9 Things We Learned When We Interviewed Cinderella Star Sophie McShera

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: We talk fashion, cinema street parties and tearing up the White House with Cinderella star Sophie McShera

Chatting exclusively with Downton star Sophie McShera – who’s playing one of the (not so ugly) step-sisters in the new film adaptation of Cinderella – we obvs wanted to find out what it was really like playing the evil counterpart to her former Downton cast-mate Lily James’s Cinderella.

But high tea, tours around the White House and cinema street parties – this rising-star is full of surprises…

1. What it’s really like to play the mean girl
‘It was so much fun playing the evil stepsister in Cinderella, but I did feel bad – every time we’d finish a take I’d have to say sorry to Lily [James]. I was upstairs and she was downstairs, so it was a complete role reversal after Downton Abbey. She still looked beautiful in her rags, though.’

2. Crop tops are her fashion staple
‘My friends would howl if I claimed I was androgynous – I’m not tall enough! I like twin-sets and I’m famous for always wearing crop tops. I’m quite low-key – Isabel Marant is one of my favourite designers. And I’ve got some amazing Paul Smith brogues with detachable tongues.’

(Photo, from left: Holliday Grainger, Cate Blanchett and Sophie McShera in Cinderella)

3. She wanted to be Julie Andrews when she was younger

‘I was obsessed with The Sound of Music. I always feel nostalgic watching it. When I was ten, I had a weird cinema party where I invited everyone from my street to come. I pretended I was an usher and tried to sell them all popcorn.’

4. The West Wing is her all-time favourite TV Show
‘When the Downton cast went to the White House for a tour, I kept saying, “It’s just like The West Wing!” The staff were like, ‘it is the West Wing.’

5. She loves to catch up with her BFF, actress Rose Leslie, over afternoon tea
‘If me and my friends are feeling decadent we go for afternoon tea. My mate Rose [Leslie] and I love the Charlotte Street Hotel in London, it’s dreamy. And my Downton cast mate Rob James-Collier [who plays the evil butler] introduced me to an amazing cake shop – Maison Bertaux – in Soho. It’s been open for like 100 years, and it looks like someone’s living room inside.’

6. She’s obsessed with her Kindle
‘I’ve just finished We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, which was great. On my Kindle cover is my favourite book of all time – To Kill A Mockingbird. I’m not even speaking to people any more, I just want to be reading my Kindle the whole time!’

7. She can sing too, y’know!  
‘I’ve just done an American TV show called Galavant and I sang in that. Alan Menkin – who wrote all the Disney music, like The Little Mermaid – writes all the songs. It doesn’t feel like Disney, though, it’s more of a comedy.’

8. She’s not bothered about make-up
‘I’m really rubbish at putting anything on my skin, because I don’t like the feel of it. But I do love Kate Moss’s Rimmel lipsticks – I keep them in all my coat pockets.’

9. Joni Mitchell is one of her idols

‘I listen to a lot of old music, like Joni Mitchell and David Bowie. My dad has forced me to watch so many old films too – I’ve seen It’s A Wonderful Life about 900 times! And I love Breakfast at Tiffany’s – the soundtrack is amazing.’

Sophie stars in Cinderella, out on 27th March

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