She’s appeared on some of TV’s hottest shows and these days English actress Sonya Walger is heating up the screen on ABC’s The Catch which is back on for it’s second season. Since arriving in the states in 2001 to star in The Mind of the Married Man, her first American show on HBO, she’s been enjoying success in a career that has always been on her radar.
While at Oxford University, a desire to act and direct led Walger and some of her former classmates to start their own theatre company. It was during one of their productions that the actress was spotted by an agent and right after graduation she began working. “I got a great start with a wonderful agent, but I struggled like anyone else,” says Walger.
BELLA caught up with the actress to talk about her work, then and now, and what she has planned for 2017….
You were born and raised in London – when did you leave home for the states?
I left to do the pilot of The Mind of the Married Man for HBO and we got picked up fairly quickly and then ran for two seasons so I ended up staying in Los Angeles.
In looking back how would you describe the move?
It was incredibly lonely. I had the most loving cast who helped me find my feet and make friends but it was strange and foreign and very tough not having family here or any kind of emotional infrastructure. I look back now and want to give myself such a hug and say, “It’s going to be ok and all work out.” At that time I had no sense of that at all. It all just felt bewildering and alien, and even though we all speak the same language it felt like I had nothing in common at all with the people I was meeting.
What was your breakout role?
Donna on Mind of the Married Man; it was that role that launched my career here. But Penny from Lost is who I will take to my grave.
What is it about that role that stands out for you in such a profound way?
I think Penny and Desmond came to symbolize this deeply pure devotion -it was a very clear love story entwined in a narrative that wasn’t very clear about much! Lovers divided by the space time continuum aren’t really that different from lovers divided by family or race or circumstance – it’s just a story about love conquering all divides – I think that was the appeal of that couple.
Let’s talk about your current role on The Catch – how would you describe your character Margot?
She’s glorious! I love this role so much. Margot’s a badass con artist who apologizes to no one for who she is or what she does. She’s a pragmatist, a lover, an opportunist, an expert reader of human behavior, a brilliant improviser, and a cold-hearted killer. What’s not love [she say’s jokingly]!
What are you enjoying most with this particular role?
That she’s nobody’s wife, girlfriend, or therapist. She’s her own woman in her own right and not defined by her relationship to the men in her life.
With a second season around the corner what can viewers expect to see with Margot and what are you most looking forward to?
Margot is full of surprises this season and I won’t ruin any of them. Let’s just say that the past comes back to haunt her in a major way.
You guest starred on Scandal in 2014 and now are a part of another one of TV genius Shonda Rhimes’ creations. How does it feel to be a part of one of her shows?
It’s wonderful to be a part of the empire.
Tell us a little bit about your new movies which are coming out this year.
I did a wonderful comedy, an indie called Be My Baby where I play a crazy, impulsive, wonderful wreck of a woman who will stop at nothing to get pregnant. And then I play Clive Owen’s wife in Andrew Niccol’s (Truman Show, Gattaca) new movie, Anon. She’s a bereaved mother trying to get on with her new life. They’re both a far cry from Margot that it was great to flex new muscles.
As a working mom with two young children, how do you find that balance between work and family?
What balance; there is none! There is only the constant skittering from one end of the seesaw to the other. It’s all about not falling off.
How do you define beauty?
Ease, self-love, and kindness to yourself and to your body.
Finish this sentence, I am passionate about…
Cultivating whole-heartedness in everything I do and just being ‘passionate.’
Follow Sonya Walger on Social Media:
Twitter – @SonyaWalger
IG – SonyaWalgerofficial
THE CATCH – “The Wedding” – Sybil proves to be a formidable adversary and devises a well-orchestrated con that takes place at a high-profile wedding. Meanwhile, Alice finds herself in a precarious situation and Ben puts everything on the line to keep her out of danger, on the season finale of “The Catch,” THURSDAY, MAY 19 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Nicole Wilder)
SONYA WALGER, PETER KRAUSE