We first got familiar with her as young Rue in The Hunger Games, and she went on to star in a slew of other films like The Hate U Give and Dear Evan Hansen. In an interview with Complex ahead of the Bodies premiere, the 23-year-old actress says that playing Sophie in the slasher film is the start of her taking on more adult and serious roles that match where she’s at. “It’s just exciting to become older. I look quite young for my age, and so I’ve been playing teenage roles for a while, but this is one of my first roles where I’m playing my actual age,” Stenberg explains. “I have the freedom to explore with darker themes, with characters that are darker and more complex, and are living adult lives, which comes with a whole new set of circumstances.”
Sophie is in her early 20s and while we don’t know much about her going into Bodies, we learn through her strained friendships that she hasn’t always made the best choices. Sophie and her new girlfriend Bee (Maria Bakalova) show up unannounced to a hurricane party her best friend David (Pete Davidson) is throwing in his father’s lavish mansion. The group of rich and privileged friends react coldly to Sophie’s arrival, but then you get the impression that their reaction is historical-based on Stenberg’s character’s past.
Stenberg was the first to join the Halina Reijn film’s cast and she says they initially questioned whether she should play Bee or Sophie. Stenberg’s past roles have been more innocent and childlike, and they are incredibly easy to root for. Sophie, on the other hand, is struggling with drug addiction. She is cold and calculated, more audacious, alluring, and at times manipulative. “I came to the conclusion that Sophie would be the more challenging character for me. I’m a bit more introverted and a bit more awkward, and shy at times. Some of the characters I play have a tendency to have some of those elements of introvertedness or sweetness,” she says. “It was an exciting challenge for me to play someone who’s more chaotic and kind of sexy, but in a way that’s a bit rough around the edges, and someone who is not necessarily the kindest at all times as well. I got to tap into the parts of myself that are more expressive and more extroverted, and that was really fun.”