IN CONVERSATION WITH RUBY STOKES
Interview by Jana Letonja
Ruby Stokes is a rising British actress who can currently be seen starring as Lucy in Netflix’s ‘Lockwood & Co.’ The detective thriller series, which is based on Jonathan Stroud’s young adult novels of the same name, launched on 27th January. Previously, Ruby had a supporting role in the first two seasons of Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton’ as Francesca Bridgerton.
Ruby, you’re the lead star in Netflix’s ‘Lockwood & Co.’, a detective thriller series based on the book series ot the same name. Have you read the books before filming the series? How does the series differ from the books in your opinion?
The series is an incredibly loyal book adaption. It is full of love, joy, grief, adventure and at the heart of it are the characters. It is driven by their relationship dynamics with one another and individual trajectories. The central three keep the audience encompassed in their trio. There are elements that were changed or taken out in order to delve into more key plot points, but it remains largely faithful.
I read the books once I knew I’d be playing Lucy. They are told from her viewpoint, so having such a detailed perspective of the character was brilliant. It also meant my Lucy had to remain pretty faithful, which was an exciting challenge. I was able to bring elements to her that felt authentic to myself though. Jonathan Stroud, the author of the books, has built such an informative parallel world and it was a joy bringing it to screen.
In the series you portray Lucy, a young psychic investigator who, after being abandoned and betrayed by the adults in her life who were meant to protect her, joins London’s smallest ghost-hunting agency run by two teenage boys. How was it portraying her in this thriller, exciting story?
It’s not often we see a young woman at the helm of a hero story. I was excited by this prospect. Lucy is incredibly kickass and powerful, but she’s also going through the universal experience of being a teenager. She can be vulnerable, outspoken, shy and joyful. She’s four dimensional, she’s got it all. As an actor that’s exciting, to be able to play and explore with such a range.
I was able to train in sword fighting and deep underwater diving, whilst also doing far more intimate, quiet scenes.Lucy is unapologetically herself and it felt empowering to play that. I learnt a lot from her and hopefully people can resonate with Lucy and the power of being an individual.
Lucy has the ability to hear the supernatural in ‘Lockwood & Co.’. if you could have one superpower, which one would be at the top of your list and why?
To fly or teleport. Seeing the world in a way I’ve never experienced before.
A lot of us remember you from your role as Francesca in the first and second season of the hit Netflix series ‘Bridgerton’. How does it feel having been a part of this hugely globaly successful series?
It was incredible being part of such a cultural moment. I loved my time on it and playing Francesca, but mostly the people I had the joy of working with.
You began your career as an actress very young. What made you interested in acting?
I was a little shy as a kid. Going to acting youth group was invaluable. I gained confidence and realised I loved it. Spending time around like minded people only encouraged my keenness for it to blossom.
You just wrapped production as the co-lead in Paramount+ thriller ‘The Burning Girls’, a series adapted from a novel, which follows a village haunted by a dark and turbulent history. What can we expect from this upcoming series?
‘The Burning Girls’ is female driven drama thriller. I play the daughter to Samantha Morton’s reverend Jack Brooke,who leaves her vacancy after her husband’s death. It’s an exciting cast, a real privilege to be a part of and play opposite. Sam is very cool and inspiring. Telling this story with her was a real moment. I’d say, expect the unexpected.
What would you say is the most valuable lesson you have learned so far in your career?
Treat everyone the way you’d like to be treated.
Ruby Stokes gets ready for a celebration for the YSL “Black Opium” fragrance in London
What is your biggest dream in your career? What kind of characters or projects you really want to work on?
There’s so much I can’t wait to do. Theatre is at the top of my list. It’s a different process to TV and film, experiencing a live audience, a rehearsal room, a company.
‘d love to do a biopic. Madonna and Dolly Parton are icons and idols of mine. It would be a huge, but exciting challenge to study someone, learn to move and speak the way they do, undo what I know and step into their shoes.
Ruby, tell us more about some of your other passions and hobbies.
I love circus, I trained in silks, flying trapeze, etc. I stopped for work, but am very eager to take it up again. After a circus class you feel on top of the world.
I really enjoy going to gigs and the theatre. I often share those moments with my family, which makes them even better.
If you could travel anywhere in the world at this very moment, where would you want to go the most and why?
Japan. I’ve always wanted to go.
photography DAVID M. BENETT/GETTY
interview JANA LETONJA
portrait photography PIP
styling HOLLY WHITE
hair BEN TALBOTT
makeup AMANDA GROSSMAN