AN actress who grew up in Takeley has landed her first major role on long-running Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks.
Sophie Austin hit our screens on Monday night as feisty trainee doctor Lindsey Butterfield and is set to make waves in the fictional town over the coming weeks.
“Lindsey is quite a dominant character and is very feisty,” said Sophie, 29, who has been offered a year-long contract.
“She really holds her own and has got some quite lively story lines coming up.”
Lindsey is the fiancée of the eldest Roscoe brother Joe, who has just moved up from London with his four brothers and their mum, Sandy – played by seasoned actress Gillian Taylforth.
Speaking about her new co-stars, Sophie said: “It’s not a bad job working alongside five good looking lads! They are such a good bunch and Gillian is so down to earth and is really lovely.
“The whole cast have been amazing and are all so welcoming.”
The former St Mary’s Catholic School pupil has been acting for many years. Having studied drama at Hertford Regional College, Sophie went on to The Poor School in London to continue her acting and has made appearances in EastEnders, Misfits and on several adverts.
“Both my parents performed and my sister was a dancer so it’s always been in my blood; it was just what I did,” said Sophie, whose father owns Cafe of the Angels in Sawbridgeworth.
“I was always going to auditions and was fortunate enough that I could get a lot of advice from my dad.”
Sophie was asked to audition for the part of Lindsey after making an appearance in an episode of Hollyoaks last year. After several screen tests, she was offered the part in January.
“I just wanted to shout about it but couldn’t say anything!” she said.
Having lived in London for the past few years, Sophie has now moved to Liverpool for her new role, for which she has been filming everyday for around a month.
“I’ve had to move round quite a bit for jobs in the past,” she said. “You’re just happy to get them; being an actor you can be out of work a lot of the time so to get a long-term job is amazing.”
She continued: “I was a fan of [Hollyoaks] before. I like it because I really feel like it appeals to a younger audience as well as an older audience. They way they tell story lines is really real too.”
Sophie joined fellow cast members on the red carpet at the recent British Soap Awards, held in Manchester’s Media City, where the programme picked up five gongs including ‘Spectacular Scene of the Year’.
“It was amazing,” she said. “It was a bit surreal but it was great and I got to meet Mr Big!” (aka Sex and the City star Chris Noth, who presented an award and caused quite a stir among the female audience members)
Sophie’s friends and family gathered to watch her first scenes on Monday night but she had to wait to see herself in action as she was busy filming.
Summing up her experience so far, Sophie said: “It’s all been really good so far and I feel very, very lucky.”
Hollyoaks first aired in October 1995 and is shown on Channel 4, weeknights at 6.30pm.