General Facts and Figures
- Full name: Sophia Lillis
- Net Worth: $1 Million
- Occupation: Actress
- Years Active: 2013 – present
- Birthday: February 13, 2002
- Birthplace: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York City, U.S
- Birth Sign: Aquarius
- Marital status: Unmarried
- Instagram: @sophialillis
- Twitter: @sophialillis
- Pinterest: NA
- YouTube: NA
Fun Facts and Trivia
- Lillis’ career began when, while studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, she was noticed by a teacher who then recommended her to a friend for their thesis film.
- Her favorite actors are Steve Martin and Bill Murray.
- If you think she’s stereotyped because of the number of dark movies, she’s been in, don’t! The actor is drawn to darker movies and themes and enjoys doing movies in this genre.
- Her twin Jacob is her fraternal twin, not her identical twin.
All of 17 years old, Sophia Lillis has been making waves in Hollywood since her debut. The American actress is best known for her role as Beverly Marsh in It (2017), Andy Muschietti’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel of the same name. However, if you’re wondering where else you’ve seen her, you’re right to wonder! Lillis also has a number of other meaty roles to her credit.
Born the daughter of David Lillis and Juliana Mellevold, Lillis spent her growing years in New York City. Her parents sought a divorce when she was a child and she now lives with her mother and stepfather (Christopher Mellevold), the latter sparking her interest in the world of acting. Of Polish, Swiss-German and Irish descent, Lillis has a twin brother named Jake and a stepbrother named Philip. She forayed into the world of acting at the very young age of 7, attending classes at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.
A Rising Career
In 2015, at the age of 12, Lillis acted in the live theatrical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, helmed by Julie Taymor. The project, performed in Brooklyn’s Theatre For a New Audience, was filmed over one night. Though Lillis portrayed a minor role (that of the play’s many rude “elementals”), she and the whole cast received a world of praises for their work in the project, going on to receive a rating of 100 on Rotten Tomatoes. Deemed one of the best adaptations of the Shakespearean play, Taymor’s adaptation is also available as a recorded version. Her next appearance was in the film 37, which explored the real-life assault and murder of Kitty Genovese. Though the movie explored deep themes such as the “bystander effect”, it received negative reviews from critics and moviegoers alike, with the common consensus being that though the movie was well-dramatized, its effectiveness was still lacking. Despite this, Lillis’ portrayal of Debbie Bernstein, a teen suffering from mental health issues looked after by her grandparents, was a well-received performance.
Lillis started off 2016 with Natalia Iyudin’s The Garden, a science-fiction mystery. The 14-minute short, which had humans being converted into artificial intelligence to ensure their survival, saw Lillis playing the role of Luc, a human who’d rather perish than become a machine. The movie was particularly interesting as Lillis’ character did not rebel against the conversion as a fighter or savior (think Will Smith in I, Robot or I Am Legend), but as a ballerina, fighting to keep and save her art.
Lillis’ major breakthrough came in 2017 with her co-starring role of Beverly Marsh in the horror film It. The film saw her sharing screen space with many actors such as Wyatt Oleff, Bill Skarsgard, Chosen Jacobs, and Jack Dylan Grazer, to name a few. Not confining herself to movies, Lillis starred in two music videos in the same year. The first one saw her playing the role of one of Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell’s children in Santa’s Coming for Us, Sia’s hit music video. The video, a departure from her usual serious roles, saw Lillis reuniting with her It co-star Wyatt Oleff and sharing screen space with Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair from Stranger Things). The audience can see her goofing and dancing around in Christmas clothes with red and green hair. The second music video, War on Drugs’ Nothing to Find, continued Lillis’ lighthearted streak, seeing her lip-syncing while sitting in the passenger seat of a car being driven around by a human-plant hybrid. The cute video has Lillis running toy dinosaurs over her driver’s arm, dancing on top of pool tables and having a good time with her companion before she ultimately turns into a human-plant hybrid herself.
2017 continued to be a busy year for Lillis, with her being part of the cast of Tiny Mammals, a fantasy drama short film that tells the story of 12-year-old twins who give Bibles to the folks in their neighborhood but are left alone when the town is evacuated during a storm. Moving and poignant, with a “Southern-style” feel about it and elements of magic in it, the coming-of-age story had Lillis and her twin brother Jacob essaying the roles of Sophia and Jacob, respectively. The film also had Lucy Walters essaying the role of the twins’ mother and Beth Grant (of No Country for Old Men fame) narrating the tale.
In 2019, Lillis starred as famous child detective Nancy Drew in Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, distributed by Warner Bros. and directed by Katt Shea. Though the film didn’t take the box office by storm, Lillis won the hearts of both critics and fans alike with her portrayal of the strawberry-blonde (or is it titian?) detective. It also received mentions worldwide for its inclusion of modern issues such as online bullying.
Considering the powerhouse of talent that Lillis is, it’s no surprise that the young star has her kitty full of projects. Reprising her role as Beverly Marsh in the second instalment of It, title It Chapter Two (set to release in September 2019), Lillis will also go on to portray the role of Celia, the daughter of a scientist (played by Naomi Watts), in Claire McCarthy’s The Burning Season, and the role of a runaway named Ally in Before I Sleep.
Lillis is also essaying the lead role of Gretel in Gretel and Hansel (set to release in January 2020), based on the fairy tale of the same name. She will then appear in Alan Ball’s (Six Feet Under and True Blood creator) independent film Uncle Frank, set in New York City in the 1970s, alongside Paul Bettany. Lillis has also been cast as the lead of upcoming Netflix show I Am Not Okay With This, which will see the light of day in 2020.
Though only 17, Lillis has more than proved her mettle in Hollywood, essaying a variety of roles in a considerably short period of time. No matter the box-office impact of the movie or how short her screen time, Lillis has made a mark with every character whose story she has told. From thrillers to children’s films to game shows (she appeared on an episode of Movie Trivia: Schmoedown with her fellow It cast members) to shows for adults, Lillis has conquered every genre and won hearts worldwide! This girl is definitely here to stay.