Sophie Simnett Is The Star of Your Next Netflix Binge
Ah, teenagers. One day we’re worrying about the color of our lip gloss for cheer practice, the next day we’re trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. Or at least that’s what Sophie Simnett’s latest role in daybreak is dealing with.
We talked to Sophie all about the new Netflix binge-worthy show, DAYBREAK, growing up in London, and what’s next for her.
Tell us about your character in DAYBREAK.
I play Sam Dean, who is fondly called the “queen of Glendale.” But she isn’t your cliché popular girl. Sam is smart, quick witted, sarcastic and funny. People like her because she truly cares about others and will go out of her way to help. This was something that attracted me to the part, as so often the female leads are catty and competitive, but Sam is authentic and encouraging; a great role model for young women. I would love to be more like Sam! The story starts by following Josh Wheeler, who is on an adamant search to find his girlfriend, Sam, in the apocalypse. So you see her told through the eyes of the other characters, and as the series goes on, you see her “real self” revealed, and she isn’t the perfect girl everyone believes her to be. She’s a real woman, with insecurities and layers and history; which makes her much more likeable. I think it is a really good comparison of how people are seen on social media versus real life, and it’s important to show real people dealing with legitimate issues even when on the outside they are seemingly living the “perfect life.” DAYBREAK shows this very well.
What was high school life like in England growing up?
Very different [compared] to American high school, from what I have heard from the cast! It was really interesting coming onto a high school set, I didn’t realize cheerleaders and pep rallies were real, or at least still around! My school was much smaller, about 60-70 people in my year, and we all knew each other. We were in the middle of a high street, so there were no sports grounds or big halls. We had lots of chats about it on set, and the cast couldn’t get their heads around me taking the tube to school!
What was the craziest thing that happened during filming?
Honestly, every day is a crazy day on DAYBREAK. We would come to set and there would be a new nuke they had built, or a prosthetic of Krysta’s face with a mechanical tongue, even a ball pit full of cereal…I could go on. Our production designer Barry Chusid is a genius. He really created the world of DAYBREAK down to every tiny prop, it’s mind boggling. I would love to step inside his brain for a second.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Relax! If you keep working hard and being a good person, the right things will happen. Focus on what makes you happy and brings you actual joy rather than what you think you should be doing. You don’t have to be brilliant at everything and yes, believe it or not, you do need to sleep. Stop being so hard on yourself (This is advice that I still need now).
What is your weapon of choice to fight zombies in the apocalypse?
Being on an apocalypse show leads to very introspective set conversations (how you would survive, could you kill a zombie, etc). We got to know each other pretty fast! I would need to work on my zombie killing strength, but I think I would choose nunchucks. Fast and skilled. They’re just so cool.
Who are your style icons?
Alexa Chung and Diane Keaton every day of the week. They have this effortless professional chic [style] about them that I love and the style is fun and comfortable—it just works wonderfully.
What type of beauty regimen would you plan if there was an actual apocalypse?
I don’t know how much I would be thinking about beauty in the apocalypse, however, I would want a steamer. It is DUSTY out there!
What beauty products do you swear by?
I don’t know if it’s a beauty product, but I take scents very seriously. I have a mini spray for all my bags, but my favourite is Le Labo ‘Santal 33’ Solid Perfume. It’s a little waxy pot in a groovy metal case which you can flick open. Makes me feel like a Lady Bond.
What is your go-to Netflix binge?
Umm…this little show called DAYBREAK? I joke. But actually, my go-to Netflix binge is FRIENDS. Honestly, I reckon I watch some episodes every day. I’ve watched it so many times that the other day while it buffered I finished Chandler’s sentence…I think I need help.
What do you have coming up next?
I’m actually doing this interview from set! We are filming TWIST, which is a modern remake of the classic Oliver Twist tale. It’s a little darker and grittier than the original and is centred around London’s criminal underworld, following our gang on an art-stealing heist. I play the part of Red, who is the updated version of Nancy and it is so much fun. She’s an anomaly, complex from her somewhat tumultuous past, and answers to no one and is a parkour pro who grew up on the streets, but is now firmly in Fagin’s family of thieves.
Photo: Max Montgomery
Hair: Brian Fisher
Makeup: Tamah Krinsky
Styling: Ella-Louise Gaskell