Sofia Pernas is just a delight, and finally getting the chance to talk to her after speaking with her former The Brave (RIP) co-stars Anne Heche, Mike Vogel and Noah Mills had us believing that the star of the CBS series Blood & Treasure would be a fantastic interview. However, Pernas went above and beyond and it was really funny, because she kept alluding to a female friend that she was visiting in Mobile, Alabama, which is where she spoke to us from, and it turned out that we’d spoken to her friend as well! Despite all of these coincidental connections, we focused on her CBS hit show Blood & Treasure, and honestly, if you’re not watching this series (and especially after this interview), you’re missing out, big time!
The following is a condensed and edited version of our phone interview with the charismatic Sofia Pernas.
Brief Take: Everyone that we’ve spoken from The Brave has been incredible, and we knew because of it that you would be as well. We were very sorry to see that series didn’t get to continue.
Sofia Pernas: That’s so sweet of you, thank you. Coincidentally, the girlfriend that I am visiting was on Valor, and we talked about how military shows have a tough time getting traction. It sucks, because I wish that more of them could. I know that SEAL Team is ongoing though, so we will see how long and I hope that they go on for many, many more seasons.
BT: In the case of The Brave to Blood & Treasure, one led into another, is that right?
SP: Oh yeah, one led into the other in a major way. I think that I one hundred per cent got this show because of my work on The Brave. It was an incredibly illuminating experience. I met an amazing cast, an amazing family, I mean, you’ve spoken to most of them now. I mean, Mike [Vogel] is a true, natural-born leader, I love him, I love everyone. Anne [Heche] is like a soul sister of mine. It was an invaluable time, that 6 months I spent in Albuquerque with them, because when you’re in a city like Albuquerque that is kind of isolated, you really get to know your cast members. Every night we’d be chatting and mucking the secrets of the universe kind of thing. [laughs] You get really close with your teammates in that way, but it led to Blood & Treasure. Anne, talk about women supporting other women, she was so, so helpful in helping me to transition to Blood & Treasure, hearing about this show and hearing her say “Oh my God, whatever I can do to support you, I will make it happen”, and it was magical the way that it all worked out.
BT: The training probably carried over quite well too.
SP: Oh yeah. Big time! [laughs] I’ve been doing a lot of work with my arms for a while. I did a movie in the Philippines a few years ago that was basically on all fours, and that was what I was shooting the whole movie. Then The Brave came along and our tech advisor Mikel Vega really beat firearm safety into our heads, and knowing how to hold one and knowing how to look professional holding one, and so it lends itself to Lexi in a big way for sure. [laughs]
BT: Filming this series in Canada must be fantastic.
SP: It’s been so great working on it and shooting in Montreal for the first four months of the show was so unreal, it was like everything anybody’s ever told me about Montreal in which it can play so many places. It’s truly a magical city. One of my cast mates, Katia Winter, she’s Swedish and we’d be walking down a random street in Montreal and she would be like “This reminds me so much of Stockholm, oh my God!” and another street would remind somebody of a place they loved in Paris. That was truly the magic of Montreal, everything looked like the City of Lights or the City of Romance, and it was beautiful and beautiful energy.
BT: And then you went from Montreal to all over the world.
SP: Oh yeah. We went from Montreal to Venice and then from Venice to Rome and then from Rome we ping-ponged to Marrakesh and then Tangiers was the last leg of the trip. [laughs] It was crazy. It was one of those surreal experiences in which you get the breakdown and you get all of the information for the project, and it’s like: “It shoots all over Europe?” Like what network does that these days? Nobody does that these days and then it was insane, it was insane. So getting to shoot in Italy all day and then in the Venice Canal, Matt Barr and I were looking at each other and were like “this is insane!”. We were there on a boat with a camera crew and we were cruising through the canal and we were like “What, what is life? This is nuts!”.
BT: Tell me about the audience reaction to the show and to your performance. People are really loving Blood & Treasure!
SP: Oh my God, it’s been incredible! I mean every tweet or mention that I get, it’s like “Oh, Lexi, I resonate so much with her, she is so great and she’s so strong and we love seeing strong women”. It’s a dream to be able to embody that and be that example for people that you never thought that you would be. Then you do a role that you love and you see the effect that is has on other people and it’s fulfilling in a way that you never thought it would be.
BT: How do you feel that this series feels so big and theatrical and feels like an event series?
SP: Just being lucky to call myself a cog in that process was a dream. Because you see these talented as hell people coming into work on this thing and giving blood and sweat and tears, and so, so many hours of development and block shooting and [sighs], it’s been just…I can’t even explain. I don’t think there’s a word to explain how happy or grateful I am to be a part of it. Seeing it unfold to be this event series, because we had talented directors bringing their visions and imparting those visions to our project, it was so exciting. You get to see their excitement, which is like a bunch of little kids in big adult bodies just trying to make the most kick ass, fun, action-adventure, but also big movie quality that we wanted to bring to network TV and bring everyone along for that ride, so it’s like a theatre in your living room.
BT: How does it feel to unravel historical mysteries on the show?
SP: Oh God! My father has always been obsessed with Egypt in general, the whole love story between Anthony and Cleopatra itself, we get to really dive into that and it’s beautiful being a part of that story. I mean we have many fingers in many pies in this show, [laughs] and it was ambitious what we wanted to do. We wanted to do a treasure hunt that takes place in the past, and the future, we sort of want it to be an interactive experience for the audience in which you can piece together the puzzle pieces of the Nazis and how they ended up doing the whole Cleopatra Heist. [laughs] It can help you understand the journey that Danny and Lexi are taking. I thought that was such a wild idea and I was like “Oh, this is fun”. I mean I’m an audience member. I was like “I’m down, I would be so down to watch that in order to solve it”.
BT: This series has drawn comparisons to Indiana Jones but is more modern and empowering for women.
SP: Oh, absolutely. Thirty years ago, this type of stuff, like how strong females are on TV, that’s…I mean, if you look at any of the Indiana Jones movies, all of the women were helpless and they all needed Indy. Willie was helpless as all hell! Nine year old Short Round was more useful than her in many situations. [laughs] I mean he was helping her and she was sort of following him around. We’ve come a long way, and the fact that Lexi can be as well-received today in this kind of context is so heartwarming.
BT: What have you learned about yourself through your performances?
SP: I think, and any actress who plays a strong female character would agree, it makes you stronger playing those characters. Because my whole path, my journey of realizing who I am and staying tethered, and obviously having a big family, because I come from a big family and a conservative background, it’s been hard. The journey as a young woman, finding acting and all of that stuff, it’s been a tough path. But when you get to play women who have their wits about them and are grounded and indomitable and have that kind of moxie, it’s emboldening. It’s definitely empowering, and in this strange way, when you put on Lexi’s jacket or the pants, as soon as the costume comes together, you can kind of see it in your mind’s eye. I know who this woman is and it helps me.
BT: Are you a skeptical person or do you believe in the supernatural?
SP: I have had countless conversations about this with my friends and it’s a great question. I think because my father is a man of science, I grew up sort of prescribing a lot to what he thinks. I don’t think that doubter is the right word, but there must be a reason for everything. If you hear a weird sound, it must be the ceiling fan. My Dad, and I love him, said “there’s an explanation for everything”. So I would say I’m a realist, but I do believe in extraterrestrials, so… [laughs]
BT: What about secret societies?
SP: Of course. They’re out there.
Blood & Treasure airs Tuesdays at 10pm on CBS and Global