Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

You Don't Want Ada Shelby in the Jamestown Settlement. She Would Destroy Them All; Murder, Kidnap and Treachery Are on the Cards, as Sky One's Ambitious Drama Jamestown Returns for a Second Series. but Star Sophie Rundle Is Hoping It Will Spark Another Conversation. She Tells GEMMA DUNN Why Women Need to Be Properly Represented on Screen

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

You Don't Want Ada Shelby in the Jamestown Settlement. She Would Destroy Them All; Murder, Kidnap and Treachery Are on the Cards, as Sky One's Ambitious Drama Jamestown Returns for a Second Series. but Star Sophie Rundle Is Hoping It Will Spark Another Conversation. She Tells GEMMA DUNN Why Women Need to Be Properly Represented on Screen

Article excerpt

Byline: GEMMA DUNN

SHE plays a strong, dynamic woman in Sky One hit Jamestown - and Sophie Rundle wouldn't have it any other way. The self-branded 'feminist actress' says her character Alice is just the type of woman people want to see on TV.

"It's indicative of an audience's desire to see female-led dramas, fleshed out female protagonists, and this is part of that movement."

She also insists: "That's something I've been conscious of and want to make true in all jobs I do.

"It's important we have women at the front and centre."

Ever since graduating from RADA in 2011, Sophie has made a beeline for 'fully fleshed out, multi-faceted parts', unafraid to turn down those that don't meet her criteria.

The 29-year-old has held her own as the capable Ada Shelby in Peaky Blinders; caused waves as a skilled code-breaker in wartime hit The Bletchley Circle; and starred in comedy drama Brief Encounters about women running Ann Summers parties.

Now, the British actress is back to reprise her role in the second season of Jamestown, which kicks off with a special double-bill.

Bigger, better, and bolder than ever, the corset drama - direct from the makers of Downton Abbey - returns to 17th century Virginia to chart the early days of the first British settlers as they establish their place in the New World.

She But while the tobacco plantations are starting to provide the wealth they promised and trade booms, the status quo is soon to be disrupted by births, deaths and broken marriages.

For one, former farm girl Alice - who suffered a horrific rape ordeal at the hands of Henry (Max Beesley) in the first run, and has since married his brother Silas (Stuart Martin) - has given birth.

"That's the reason the (women) were all brought over here, to make future bloodlines," says Sophie, whose character made the journey of a lifetime across the ocean, from England to America, in the first series.

"She's the first to achieve that, so she symbolises the future of Jamestown and that's a very isolating position to be put in," she empathises.

"And on a human level, I imagine it must be a terrifying thing to have no one to ask, 'Am I doing this right? Can you help me with this?"' "Everyone wants a piece of the baby, considers it their property, and wants ownership of it," she adds. "She's exhausted, like most new mums, but she's really on her own."

Perhaps not the happy ever after she had dreamed of, then. But has Alice's fear of Henry abated? "It's still very much there and it was very important to me that that doesn't go away because it's a brutal primal violation that we saw in episode one, and not something you should minimise or trivialise," she says. "She was always very strong, but now she's a new mother, she has this ferocity and this primal need to protect her family. …

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