Sophie Lowe is best known for her roles in the acclaimed Australian film Beautiful Kate and the ABC TV drama The Slap. Most recently, the 24-year-old actress and singer-songwriter has appeared in the US fantasy-drama television series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, as well as recording music under the stage name SOLO. She talks to me about overcoming fears, loving karaoke and releasing her inner Sasha Fierce.
How did you get into acting?
I’m English and I moved to Australia when I was 10 … I got a scholarship to a performing arts school to go there for singing and dancing. I just fell into acting, though, doing a Shakespearean play with my friends, and I was just like, “Oh, my God!” I was kind of afraid of acting at first, because I’m dyslexic, so I always thought, “Oh, my God I could never do that!”… But even though I couldn’t read very well, I could connect with Shakespeare.
How did you overcome your fears?
I don’t know, because I was actually so afraid to read out loud – that was my worst nightmare – but I just learnt how to pick up and memorise lines really fast.
Do you still dance?
Yeah, I still do dance classes. I like hip-hop … I don’t really like going to the gym, so it’s good, because you work up such a sweat.
Many actors use Australian soap operas to launch their career, but you never went down that road. Was that intentional?
I just go for things that I connect to, and I don’t really connect to any of those roles. I need something that’s got a bit of beef in it, something that gives me excitement.
What would be your dream role?
My dream role would actually be Juliet from Romeo and Juliet because Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet was such an influence and changed my view on love and acting. I just wanted to be in that film. It’s still my favourite film – I just connect with it so much.
If you could work with anyone who would it be?
Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola or Paul Thomas Anderson. They are all so cool.
What are you up to at the moment?
I have been in the studio and I’m writing new songs for my next EP or album, which is really fun, and I’ve been doing some things for Uniqlo [clothing] – I’m one of their ambassadors, which is really exciting. And [recently] I was promoting my show in the US called Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
How did your ambassadorship with Uniqlo come about?
Well, they just approached my agent and when they told me about it I was like “Oh, my God” and I jumped for an opportunity, because I love their clothes.
You released an EP last year. How did that come about?
I’ve always done song writing and I just didn’t really tell anyone about it. It’s kind of like a hobby of mine and I actually really love it on the same level as acting, so I thought maybe I could do something with it … It just came together and it’s really fun. I can’t wait to do more.
As an actor, was it hard to move into singing?
It’s kind of the same, but different, if that makes sense. But I did play an alter ego kind of thing, because my music, it’s not my name, it’s “SOLO” – the first two letters of my first and last name – so just to kind of make it separate [to acting]. But it’s still all about the emotion.
Has it been an easy transition?
Yes, I kind of just think as long as you do what you want to do and you do it well and you put love into it, people will hopefully like it; people will connect with that.
Are you an outgoing person?
I’m pretty shy. People think that because you’re an actor you should be really confident and loud, but I get really nervous to meet people. I was even nervous to meet you! … When I’m on set and I hear “action” and I’m being someone else, I don’t know what happens, I can just do it. But me being myself, I get self-conscious … It’s weird.
When do you feel your most confident?
Probably when I hear “action”! I don’t know what it is; I just go into the zone and feel comfortable.
Beyonce says “Sasha Fierce” is her on-stage alter ego. Do you have an alter ego when performing?
Yes, maybe my acting is more my alter ego and my music is more me – it’s more of my own feelings and emotions – so I guess I can kind of turn on a bit of Sasha Fierce every now and again.
You’re not the stereotypical “it girl”; we never read about your love life or nights out. Do you intentionally keep a low profile?
I try to keep my personal life to myself, but I just don’t really go out that much. I’m not really like a party animal. I mean, I love to go out with friends, but I don’t get smashed or drunk or anything to embarrass myself. I go to karaoke a lot.
What’s your karaoke song of choice?
Anything Beyonce! I know all the words. I’ve been doing a couple of classes to learn her dances, so sometimes I whip out All the Single Ladies. I’m not very good; I just love it.
If you hadn’t gone down a career path in the performing arts, what would you have done?
I don’t know. When I was younger, then I wanted to be a vet, because I love animals.
What’s next in the pipeline?
I’m writing some more songs. Hopefully, if I get some stuff together, I can do some live sets. But I’m just kind of chilling at the moment, because it was so intense doing [Once Upon a Time in] Wonderland. It’s just nice to catch up with people and just be normal for a moment.
WE WENT TO In The Annex café, Forest Lodge.
WE ATE scrambled eggs with Eggplant Ginger and Soy.
WE DRANK freshly squeezed juice and cappuccinos.
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