July 27, 2022
  Posted by Mouza
  Feature, Gallery Update, Photoshoot


Sophie, a wealthy Silicon Valley wife whose hobbies include looking at drawers full of her jewellery and attending champagne galas, proved surprisingly low-maintenance as a role for Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The British actor did not undertake her normal levels of research for the part in new psychological thriller Surface, but that’s not because Sophie is straightforward. Far from it — she is enigmatic, complex and suffering amnesia after plunging from a ferry into the sea.

“The character was starting off very much a blank slate,” Mbatha-Raw says over Zoom from a hotel room in New York. “I’m building Sophie as she’s building herself, as we’re experiencing her on screen. It was liberating . . . the acting [had] to stay open and . . . open-eyed, absorbing the world.” 

Sophie is also trying to figure out what would make her attempt suicide. “At the beginning she is quite vulnerable, looking to the men in her life to tell her who she is and to define her,” Mbatha-Raw says. There’s a particular tension with her husband, James (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) — “Is he very loving or is it verging into control?” As the mystery deepens, Sophie reasons she didn’t jump but was pushed.

While the amnesiac role required less research, the show, directed by Sam Miller (I May Destroy You), demanded more of Mbatha-Raw because she was involved behind the scenes as an executive producer. The 39-year-old was lured by the “big draw” of Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, which made the big-budget Apple TV series The Morning Show (in which Mbatha-Raw also had a prominent role). She was attracted by its mission to create “female-centred stories and empowering women”. [More at Source]

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