David E. Kelley approached Sienna Miller for the role of Sophie in Anatomy of a Scandal 2 years back. Having played wives and girlfriends in several projects, she was a perfect choice. But the narrative was oddly similar to her own life: It echoed her 2000s scandal. In the series, Sophie is grappling with her husband’s unfaithfulness when the Daily Mail publicizes the personal matter. Much in the same way, her then-fiance Jude Law was caught sleeping with his kid’s nanny. The whole matter caused great damage to her reputation.
“I had reservations because it felt sort of ugly and familiar. In the weird, twisted way that somehow exists, I was drawn to that, to exploring that from a different perspective,” she said.
But it was worth it.
“There’s catharsis in all of it. Anytime you get to go to work and cry, it sort of feels weirdly good.”
Sienna drew from her past experiences to portray Sophie in Anatomy of a Scandal
“There is a kind of muscle memory about many of her experiences that I have. So it was quite available.”
Her past experiences surely helped her to add certain nuances to her character in the Anatomy of a Scandal. And it was highly appreciated by the showrunner, Melissa James Gibson, and author, Sarah Vaughan. Moreover, Sarah noted, “I don’t know if I’m reading into that because of knowing what she’s experienced. But I think there’s an anger to it, but a contained anger.”
But it was both a boon and curse for her. Sometimes, Sienna would totally lose herself to the character. She would appear “practically possessed”.
“The feeling that something’s about to come out that you have absolutely no control over, the anxiety of knowing that you’ve got one sleep before something intensely personal is made extremely public, that’s an agonizing state of affairs,” she explained, while touching upon how she felt during the shoot.
But despite the hardships that she has endured, Sienna is more grounded and confident now. And we are certainly glad that she chose to be Sophie.