Every now and then, an actor gives a line reading so exuberant, so large, so out there, that it completely transcends the film it comes from, and enters the realm of legend. There’s Pierce Brosnan in 1988’s Taffin, for example, roaring at his girlfriend that maybe she shouldn’t be living here. There’s Nic Cage in The Wicker Man, protesting about bees. And there’s now a new entry to that select pantheon: yes, Empire’s Freakout Of The Year comes from Sophie Turner in Netflix’s high school-set black comedy Do Revenge. In case you’d missed it, she does not do cocaine.
“I just had an idea of what I wanted to do with these scenes, and the more out-of-nowhere it came from, the better,” Turner tells Empire of the unexpected viral internet sensation, in which she unleashes some indignant fury at Camila Mendes’ mean girl Drea after she frames her character Erica as a coke addict. “You know those famous Leonardo DiCaprio outbursts that he has in almost every movie, or those Jack Nicholson outbursts, those crazy, wild, totally free, spontaneous scenes? I wanted to give myself one of those. For most of my career, I’ve been playing someone who has a lot of pent-up feelings. I’ve been longing for a scene where one of my characters was able to scream and cry and shout and push people around.” Well Sophie, consider that box ticked.
The role of Erica is actually a relatively small one in the film, but it’s Turner’s rage that has echoed around the world and provided material for a million memes. The actress was of course already well known from playing Sansa in Game Of Thrones and Jean Grey in the most recent generation of X-Men movies, but this is a new kind of fame. “It’s been so funny and quite bizarre,” she reflects. “It was just a two-day, fun little thing that I did on my days off from shooting something else. Someone said to me the other day, ‘Sophie, Do Revenge is the best thing you’ve done.’ I didn’t know whether to be proud or slightly offended!” Of that performance? She should definitely be proud.
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