The Event | Laura Innes & Evan Katz Discuss Sophia’s Choices
Sophia Maguire is free at last, free at last.
The leader of a mysterious species of humanoids of unknown origin, Sophia has spent the better part of her time on Earth imprisoned in a facility at Mount Inostranka, Alaska, working to free her people from custody through diplomacy. But there are others like her out there in the world, men and women who aren’t nearly as patient as Sophia is. Led by a man named Thomas, these humanoids are willing to wreak havoc against mankind if their people aren’t set free. After internal deliberations — and, really, out of necessity — U.S. President Elias Martinez has agreed to turn Sophia over to Thomas’ custody, bringing both leaders of the humanoid movement together for the first time since they first crash landed in 1944.
And as viewers are about to learn, diplomacy isn’t the only tactic at Sophia’s disposal.
“I think there’s two things that are going to happen [with Sophia] as this season progresses,” The Event executive producer Evan Katz told Spinoff Online during a press conference call held last week. “One is you’re going to sort of learn who she really is, because you’ve really only seen her in captivity playing sort of a Nelson Mandela like role to the President. But in the next batch of episodes, I think you’re really going to see — you know, obviously she’s a leader for a reason. You’re going to see her steal. You’re going to see the difficult and sometimes shocking and ugly things a leader has to do.”
“I think that ultimately, her first choice would be diplomatic, peaceful resolution to a conflict,” assessed Laura Innes, the actress tasked with playing the complicated Sophia. “Now if that’s not possible, then she’s willing to take the next step, but I think that she will do almost anything to avoid harming [people], especially harming people who are innocent.”
But Sophia might have to make some difficult choices in the coming episodes, according to both the actress and the producer. Innes teased that her character gets to explore some new sides starting with tonight’s seventh episode of the series. “The plot thickens, as they say,” she said. “Episode seven was I think the first episode where I feel like she’s got to kind of bust out a little bit, and Evan and the gang kind of gave her a great scene with the character of Thomas, and you start to see her really express her real feelings. That was fun to do. It’s fun for her to be out.”
“And then in episode nine, that was just a fantastic episode for me to do,” she continued. “It’s very intense and it’s very sort of shocking what she does and what she’s forced to do.”
Innes said it’s not always easy playing such a secretive character on an equally secretive series. “I think as an actress, you feel like, ‘Okay. I have to figure out a way to make this huge, unimaginable situation real for me and grounded,’” she explained. “I was saying to one of the other writers that at first that felt frustrating, because I don’t know so much and we all don’t know so much about what’s going to happen and what our back stories are. But then it felt very liberating to really try to imagine what could put someone in this spot and make them do the things that they do.”
Although Innes and her fellow actors are tasked with filling the gaps of their characters’ history for their own sakes, Katz insists that he and his writing staff have a clear idea of where The Event is headed. “We know where we want to end,” he said. “We have a couple of benchmarks that we want to hit along the way, but … we make sure we leave room for us to discover the story on its own and evolve what we discover about the stories and about the actors.”
One mystery that Katz knows, for instance, is precisely who Sophia and Thomas’ people actually are. “I would say there is a surprise, a big surprise, coming about who they really are,” the producer teased. “But I don’t think anyone’s really hit on it yet, exactly anyway.”
Count Innes as one of the people who hasn’t figured out exactly who and what Sophia really is, even if she has her own ideas. “I don’t know any of that,” she said. “I know what I imagine in my mind, but that has nothing to do with where the show’s headed. And I just love that people are interested in talking about it and speculating, and we’ve heard every possible scenario about who we are and where we came from. It will be discovered by all of us as we go on.”
The question of who Sophia’s people really are is a question for further down the road, perhaps, but for now, Katz revealed that the forthcoming episodes would inform the viewers as to who Sophia is as a person and what it is that makes her tick. “In the next couple of episodes, you’re going to learn what her true relationship with Thomas is,” he teased, “what her real priorities are now that she’s out, and what the challenges to her leadership are.”
An all-new episode of The Event airs this Monday (November 8) at 9/8 PM central on NBC.