Let The Right One In: Sophia Forrest to have a bloody good time playing 200-year-old vampire

Sophia Forrest. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d474822
Sophia Forrest. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d474822

EIGHTY litres of stage blood imported from the UK has been delivered to Black Swan State Theatre Company and Cottesloe actor Sophia Forrest could not be more excited.

The 2016 WAAPA acting graduate is making her debut for the company in Let The Right One In at Heath Ledger Theatre playing 200-year-old vampire Eli.

“Then there are blood capsules and other things as well,” the 22-year-old said.

“Technically this show is going to be very challenging to pull off but part of the fun of being an actor is jumping through hoops.

“I love how dynamic and fast-paced the play moves. The scenes themselves are quite simple and sit in the moment, but it’s also so grand with these huge death scenes and the challenge that Eli will give me by murdering lots of my cast mates.”

Forrest, daughter of Andrew and Nicola Forrest and a former St Hilda’s student, moved to Sydney after her WAAPA training and soon signed on to hit television drama Love Child where she played pregnant teen Debbie.

She said her family had always been supportive of her career choice, having a laugh at certain characters she had played “and the fact I’m playing a vampire has been the butt of many jokes at the family dinner table”.

“Acting wasn’t something I ever considered to be a viable career option growing up and I was dead set on psychology,” Forrest said.

“But I took a gap year and towards the end of it I knew I could never sit at a desk, so I decided to explore what I could do on my feet that would change every single day, and the answer was acting.

“I think I’m just a curious person about people and what makes them tick. (Psychology and acting) seems to go hand in hand.”

Forrest is working opposite fellow WAAPA graduate Ian Michael, who studied the Indigenous theatre course, and plays Oskar in Let The Right One In which is based on the Swedish novel and film by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

“It’s a beautiful coming of age, friendship story that’s also a horror,” she said.

“It surrounds a young boy called Oskar and him growing up. You see all the different parts of his life that are so broken; both his parents are dysfunctional, he’s horrifically bullied at school and then this young girl moves in next door to him and it’s the first time you really see him being cared for.

“There’s such a tender side to their relationship in this fractured world. They’re so good but so bad for each other because she is a vampire and by nature quite destructive.”

Forrest said Eli was the most complex character she had played, being a 200-year-old vampire in the body of a 12-year-old girl.

It’s a real tightrope and there’s so many different factors to take in,” she said.

“Clare Watson (BSSTC artistic director) is only the third female director I’ve worked with; she runs a tight ship and it’s a privilege to work with such a phenomenal director.”

What: Let The Right One In
Where: Heath Ledger Theatre
When: November 11 to December 3
Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au

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