So, imagine: While your 16 fellow students will graduate and go off to do some pretty wonderful theatre, you’re “discovered” in your third year by Hollywood heavyweight Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class), and the whirlwind ensues—you beat out Emma Watson for the role of Roxy in Vaughn’s 2015 action blockbuster Kingsman: The Secret Service, starring alongside cinema legends Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Firth, and—believe it or not—Mark Hamill. The proverbial rug of normalcy gets pulled, and there you are: Showbiz. Sounds far-fetched? Fairytale? Bullshit? This is the story of Sophie Cookson, your Next Big Thing.
Enter, Stage Right.
How did you get into acting? I wanted to be everything growing up, but when I was 10 I joined the NYMT [National Youth Music Theatre]. I met so many older people who were considering acting for a career and that definitely triggered something in me. However, it wasn’t until 19 [that] I totally committed myself and decided I wanted to go to drama school.
Given his success and eye for talent, what was your reaction when you were chosen for Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service? I was in total shock. Throughout the whole audition process I never considered I’d actually get the part! It seemed such an absurd idea: “Why would I be cast in a film like that?”
What did you take away from working with Vaughn, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, and Michael Caine? I’ve never done anything on this scale before, and working on a set with such a high caliber of people can be overwhelming. I think from all of them I learnt how to stay focused on the job at hand whilst remaining very open.
What other passions do you have besides acting? I love anything to do with food and cooking, walking for miles and getting lost in cities I don’t know.
You’re happiest when… I’m sat by a log fire in a big chunky jumper with a glass of red wine and a book after a long winter walk.
You’re saddest when… I feel like I’ve disappointed people.
What’s your personal life philosophy? My primary school motto was never give up, never give in... It’s always stuck with me.
Do you have a spirit animal? No, I don’t think so, but I think if I went to Borneo I’d feel quite at home with the Orangutans!
Favorite place in the world? Home.
Where do you see yourself in 30 years? I have no idea! In an ideal world though I’d be in a little French farmhouse with a little Welsh Terrier at my feet.
What’s the most recent inspiration you’ve found? I watched Marvellous on television with Toby Jones the other night. Just gorgeous, the best thing I’ve watched in ages.
Any superstitions? It’s essential to nod at a blackbird on its own, and I can’t walk over three drains.
If you could come back as anyone or anything, who or what would it be? A pastry chef in Paris.
A fun one: what would you consider your most ‘British’ trait? I’m very fond of a cup of Earl Grey!
Photographer: Olgaç Bozalp at olgacbozalp.co.uk. Stylist: Rose Forde at RoseForde.com. Hair: Jennie Roberts for StellaCreativeArtists.com using Ojon. Makeup: Michelle Dacillo at michelledacillo.com. Photography Assistant: Indigo Goss. Location: London Edition Hotel at edition-hotels.marriott.com.
Beauty Notes: 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Golden Shock, Dior Contour in Airy Mauve, and Rouge Dior in Charnelle by Dior.