Jamestown has made Friday nights worth staying in for. The Sky1 corset drama sees it’s star, Sophie Rundle travel to America to marry one of the first English setters in the 17th century new world. Created by the producers of Downton Abbey the drama it’s a bloody and tense look at being a, "17th century mail order bride" and here Joshington Hosts sits down the actress with a seriously infectious personality, Sophie Rundle to talk about filming harrowing scenes and filming opposite Cillian Murphy’s sharp AF cheekbones in Peaky Blinders.
“Jamestown’s storyline is uncomfortable for a modern audience. The idea of buying, selling and trading women is rather alien to us but I think it’s important to tell that story and that’s why it’s a fascinating story to tell. The reality is these women really lived through this reality; it isn’t an invented storyline to make a salacious TV programme. On the other hand it’s easy to watch this and go, ‘oh thank god we’ve moved past from that,’ but we haven’t. It is still going on all over the world, just in a sort of slightly different way – that is the really awful thing about it.”
“My character has a really brutal violent introduction to Jamestown and to the man that she is supposed to marry and so that was really hard to film, like those scenes often are. I’ve done a couple of scenes like that before and they are hard to go through even though you’re protected and its safe it is a really horrible thing to experience. So that was hard but Max who plays the man I’m supposed to marry is a really lovely guy and he was very conscious that we did it right and so we took care to do the scene properly. It is hard to sort of imagine having to go through that.”
“It was hard to shake off filming the rape scene because as much as you know and your mind knows that its not really happening, I think your body does sort of go through something so you do have this strange sort of juxtaposition. Your mind knows that it’s not real but your heart is going really fast, and they are quite hard, but Max is lovely. After that one scene that we filmed he felt so bad he bought me a bottle of wine. What a gent!
“I am proud to brand myself as a feminist actress. All the men in my life would say the same thing. It is just about equality and showing that women are empowered, equal and there is nothing to be embarrassed about.”
“I turn down roles if they don’t represent women properly. I like parts that are fully fleshed out, multi-faceted, women that are strong yet vulnerable and flawed yet empowered. I do feel like there has been a big shift in the way women are being viewed and written about and I think people are no longer prepared to accept stories where women aren’t fleshed out properly. Parts for women are getting stronger.”
“We have a Jamestown Whatsapp group called, The Jamestown Honeys. My phone is buzzing because they are actually texting me right now. We chat loads. It’s so nice.”
“There is no point competing with other actresses. If we are going to dismantle from the patriarchy, there is no point in fighting one another. It’s a waste of energy. I have met some amazing women who have just taught me how to be generous to other people and not be competitive and that is the best advice I’ve ever been given, just to look out for everyone not just look out for yourself. You’re stronger that way.”
“I pinched myself when I worked with Penelope Wilton, she is just such a babe in real life. Penelope is just so cool, she’s done so much, she’s got such a badass attitude and I think that was really exciting. She didn’t disappoint in any way.”
“My Mum was so disappointed that I was never in Downton Abbey. When I was approached about Jamestown I realised it was the people who made Downton. I think that is attractive, that’s appealing because they make brilliant work and they are very good at that big cast drama, with lots of great characters. They just tell those stories very well. My mum was thrilled when I said I had a new job and it was with the people at Downton.”
"Cillian Murphy is the nicest man I’ve ever met, but he’s also quite intimidating. Just because he’s just so cool, so beautiful and so good at his job. I sort of become a bit of a gibbering mess with about him most of the time. It’s great because when I started Peaky Blinders I’d just come out of drama school and five years on I have learnt so much from Cillian alone. Although sometimes it’s like, ‘oh my god his cheek bones are so sharp I’m going to get cut!’”
Jamestown is on Sky One every Friday night at 9pm