The Brave – Sophia Pernas
NBC’s newest hit drama series, The Brave, brings to life the dark and complex world of America’s elite undercover military heroes. Defense Intelligence Agency Deputy Director Patricia Campbell (Anne Heche) and her team of analysts wield the world’s most advanced surveillance technology from their headquarters in D.C., while Adam Dalton (Mike Vogel) and his heroic Special Ops squad save the lives of innocent people and execute missions in some of the most dangerous places on earth.
The Brave is filmed here in New Mexico and I was lucky enough to sit down with Sophia Pernas (who plays Hannah Archer) to find out more about her character and how she spends her free time here in New Mexico.
HA: The Brave is a fast-paced, heart-pumping drama; what initially drew you to the script?
Sophia: The character, Hannah. She is very dynamic with a lot of gumption and resourcefulness. As a former operator (in the field), and now an analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency, she has to balance a somewhat blurred line between the two, and she doesn’t always know where or how to draw that line. The soldiers are the eyes and ears of the field and Hannah’s biggest challenge is stepping away from that gut-instinct, fast-paced action; and instead being the person behind the computer screen in the defense room making calm, calculated decisions. Hannah is also very complex, as she has this overwhelming insecurity that she struggles with in regards to her past and her cover being blown.
HA: She is definitely a complex character. In what ways do you identify with Hannah?
Sophia: The main thing we have in common is the ability to compartmentalize. I am very good at not letting my personal life affect my work. Both Hannah and I have learned to put those thoughts or emotions into a drawer and get back to it later. I think that is how (my character), Hannah is able to do her job; after the trauma she went through, she’s able to control it – put it out of her mind and concentrate on the job at hand.
HA: In what way do you and your character differ?
Sophia: Where we have a note of discord is her patience. (Laughingly) I don’t have any patience, but Hannah has to have a lot of it to do what she does! We are so particular with the character development on The Brave because we are playing real-life heroes that don’t seek this kind of limelight and attention – so to accomplish that we have to fill their shoes as honestly and accurately as possible. These heroes have had to garner unbelievable amounts of patience and ability to handle the sacrifices they go through for their country and the people they love.
HA: Completely agree. The Brave really highlights the tactics and heroism of each week’s new mission. How did you train for that?
Sophia: We dedicate time to making sure everything we say and do is legitimate and technical real-life lingo. We really owe it to former Navy SEAL, Mikal Vega. He’s our specialist and guarantees we stay true to the characters and scenarios we play. It is really amazing – getting a sense of stepping into those shoes, even for a second. Will we ever be as good as these real-life heroes? Looking like it, for even a second, is a real honor to portray.
HA: It is amazing and INTENSE! How do you unwind after these serious shoots?
Sophia: We are really lucky because we feel like one huge family – the cast and crew both! That’s not something a lot of shows can say. I have a saying, ‘You get to pick what you do, but you don’t get to pick who you work with.’ With the cast and crew of The Brave, we are so fortunate, it’s like a perfect marriage. We work together all day and hang out with each other afterwards. That’s really how we decompress.
HA: Who would you say is the biggest jokester in the cast?
Sophia: (Laughs) You’re talking to her! I rarely take anything seriously – obviously when on set, my character is all business – but off set everyone is laughing. Me and Ann Heche – who is HILARIOUS – we just can’t keep a straight face together! That’s the best way we all shake the seriousness of the show off – with a good joke.
HA: How have you enjoyed filming in Albuquerque thus far?
Sophia: I have to say, it’s a pleasant surprise. I am used to filming in New York and L.A., where there is always so much to do on every street corner. Albuquerque is much more spread out, but that is actually the draw. The topography is unlike anything I am used to; it’s the desert and it’s vast. You really get a sense of that vastness and become very centered with yourself here, a peacefulness I’ve never really known before.
HA: Do you have any favorite places here in New Mexico?
Sophia: I have fallen in love with Santa Fe for sure. Ann has a house up there so we all visit often. I recently went to Ojo Caliente (Mineral Springs Resort & Spa) with Mike Vogal (who plays Adam Dalton) and Hadi Tabbal (who plays Amir Al-Raisani), and we had a blast! Some of my regular restaurants that I love in Albuquerque are Farm & Table and Vernon’s Speakeasy.
Thank you, Sophia for taking the time to sit down with TravelHost NM. We look forward to seeing more of Sophia and her character Hannah each week on NBC’s The Brave!