ABOVE: SOPHIE STUCKEY. PHOTO COURTESY OF NICK WALL
The young Sophie Stuckey is an old pro at horror films. The 20-year-old actress from Camden co-starred as a child actress on films such as Close Your Eyes opposite Goran Visnjic and 2005’s The Dark, in which she played Maria Bello’s young daughter. Last time we saw her on the big screen was in Nia Vardalos’ 2009 comedy My Life in Ruins; but this year is set to be a big one for Stuckey. She kicks off the year by playing Daniel Radcliffe’s wife, Stella Kipps, in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of Susan Hill’s terrifying 1983 novel The Woman in Black. The film producers include Hammer Horror Films, the legendary film company who brought us cult terror and fantasy classics such as The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula and One Million Years B.C. The Woman in Black‘s trailer cautions not to watch the film alone—we’re inclined to follow that advice.
MIGUEL FIGUEROA: In past roles, you’ve been best friends with a zombie, a werewolf has fallen in love with you, and now you play the wife of Daniel Radcliffe, obviously best known as a wizard. What comes after this? Leprechaun children?
SOPHIE STUCKEY: I wish! That sounds like an original movie!
FIGUEROA: Does your character in the film, Stella Kipps, have the same fate the character had in the original novel? Were there many changes from the original novel to the screenplay?
STUCKEY: I couldn’t tell you. Reading the script and watching the play were both harrowing experiences enough! I drew the line at the book. From what I hear, from my friends and family who were brave enough to read it, Jane Goldman really has done the novel justice.
FIGUEROA: Horror films seem like a piece of cake for you—how do you prepare for other type of acting roles in comedies or dramas?
STUCKEY: I find comedies and “happy acting” the hardest. Give me tears and torture over joyful family dinner any day! For those scenes, I really have to train myself to relax and be fluid. I am quite a reserved person, preferring to observe rather than jump right in and make friends, so I find it quite hard to build years of friendship into a few lines.
FIGUEROA: Are there any horror film actresses that you look up to?
STUCKEY: No one in particular. I look up to actresses who challenge themselves and are brave in the roles they take on.
FIGUEROA: Would you ever consider doing completely the opposite as a horror film, perhaps a musical?
STUCKEY: I would love to do a musical! There is nothing more fun than singing and dancing in unison. I love that stuff. I want to do a lot of different projects, but I want all of them to be good. Whatever I choose will be on record for life so I have to be proud of it.
FIGUEROA: You’ve managed to take a quite challenging step for child actors: stepping into young adult roles. What do you think is important to do in this progression so that you don’t get left behind in the child-actor limbo?
STUCKEY: You need to have something to fall back on and that can fulfill you if acting doesn’t work out. It takes the pressure off. I am really happy that I took the time out to get my grades, because it gave me a chance to develop my character outside of the industry. Also, make sure you are being represented by the right people. What was right for you then may not be right for you now. It’s okay to move with the times.
THE WOMAN IN BLACK OPENS FEBRUARY 3.