I have always had a really good memory for faces. I don’t think I’m at the “super-recognizer” level, but I can remember someone’s face and where I saw it for years. This is a skill that is A. Handy and B. Really freaks people out.
So, since I watch an absurd amount of TV and movies, I can recognize actors in the first role I saw them, and subsequent projects – and I can do it in reverse, recognize them in bit parts from early on in their career. For example – did you know Gina Gershon is in Pretty In Pink? Whip that fact out at your next party (or next time there is a pause in the conversation that you need to awkwardly fill).
I’m just posting this GIF because I love the Duckie dance scene.
So, over the past two years, I have seen one actress pop up in like, every freaking show out of the UK ever known to man. Yes, that is a giant exaggeration. But she is in SO MANY THINGS. After the fifth time of going, “hey, there’s that girl again!” I finally looked her up on IMDB.
So, without further ado, I give you: Sophie Rundle, queen of the period pieces and sure to become (I hope) a household name.
A warning – do not get attached to her with this hair color or style, because homegirl has had every color, cut, and period hairstyle from 1600 on. Here are some shows you may have seen her in – and if you haven’t seen these, I highly recommend them.
Well, hopefully, you have seen Bodyguard, because if you haven’t, you may have been living in some sort of bunker with no internet access and I am concerned for you.
Sophie plays Richard Madden’s/David Budd’s wife Vicky! The mother of his two kids! She’s pretty much a saint in this show, since if my husband showed up covered in even a fraction of the blood or explosives that Richard Madden sports in this show…we would have some stuff to talk about.
I think Richard Madden said it best:
“I loved those scenes. So much of the time you only get to see one side of David and then you get to see a whole other version of him that’s probably closest to his most genuine self when he’s with Vicky. With very little screen time, we had to establish a very long history between these two. I have much more time on screen with Keeley than I do with Sophie and that relationship is a much longer, deeper one that we need to try and establish. She had to be very on the ball and on point to achieve that.”
– Richard Madden about his scenes with Sophie Rundle
I mean…have you heard a nicer compliment?
If you can’t tell, she’s saying “I’m really proud of you”. BRB, weeping.
JAMESTOWN (Amazon Prime)
Ok, to be fair, I cannot *personally* recommend this show because I haven’t watched it yet. It’s in the “to be watched” list on Amazon Prime. Along with about 15 other shows. I’ll get to it. Once I finish The Wire, which may take me the rest of my life.
PEAKY BLINDERS (Netflix)
Peaky Blinders isn’t exactly new, but I’m always surprised how many people haven’t heard of it. This show is AMAZING, with some truly awesome performances depicting a period of history that I really didn’t know much about. The show centers on the Shelby family and their various criminal enterprises in Birmingham, England. Sophie plays Ada Shelby, the only girl of the Shelby siblings, and she is SO GOOD IN THIS, GUYS. She goes from a kind of bratty young girl to an important part of the Shelby criminal enterprise with her brothers. She takes no crap and does what she wants. My favorite Ada line below:
HAPPY VALLEY (NETFLIX)
So besides Outlander, I very rarely cry at TV shows or movies. Sophie in Happy Valley made me cry. Like, ugly cry. And yell at my tablet, scaring my dog. I won’t give spoilers, but Sophie and Sarah Lancashire (who won a BAFTA for this show) are amazing, heartfelt, and incredibly relatable in this show. Please go watch it – it is right up there with Broadchurch in terms of acting, plot, cinematography, etc.
UPCOMING: GENTLEMAN JACK (HBO)
This show hasn’t come out yet, but I am HYPED to see Sophie and others in it. Here’s the description from HBO:
Set in 1832 West Yorkshire, England, Gentleman Jack is inspired by the true-story and coded journals of Anne Lister (played by Suranne Jones), and follows her attempt to revitalize her inherited home, Shibdhen Hall. Most notably for the time period, a part of Lister’s plan is to help the fate of her own family by taking a wife.
The show is written by a woman! The same woman who wrote Happy Valley, from the paragraph above! It is directed by three women! It has a fiercely independent lady main character subverting traditional expectations! It’s a period piece! And it has Sophie Rundle!! What else could my feminist, history-loving heart ask for?!!?
Check out Gentleman Jack on HBO starting April 22nd.
OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE SEEN SOPHIE IN BECAUSE SHE IS JUST IN THAT MANY THINGS:
The Bletchley Circle (Free on Amazon Prime)
Merlin (Free on Amazon Prime)
Shetland (Free on Amazon Prime)
Episodes (Showtime Channel)