OPHELIA LOVIBOND ON PLAYING DYNAMIC CHARACTERS IN HOLLYWOOD – EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Ophelia Lovibond photographed by Rebecca Miller for The Untitled Magazine #GirlPower Issue. Ophelia wears a dress by Luisa Beccaria and a ring by Shaun Leane.
Ophelia Lovibond photographed by Rebecca Miller for The Untitled Magazine #GirlPower Issue. Ophelia wears a dress by Luisa Beccaria and a ring by Shaun Leane.

“I always had a very active imagination. I had an imaginary friend called Fly!” English actress Ophelia Lovibond, best known for her role as Kitty Winter on CBS’s Elementary, is unique. Not only for her childhood imaginary friend, or her incredible name, but also for her genuine love for the art of acting. Born with imagination, it was through the encouragement of her brother to join a local theatre workshop that she first applied those qualities at age ten. “I knew instantly it’s what I wanted to do.” Her mother, a counselor at a women’s prison, taught her personal strength and confidence. “She taught me not to compromise on who you are…just to know yourself and kind of revel in that.”

Ophelia’s authenticity helped her land roles such as Kitty Winter in Elementary. “The whole process of landing the role of Kitty was remarkably straightforward,” she recalls. “My agent called up and said that the creator of the show, Rob Doherty, wanted to talk to me about a new character they were introducing. He asked me to put a couple of scenes on tape. Two days later I was told I had the part and would be flying out to New York!” Ophelia stars as Sherlock Holmes’ (played by Jonny Lee Miller) protégé alongside Lucy Liu. “I think having a woman play Watson enhances the dynamic, because it’s quite unusual to have that sort of platonic relationship depicted on screen…It shows that there’s no reason why many roles that are written as men can’t just as easily be played by women.” Hollywood may not be gender-blind yet, but Ophelia’s views on equality are. “I am absolutely a feminist. It represents equality for everyone, regardless of sex or race, and that can only mean a more progressive, balanced society. Feminism is about a more fluid understanding of gender allowing men, for example, to be able to express more typically ‘feminine’ characteristics without fear of being labeled un-macho, which again could lead to a healthier society.”

Ophelia wears a Top by Self Portrait, skirt by Basharatyan V, and bangle and ring by Jade Jagger.
Ophelia wears a Top by Self Portrait, skirt by Basharatyan V, and bangle and ring by Jade Jagger.

Along with the film The Autopsy of Jane Doe, currently in post-production, Ophelia’s projects include her stage debut in the play The Effect by Lucy Prebble. In what she describes as “one of the most dynamic, complex characters I’ve ever played,” she portrays Connie, a psychology student. “The play is set in a drug trial…She [Connie] thinks everything through which has made her disengage with the world around her. And then at the drug trial, she meets someone that is completely different. She just falls violently in love.”

Ophelia has a deadpan humor which combined with her honest demeanor is an endearing quality that creates a perfect canvas for her characters and also allows for some spot-on words of wisdom for future starlets. Along with “take Fountain” referring to the street that is quicker than Sunset Boulevard to get to Hollywood, she encourages, “Know that you have a voice…it can be quite frustrating, but don’t lose that confidence in your desire to tell the world different stories.”

This page: She wears a dress by PPQ and rings by Jade Jagger.
Ophelia wears a dress by PPQ and rings by Jade Jagger.

Interview by Indira Cesarine for The Untitled Magazine #GirlPower Issue
Photography by Rebecca Miller
Stylist: Holly Ounstead
Hair by Fabio Nogueira
Make-up by Justine Jenkins Photographed at The French House

This article originally appeared in The #GirlPower Issue of The Untitled Magazine (2015), pick up a print edition of the issue today!


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