Leverage's Sophie, Played by Gina Bellman

My Favorite Sophie Fanvid, by grumpykitty7 on YouTube The song is as perfect as the clips chosen.

Sophie Devereaux, Played by Classic Beauty Gina Bellman

Gina Bellman probably has more acting experience than most of her peers on the Leverage cast, but whenever Sophie Devereaux takes the stage to act (or sing, as in the opening episode of Season 2) we find that when Sophie is playing from the script it would definitely be known as acting badly.

As a grifter she plays multiple roles on a day to day basis as part of the con, so we must ask ourselves why Sophie can't perform on stage.

One might be that she is overconfident, and she doesn't realize her shortcomings until it's too late. Another could be the crowd that she's playing to, there is no con involved. I tend to think it's something else entirely.

As a grifter she is part of a team. She can't let that team down. When she is on the stage the performance is only going to affect her life, her career as an actress; in the con game one mistake could cost the others their lives. Sophie is not an island, even if she appears to be completely self-sufficient, she will not allow herself to be the reason the con goes south.

As Sophie Devereaux, Gina Bellman becomes a character who can read people with a talent seen only in the best psychics. If ever she needs to make it in the private sector Sophie could definitely play fortune teller, or card sharp. Perhaps that's what makes her appear to some to be the "Mother figure" of the cast. She knows them without asking, like your mother knows you without asking. She will also sacrifice herself for her "cubs" and even if you don't see her, she's there, as she was for half the second season. While Tara Cole ( Jeri Ryan) took her place as grifter for the team, Sophie Devereaux traveled around the world, but was only a phone call away.

What Sophie does clips chosen by ladamastryfe on YouTube

Gina Bellman in Real life

So, during the second season of Leverage we see a lot less of Sophie. She is reduced to cameos, mostly head shots, or with strategically placed props to hide what Gina Bellman has a life outside of Leverage. Gina Bellman spent the second season pregnant with her little girl, giving birth back in November to her daughter Romy.

The key point here is that while Leverage could have decided to write her character out of the season, or replace her with another Grifter permanently, they did not. Gina Bellman's character of Sophie cannot be replaced, even by someone with the track record of Jeri Ryan.

Where you can see more of the talented Gina Bellman

In some of my other hubs I mentioned that this newfound fervor for my writing started with a two week free trial of Netflix. During that time I ran across a little film called "Zerophilia" in which Gina Bellman plays a key role along with another familiar face, Kyle Schmid of Blood Ties fame among other things.

The movie, from 2005, had people actually researching on the internet as to whether a condition called Zerophilia existed... I would say that's some pretty good story telling and good acting, since it means the body of the person with this condition spontaneously changes gender when sexually aroused.

Gina has appeared in numerous other shows and movies as referenced in Wiki-pedia, her most famous roles being in Coupling (which I am just catching up on, thank you netflix) and a miniseries I have yet to find called, "Blackeyes" which appears to have been rather controversial for Television.

Thanks again to TwentyPoundsOfCrazy on YouTube

We Could All Use a Little More Leverage

What Sophie Devereaux Means to you...

For those of you who do not know me, I write about things that catch me, and hold me. Then I ask what I can glean from this, and how others can gain some insight or apply the principles to their writing here on Hub Pages, or in other areas of their life.

Sophie Devereaux is an amazing actress, until she takes to the stage. She is phenomenal at playing the characters she herself has created, but not at being the characters who were created by others. She's great one on one, but not to the mass audience. She's great as a team player, but not so much as a one woman show. I guess explaining that would seem rather superfluous. 

So, as a writer, or to be successful in any endeavor, you must be your best self (not the one others want you to be). You must play to an audience of one, and anyone else who is looking will get the same fine performance. You must choose which team you will be a part of. Don't try to be an island, take this one from me, it never works.

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Comments 10 comments

Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

While I found your hub interesting, my favorite part was the last paragraph. I'm glad you added that. Be your best self, and play for an audience of one. True, true, true.

Namaste.


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

Thank you Deborah, I'm glad you like that. I think Sophie would also approve. It's hard to write about others and not fall into the category of critic. I am no critic, I find we can learn from each other even when we are being entertained.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 6 years ago from USA or America

Hey Faybe, like I said on your Nathan Ford hub, you did a wonderful job on the cast. It is interesting about the second season and I was not aware why she wasn't in the second season(or lack of appearing). I wasn't sure if they were going to bring her back, but when I really thought about it, Sophie was the greatest grifter in the world and wanted all over Europe for a number of things. So, I could hazard to guess that they were not permanently writing her character out. Thank you for a great hub. :)


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

I thought you were toying with me and really knew the secret. It was fun knowing something you didn't know, sorry for making you wait. They can't write Sophie out, it just wouldn't be fair, and for the Leverage crew, it is all about being fair!


Karma 4 years ago

The reason Sophie cannot act on stage is because to act, a person draws experience from a small piece of honesty from within themselves and their lives. She stated in the second season that she hasn't the slightest clue who she really is. She has nothing to draw from. In a con, she becomes someone else because she can draw from a real environment, where she doesn't already know how everything plays out ahead of time.


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 4 years ago from Florida Author

Great point. I am not an actor, so I do not know what actors draw from. I do know that some actors are always playing themselves in every story, no matter what is written for them (Christopher Walken comes to mind). Other actors seem so different in every single role that it's hard to believe it's the same person (think Gary Oldman). That being said, either Christopher Walken has very little to draw on while Gary Oldman has a vast library. Perhaps it is not so simple as you make it seem. Some of the greatest actors and actresses had no idea who they really were, and yet their acting was always impeccable. If it were as you say, then Sophie would know why she can't act on stage. I contend that while you make a great point, Sophie cannot stand to play a part that is written as it stands. She is a bad actress on stage because she tries to make the part what she wants it to be. The reason she is a great grifter is because she is writing the part as she goes and thinking a few moves ahead. Sophie's character is that of a leader, not a follower, she does not appreciate direction, she chooses to go her own way. I believe that if you pay attention you will see she grows increasingly upset with Nate when he tries to tell her what to do.


Michelle 4 years ago

Sophie can't act on stage not because she doesn't. know who she is but because she would have to reveal parts of the real self. She says she would have to kill each character until she gets to her true self which implies it's hidden versus unknown.


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 4 years ago from Florida Author

Sophie, at this point in time, still doesn't know she can't act so I don't know when she said that. At any rate, it wasn't me who said Sophie doesn't know who she really is. There are as many acting styles as there are actors, so it has nothing to do with Sophie's "true self" anyway. Some actors never reveal anything of their true nature. I think Sophie knows exactly who she is and exactly how much of herself she is revealing at any point in time. Of course I'm not on the writing team or anything and she is a character on TV, not a real person. Gina Bellman, on the other hand, can act, and she is a real person who I am sure knows herself very well.


Judy 4 years ago

Does anyone know who dresses Gina bellman on leverage? I love the dress she wore in the August 19th episode.


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 4 years ago from Florida Author

Last I heard the designer was Nadine Haders, I haven't checked for this season though. Thanks for your comment!

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