Interview With SOPHIE REYNOLDS | In Love With What I do
Whether we want to discover our talents or we want the means to experience the lifestyle we dream of, we all are seeking the right professional path. Even as children, we were often asked questions such as: “Who you want to be when you grow up?” What if there is no right or wrong path, but endless possibilities to explore what feels right for us. No matter what you do, when you feel happy and joyful you can sense your creative expression flowing into an infinite swirl of opportunities. Time becomes efficient and ‘hard work’ is replaced with satisfying work, and then you know that you love what you do.
Talented young actress Sophie Raynolds loves dancing and acting as she reveals: “I have had many periods where auditioning seems like the hardest thing in the world and everyone is just saying “no.” That’s always when I find my way back to class. It really helps remind me that, first and foremost, I just love acting and I don’t really need anyone to pay me to do it in order for me to love it.”
In this uplifting interview with Sophie, you will be inspired by her insightful words and her story as an example of powerful inner-wisdom that reflects in everything she loves to do.
- Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Sophie Reynolds?
I’m a 20-year old actress living in Los Angeles who loves traveling, the beach, popcorn, good TV, my family and friends who are like family.
- Do you remember the moment you fell in love with acting?
I don’t think falling in love with acting was a specific moment for me. It was more of a process. I started as a dancer and loved performing from a young age. When I was around 14 years old, I joined an acting class. Every time I left class I was my happiest self. Exploring people and how we react to things through class, I think, is what made me fall in love with acting. I don’t think I realized how much I loved it until I was on the set of my first big job at age 15. It was extremely intimidating, but I felt completely at home. I think that’s when I knew I really loved it.
- The entertainment industry is full of diverse and contrasting moments. During challenging events, how do you shift your focus to the positive to continuously nurture your passion for acting and personal growth?
I have had many periods where auditioning seems like the hardest thing in the world and everyone is just saying “no.” That’s always when I find my way back to class. It really helps remind me that, first and foremost, I just love acting and I don’t really need anyone to pay me to do it in order for me to love it. I think being a dancer my whole life really taught me about the value of training. It gives me a lot of mental stability to know that I’m bettering myself and my art, even when I’m not filming a movie or TV show.
- Do you have any inner-practices that help you to develop and expand your acting skills?
I’m constantly analyzing myself and other people, almost to an extreme. I find people so fascinating and I think it’s important as an actor to really understand people’s emotions and reactions and what motivates them. That said, I have also found that sometimes I just have to remind myself to breathe and let go, both in life and in acting. That’s always what grounds me and lets me connect with my scene partner.
- On Sony Pictures TV, Jerry Bruckheimer and Spectrum’s drama series LA’s Finest, which just premiered this May, you play Isabel, who is an angsty teenager. What was your process to become Isabel?
Well first, I made a playlist of songs I think she’d listen to. I think someone’s taste in music says a lot about them, so I like to do that with new characters! Becoming ‘Isabel’ for me was about seeing her as more than just an ‘angsty’ teen. Anytime I play a character with a more extreme attitude, I focus on their vulnerable side because that’s what they hide from people. I find what someone chooses to hide from the world to be much more interesting than what they present because that’s what is really most important to them; That’s what they are protecting.
- Being ‘angsty’ is a common trait associated with adolescence. Did you bring any of your own experiences coming of age into your portrayal of Isabel?
When I was a teen, I don’t think I ever was very ‘angsty’ actually! I was pretty different from Izzy. That said, I definitely was strong and a bit of a fighter, so I brought a lot of that spirit to Isabel. I treated the ‘angst’ as more of a defense mechanism.
- Isabel and her mom Nancy, played by Jessica Alba, have a complicated relationship. Why do you think Isabel is so abrasive towards her mother, and what do you think she really wants?
Well, Nancy is actually her stepmother. Isabel’s mom died a few years ago. I think a lot of her abrasive attitude is rooted in the pain she feels from losing her mother. Fighting with Nancy is really Isabel’s way of testing her. She needs Nancy to prove that she won’t leave her. Izzy is terrified of getting close and losing another mother. Nancy is also a cop, so that fear of her not coming home someday is real. That relationship and dynamic was really fun to develop with Jessica. She has to earn Izzy’s trust and that was really interesting to explore.
- How would you describe your experience in LA’s Finest working alongside Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union – two incredibly talented and successful women?
Working with Jessica and Gabrielle has been a total dream come true. They are a huge inspiration for me and learning from them on- and off-screen was incredible. They lead our show with so much passion and have been really supportive of me, not to mention they are just cool people who are fun to work with.
- Before working on LA’s Finest, you were well-known for your part as Ashley on Disney’s The Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything. The two shows are quite different – what was the experience of switching from one genre to the other?
I have always had a special place in my heart for comedy and that kind of felt like a safe space for me, so jumping into drama was a bit scary. I’ve never really viewed drama and comedy as all that different. Both shows have taught me a lot and I’m very thankful to be able to jump between genres because I truly love both. Every time I do something dramatic, I crave comedy and vice versa, so I feel blessed to have the opportunity to do both.
- How was it to work on Disney, a channel that is so beloved in your generation?
I never imagined myself acting when I was young, so ending up on Disney felt very surreal. I was so excited to be part of something that was such a huge part of my life when I was younger, and I felt really honored to be part of the Disney family. It was also the best learning experience I could have asked for as a young actor.
- Do you ever see yourself branching out from acting to writing or directing?
I could definitely see it someday, but not yet. I still feel very young in this business and I’m still learning a lot. I’m fascinated by all sides of film and television, so I’m definitely not ruling it out. However, acting is still what excites me most right now.
- Outside of being an actress, you are also a dancer. How do the different forms of creative expression you practice – acting and dancing – complement each other?
I think dancing really made me feel at home in my body, which has been a huge help in acting. Physically being comfortable in a character is so important for me. Both acting and dancing are complete mind and body art forms, so they really do complement each other.
- Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?
I’m not currently working with just one specific charity right now, but over the years I’ve been able to do things with a few different children’s charities that serve sick or underprivileged children. I find that to be the most rewarding thing. Children are the future and I think protecting and nurturing them is incredibly important.
- The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is The Essence of a Joyful Living. How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?
I am a much happier person when I’m creating. Artistic expression gives me such a release of stress, is the best tool for self-discovery and really helps me to be my best self. I love working and I’m always trying to find the joy when I’m working, both in the creative process and through my relationships on set. When I create with joy, I feel most at peace and that allows me to really be the best version of myself for the people I love. It really makes my life and all my relationships better.
- When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words from the Abraham-Hicks teachings, what is your take on such a statement?
We are in control of our destiny. It’s so easy to stop ourselves from achieving our full potential because we’re afraid of failing. I know I do that. I tell myself I can’t do something, but I know I can and I’m just afraid. Embracing the mentality that we are capable of anything allows us to overcome our fears and get out of our own way.