving a car… fear itself.
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