The Girl in the Woods star Sofia Bryant has accomplished a lot over her short career since she started acting. With her first role as a voiceover in Birdboy: The Forgotten Children in 2015, the actress has been a staple on television with roles on The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, Suspicion, The Code, and her major breakout role as Dina on the Netflix series I Am Not Okay with This. Since then, she's also starring in the indie film Mark, Mary & Some Other People for Vertical Entertainment and just completed another indie feature in Julianne Fox's Never Better. I spoke to Bryant about what attracted her to the Peacock supernatural fantasy series, growing up watching Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and the original Charmed, and her rocking dream role.
"What I really liked about the script (for The Girl in the Woods) when I first read it was the characters are very slick," Bryant said. "I really liked about how we kind of explore each other's energy and figuring yourself out that's true. It's pretty authentic. It really kind of shows the in-between moments that you don't know that much. That was really exciting to read. Of course, now that it's out, it's really exciting to see how people are responding to it and resonating with it. But that's really what kind of got me interested."
Set in the Pacific Northwest, The Girl in the Woods follows Carrie's (Stefanie Scott) escape from her mysterious, cult-like colony that guards the world against monsters hidden behind a secret door within the woods. Bryant plays Tasha and admits the role is a lot more action-oriented than her more grounded parts. Filming for the series felt a bit unconventional due to COVID protocols. "Because of COVID when we first got to Portland, we actually all quarantine for two weeks," she said. "None of us met each other until we got to set and that was when we really got our first conversations and saw each other in person. We all met up on Zoom before our first day."
Filming the Peacock series affected cast camaraderie with the isolation. "I definitely think we all brought our unique differences to the table," Bryant said. "I think that we kind of were able to bond occasionally. It was a little bit hard, though, because we were still shooting when we weren't on set, we couldn't really spend a ton of time together. So it was kind of tricky to have even with the cast party at the end." Since wrapping up on the season, she has adjusted. "It's slowly becoming easier. It's definitely different and everything now it's easier to be around people. I also personally had a bit more comfortable being around people knowing that they're vaccinated and we're all doing our best." Getting cast on The Girl in the Woods fulfilled a dream in part for Bryant as a fan for the former UPN and WB series. "Charmed and Buffy are some of my favorite shows actually to this day, and I'm a huge VHS tape collector and I have the entire Buffy series on VHS," she said. "I love Charmed. I definitely think that was excited about the project. I just kind of like supernatural aspects of it, and that really appealed to me as well because I like those shows growing up."
Bryant hopes to someday have the opportunity to play some of the heroes she grew up listening to. "Something that I would have even just loved to have to watch when I was younger would have been seeing someone that looks like me playing a Joan Jett or a [Debbie Harry from] Blondie or I'm super into kind of the 70s and 80s music scenes," she said. "I'm a huge fan of those artists, and I think it's I think Kristen Stewart plays Joan Jett a few years back, and that was awesome to me, and I would just love to see more POC women and black women, especially kind of playing those really cool punky roles and maybe somewhere down the line do a period piece where I get to go to places like that." The Girl in the Woods also stars Misha Osherovich, Reed Diamond, Will Yun Lee, and Kylie Liya Page, and is available to stream on Peacock.