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My name is Sophie Brabenec, an actress, of Czech, French and Irish descent.
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, I was raised by two very theatrical and fun women – my mum and grandma, who instilled a great appreciation for performance, the arts, story telling and adventure. My mum was an actress in my younger years, and we even trained at the same drama school – The National Theatre – thirty years apart! Looking back, I have very fond memories of Sunday afternoons at my Grandma’s, watching ‘the midday movie’, often in black and white, inspired by the likes of Shirley Temple, Dean Martin, Mickey Rooney, Jerry Lewis and Elvis (oh Elvis!).
I also loved jamming out with my keyboard and recorder, creating mix tapes for my family in the back sun room. Not much has changed there and I have always found immense joy in singing, dancing, reciting poetry and performing generally.
Maybe it was these early days with my Grandma exploring poetry that garnered a love of hip hop and an appreciation for rhyme. I’ve fancied myself as an ’emcee’ of sorts, someone who likes to rhyme over a beat, with a stage name – Miss Seboo. I once played in an electro funk band, named Zun, and over the years have recorded both independently and on other people’s tracks. In current day I’ve continued with this ‘special skill’, and found an improv hip hop group, ‘The Ghost Face Kittens’, born out of Second City, Hollywood, to perform with.
My career started not long out of drama school, when I was cast in a small, but noteworthy role as a cagey receptionist in an Australian indie feature, ‘The Independent‘, distributed nationally. Not long after this, wanting to explore the industry internationally and with an EU passport in hand, I relocated to Brixton, a vibrant and culturally rich, Caribbean suburb of London, and spent four years navigating my way into the world of English stage and film.
I had a number of unforgettable experiences during this time, working with Olivier award-winning producer/director Adam Spreadbury-Maher on theatre production ‘Cosi’ as a woman with severe OCD. Extra Extra applauded ‘the quiet intensity of Sophie Brabenec’s Ruth, as stand out’. Then there was ‘Naughty Chekhov’, a series of brilliant Chekhovian farces, in which I played multiple roles and had such a laugh doing. Premier UK publication The Stage gave me a nod, ‘a special commendation for her terribly unlucky in love character Olga’. British/Romanian indie feature ‘D’ora‘ was one of my first leading film roles, playing a mischievous and sassy Russian, named Masha. This film is a story of immigration, sacrifice and an individual’s quest to follow their dreams. It is one close to my heart reminding me of my father’s journey as a Czech refugee. ‘D’ora’ screened at Cannes, BAFTA and select UK cinemas in 2014.
Moving to Los Angeles was always the goal, so after four years in London gaining professional experience, I knew it was time to make another hop across the pond. LA has presented all sorts of wonderful opportunities since arriving. It is a city that excites me tremendously and one which I’ve formed a very happy relationship.
I have discovered my love for comedy, and am very proud of my first foray into content creation, showcased in an 8-part mockumentary ‘day in the life of ‘ series, ‘Visioneering: Forward Thinkers of the World’ (2018). I play the lead and starring role; Spirit of Authenticity in the Ritual Afterlife – a passive aggressive and overly confident guru.
The improv scene has been a world I have been reveling in with studies at UCB, Second City and current training at Groundlings.
Other LA highlights include, comedy pilot, ‘Green Card for Love‘, a parody of the Bachelor, playing a fiesty and determined Russian, immersive theatre production (extraordinaire!) ‘Theatre Macabre‘ with Saw director, Darren Lynn Bousman, playing a distressed and unhinged British princess disguised as a French gypsy, ‘You‘ feature film – based on the Sandy Hook shootings, winner of the Best Director award and nominated for Best Picture at IFS Film Fest (2017), playing a representation of the shooter’s mother, and PSA ‘My Heroes‘, an online piece about acceptance and gender fluidity that went viral and generated mass interest, with me in the role of an open minded and nurturing mother.
I also work commercially, have had recent adventures into the world of VR, and partake in the odd voice over.
For a more up to date and detailed account of projects old and new, please click the ‘News’ page.