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Interview: Actress Sophie Thatcher on Playing a Space Treasure Hunter in ‘Prospect’

May 3, 2019Ben MK

One of the beauties of the sci-fi genre is just how much freedom it allows, from a storytelling perspective. Whether it's an epic space opera like Star Wars or an intimate tale of terror like Alien, the possibilities are virtually unlimited.

Take Prospect, for example, which tells the story of a father-daughter team of treasure hunters (Jay Duplass and Sophie Thatcher) who find themselves marooned on a lonely, alien world, where the only hope for survival depends on an uneasy truce with a dangerous rogue (Pedro Pascal). Based on the short film of the same name, writers/directors Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell's indie sci-fi tale blends the science fiction aesthetic with the sensibilities of a Western, yielding results that will captivate audiences looking for something with a little more edge than your typical genre fare.

I caught up with up-and-coming actress Sophie Thatcher during the 2018 Toronto After Dark film festival to discuss the movie, as well as her career aspirations.

What drew you to this role, and how did you come to be involved in this project?

Thatcher: I was captivated by the immersive world Zeek [Earl] and Chris [Caldwell] had created. I was transfixed reading the script for the first time and resonated with [my character] Cee. Her journey throughout the film amazed me; as she grows into a fearless and powerful young woman. My agents/manager initially sent me the audition. I taped it, was called back, and then they flew me out to Seattle to meet Zeek and Chris. I immediately trusted them and felt that this project was going to be special.

You're very much the star of this film, but let's not forget about your esteemed co-stars. What was it like working with Jay Duplass and Pedro Pascal, and did they pass along any advice or invaluable anecdotes from their acting experiences onto you?

Thatcher: It honestly felt like two different films working with them. Filming began with Jay, and he felt like a cool father figure and then Pedro came in later. They both had great energies; although very different. Jay and I would often improvise every last take to give a more naturalistic approach to the scene. He helped everyone on set (him being the King of Indie Films and all — couldn't have done it without him). Pedro brought this lightheartedness to the set and was an incredibly generous scene partner.

What was the most memorable part of shooting the film for you, personally?

Thatcher: It was my first time ever experiencing night shoots. Often, filming would begin in the evening and would sometimes go until the early morning. It took a while to adjust to this, but I remember feeling so much closer with the cast and crew. We were all suffering from lack of sleep together. We formed a tight bond.

Obviously your career is just getting started, but what actors or directors are you most hopeful to work with in the future?

Thatcher: Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch are huge inspirations (Paris, Texas is one of my favorite films of all time). Although John Cassavetes and Krzysztof Kieslowski have passed, they would have been a dream to work with. I would love to direct and create my own stuff someday. Carey Mulligan and Michelle Williams are my actress icons.

Last but not least, what are you working on next? Will you be doing more television work, or will you be focusing more on feature films?

Thatcher: I have a few projects up in the air, so I'm not entirely sure yet. I would like to stay on the indie film path; it's a very comfortable and special place for me. I also make music, so I would like to release some stuff sometime soon.

Prospect is now streaming on Netflix.

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