Popular Girl: Sophie Thatcher
May 11, 2020
The first generation of Quibi stars are among us! Popular Girl (and ’70s punk goddess) Sophie Thatcher stars in “When the Street Lights Go On” as Chrissy Monroe’s sister, Becky! The ’90s teen whodunit murder mystery is jam packed with fresh talent like Sophie.
We got to talk with her on the release of the show, the upcoming show Yellowjackets, and a huge spoiler alert for something she recently shot. Keep reading to find out just what!
1. You’re a part of the first generation of shows on Quibi! What is that like?
I think it’s thrilling to be a part of the first wave of content launching off Quibi. Quibi has created something completely game changing and original. Not to mention it’s more accessible, considering we have our phones on us the entire time. The content on Quibi covers lots of ground, giving many different people a strong voice. That’s also very refreshing knowing there’s diversity within their content.
2. Tell us about “When the Street Lights Go On”.
I had actually auditioned for the show back in 2016 for the same role when it was a pilot for Hulu and I didn’t get the part. When I was in high school I felt very similar to the character Becky. Like Becky, I didn’t really fit in any friend group, and felt very removed and weirder than everyone else. The show takes place after the murder of a young girl in a suburban community in Illinois.
The victim’s sister and her high schools peers work to find a sense of normality amongst the murder investigation. Chrissy was popular, beautiful, and confident while Becky hid in the shadows and had a much darker side to her. Becky is acquainted with Casper who is the town’s favorite suspect for the murder of her sister. Naturally that stirs up controversy, but the relationship between them is very interesting in the way that it brings Becky out of her hibernating. Finally she becomes more sure of herself, no longer living in the background of Chrissy.
3. Yellowjackets has such an insane backstory. What can you tell us about filming a show like that?
Filming the pilot for Yellowjackets was a very special experience for me. I was constantly surrounded by badass female and non-binary actors around my age, and Karen Kusama who is a huge inspiration to me, and instantly created a bond with them. The pilot centers around a girls soccer team and then when they travel for nationals, the plane crashes and it turns into a Lord of the Flies/Lost type scenario. I’ve never played a sport in my life and actually was very against joining any sports team. I was always the weakest link in every gym class. Learning soccer was a challenge but it was the perfect way to get to know the actors I would be working with. I’d have to say I tried my best, but never got that good; so thank God for our stunt doubles.
4. What inspires you?
Wanting to feel everything possible. Wanting for others to feel from my art. Wanting others to relate to what I make; let it be a source of comfort. Listening to Fiona Apple or Arthur Russell.
5. What do you miss most about Illinois?
My friends from the very beginning and the friend group I had established there. I have a bond with them like no other. We all have the same taste in music, art, films, and books. Thinking about them is very comforting. I’m actually back in Chicago for quarantine but it is definitely not the time to catch up with anyone.
6. Hardest role / scene to film so far?
Spoiler: Filming my first death scene and getting strangled was physically the most challenging scene I have ever done on camera. I also had to have a seizure on a TV show and that was pretty draining physically and emotionally. I had the worst headache of all time after it.
7. You look like an ‘80s rock star! What can you tell us about your personal Style?
I’m very inspired by the French New Wave, some English late ’70s post-punk type stuff, and am going through a phase where I only wear browns, green, and black every day. My biggest style inspirations are Nastassja Kinski, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sean Young in the Blade Runner 1982 version. Since moving to New York my style has changed a bit too. I have this black leather jacket that became my signature jacket. I would wear it so much that it got all torn up. I kind of like it better that way.
8. Favorite Artist/Album?
Elliott smith- Roman Candle.
9. What is one goal that you have for your career?
My goal is to be a chameleon actor. I never want the audience to see me when I play a character; I’d like to be a completely transformative actor. Whether it be in little ticks, or their mannerisms, slight adjustments in the voice. I never want to play anyone similar to myself because that feels too exposing. It’s also much more of a challenge, letting you immerse yourself in a completely different world and step into new shoes. My biggest inspirations are Michelle Williams and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
10. What is something you want more people to ask you about?
I make music too! I post on Bandcamp and am currently trying to experiment with different genres to challenge myself. Julia Holter is a big idol of mine for the music I make. I also have two crazy talented sisters. Ellie is my twin sister and she makes the darkest, most stunning claymations, paintings and music. My sister Emma was my inspiration to start acting, now she’s creating her own short films that are always beautiful and completely grounded in reality.
11. Go to quarantine snack and activity?
I make oatmeal everyday (boring I know) and making music has kept me the most occupied/satisfied.
12. Have you picked up any new hobbies during this time? If so, what?
I’m learning to read sheet music for piano. I also picked up collaging which has been a lot of fun and a great way to kill time.
13. Tell us a secret?
I’ve only seen three episodes of The Sopranos and I’ve never seen The Matrix.
14. What does popular mean to you?
Growing up it never really mattered to me at all. But I suppose with this career, it’s important to be well liked, charismatic, engaging and giving. With Instagram now, I think it’s tainted the way people view popularity since it’s now based upon the amount of followers you have. I truly don’t care about that world of fame through Instagram, influencers, etc, but I hope that those who become popular get there for being good, genuine, and intelligent human beings.
15. Can you tell us about any other projects you have coming up?
It kind of feels like the whole world is on hold right now. I have a few projects up in the air, and who knows when I’ll hear back from them. But if Yellowjackets goes to series I have that to look forward to!
Keep up with Sophie on Instagram @soapy.t. Go on… it’s clickable!
- Photographer Emma Thatcher @thatcherportraits