In the film Anatomy of a Scandal, Hannah Dodd portrays Sophie Whitehouse, whose character sees very little screen time in comparison to the other two main characters Martha Costello and Paul McKeever, played by Kate Winslet and Jim Sturgess respectively. While these two characters have the most screen time, they are still not the central focus of the film; this role belongs to Sophie Whitehouse, who acts as the film’s narrator. Hannah Dodd’s portrayal of young Sophie Whitehouse in Anatomy of a Scandal

The controversy surrounding the new drama, Anatomy of a Scandal

has it changed your perception of high society? Actress Hannah Dodd plays the role of ‘young’ Sophie Whitehouse, one half of an affair that becomes public knowledge. I recently sat down with Hannah to discuss what it was like on set and her reflections on playing such a controversial character. How did you get involved with Anatomy of a Scandal? What were your first impressions when you read the script?

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History behind the true story

The story was first told in 12th century France by Chretien de Troyes and retold as La Chevalier au Lion (The Knight of the Lion) by Ulrich von Zatzikhoven, wherein Lion is replaced with Gringoire. However, it wasn’t until 1825 that Lady Caroline Lamb published a fictionalised account of an affair between Lord Byron and his half-sister Augusta Leigh, who had been born to his mother’s lover, William Lamb.

How does this compare to real life?

I saw Hannah Dodd portray Sophie Whitehouse on Downton Abbey and wondered how accurate her performance was to real life, so I did some research. When I found out that she trained at Julliard, I began to understand why her character seemed so perfect for me. Her portrayal really is impeccable! She seems like an amazing actress and it makes me even more excited to see what else she does in her career.

Hannah Dodds portrayal of young Sophie Whitehouse in Anatomy of a Scandal
Hannah Dodd’s portrayal of young Sophie Whitehouse in Anatomy of a Scandal

A fictionalized account of events

Sophia Whitehouse was but 17 years old when she became embroiled in one of England’s most infamous scandals. The early 18th century teenager caught the eye of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and for several months maintained an ongoing affair with him. Not only were their trysts inappropriate – given her family ties to Queen Anne – but they also carried political risk because Sophia was related to a prominent Whig family that opposed many policies championed by his father, King George I.

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The success as well as failures of this particular movie/show.

as an actor and portrayer, i feel that Ms. Hannah Dodds portrayed her character very well. I don’t think she over exaggerated any movements or emotions which to me is a good thing because then it would seem fake. But there were moments where Ms. Dodd was underacting which is kind of what made it so realistic but on other days people might find that uninteresting or not enough.

young Sophie Whitehouse in Anatomy of a Scandal

Hannah Dodd portrays a young Sophie Whitehouse in Netflix’s original film about an alleged extramarital affair between Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles. Hannah has stated that she was drawn to her character because Sophie is from an upper-class family and very different from myself. And even though (spoiler alert) it is revealed that Charles did not cheat on his wife with Camilla, she still stands by her belief that He [Charles] made so many bad decisions.

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