Sophie Charlene Akland Monk (born 14 December 1979) is a London-born Australian singer, model and actress. Monk was a member of the girl group Bardot and released a solo album called Calendar Girl. She appeared in films such as Date Movie, Click, and Spring Breakdown.
Early life[edit source | edit]Edit
Monk was born in England, but her parents moved to Australia's Gold Coast in Queensland. She also spent time at A. B. Paterson College and MacGregor State High School, where she was a School Captain in her senior year (graduating in 1997) and was enlisted in the school's CAD (Centre of Artistic Development) Program. She trained in classical opera when she was growing up.
Music[edit source | edit]Edit
Monk's professional music career began in 1999 when she responded to an advertisement at the recommendation of her mother which requested girls with vocal and dance experience. The advertisement was for an Australian reality television series, Popstars, a TV talent show which aimed to create a successful new girl group. In one audition, she performed a rendition of Marilyn Monroe's famous "Happy Birthday, Mr. President", working on her previous experience as a Monroe impersonator at Warner Bros. Movie World. After numerous rounds of singing and dancing workshops, Monk was selected as a member of the group, which was named Bardot.
Bardot became the first Australian act to debut at the No. 1 position with both its debut single, "Poison", and self-titled debut album. Further singles "I Should've Never Let You Go" and "These Days" followed and in August, the group embarked on its first national tour. Bardot performed at the 2000 ARIA Awards at which they were nominated in three categories. In July 2001, the group released "ASAP", the first single from their second album. Bardot now had more control over their music and image. The single peaked Top 5, as did follow-up single, "I Need Somebody", their most successful single since "Poison". The second album, Play It Like That debuted at No. 16, achieving gold status. Monk co-wrote the album track "Feel Right" with bandmate Sally Polihronas. In 2002, final single, "Love Will Find A Way" completed Bardot's string of consecutive Top 20 hits and the group embarked on its second national tour. In May, the group disbanded.
Solo album[edit source | edit]Edit
In 2002, Monk signed a recording contract with Warner Music Australia and started working on a solo album. The first single "Inside Outside" was released in October 2002 and was produced by Grammy Award winning music producer Rob Davis. Monk performed the song at the 2002 The Footy Show Grand Finale to promote the single. The track peaked at No. 5 on the ARIA Singles Chart and went on to sell over 35,000 copies worldwide. Her next single, "Get the Music On", peaked at No. 10 on the ARIA Singles Chart. On 5 May 2003 Monk released her debut album Calendar Girl which peaked at No. 35 on the ARIA Albums Chart. The album received mixed reviews from critics with Monk co-writing four of the albums tracks. Following the release of the album Monk released her third and final single, "One Breath Away", which peaked at No. 23 on the ARIA Singles Chart. In 2004 Monk parted ways with Warner Music.
In June 2007, Monk recorded a cover of "Push It" by Hip-Hop trio Salt-n-Pepa. The cover was recorded to promote Biofit Bra by Pleasure State which she is a spokeswoman for and was produced by her then boyfriend Benji Madden. Monk performed the song at a Biofit Bra launch in Catalina, Rose Bay. A promotional video was filmed and premiered as part of the add campaign.
In 2004, Monk made her acting debut in a bit role on the Nine Network made-for-television film The Mystery of Natalie Wood portraying the role of Marilyn Monroe. That same year Monk appeared in the music video Always by Punk Rock band Blink-182. Monk has had small roles in films such as Click, Murder World and Spring Break '83.
In 2005, Monk relocated to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in acting. Monk quickly landed her break-out role in the spoof comedy film Date Movie. In July 2007, Monk made her American television debut in the HBO Comedy series Entourage. That same year she appeared in the dark comedy Sex and Death 101.
Monk starred in the Warner Premiere comedy film Spring Breakdown alongside Parker Posey and Amy Poehler. Filming took place in South Padre in 2006. Monk portrayed the role of the films antagonist a bimbo sorority girl named Mason. The film underwent a long post-production period suffering distribution problems. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to negative reviews. The film was released straight-to-DVD in June 2009.
In September 2008, Dark Castle Entertainment announced Monk was cast in the slasher horror film The Hills Run Red. Filming began at the start of 2009 in Sofia, Bulgaria and premiered at UK Frightfest. The film was released straight-to-DVD in September 2009 to mixed reviews from critics with some praising Monk's performance. In September 2008, Monk announced she was developing her own reality television series titled Bigger Than Paris. Monk filmed the pilot in January 2010 in Los Angeles, California.
In April 2010, Nine Network announced Monk would be a special guest presenter on the travel television program Getaway. Following her first appearance Nine announced Monk would continue appearing on the series in a recurring form from then on. As part of her role Monk has visited Hawaii, Las Vegas, Mexico.
In May 2012, Monk was announced to be one of the celebrities to have signed up for the FOX dating-show The Choice. The series is a spin-off to The Voice (TV series) and sees celebrity judges sitting with their backs turned to a pool of "sexy singles" hoping to score a date with a celebrity. Celebrities such as Carmen Electra, Joe Jonas and Pauly D have appeared in the show. The series premiered on 7 June 2012.
In April 2013, Monk was working on a sitcom with actor Sam Worthington. Monk talked about her struggles as an actress and revealed that she has produced five television pilots for major networks, but they haven't been picked up. "Shows that were meant to get the green light, didn’t, and movies that were meant to be massive, weren’t, but I just keep going and going," she said.
Personal life[edit source | edit]Edit
Monk started dating Benji Madden in 2006, but in January 2008, media outlets reported that the couple had split up. Monk had returned to Australia alone, almost a year to the day since Madden proposed. On 12 February 2008, it was announced by Monk's Sydney agent, Yoon Kim, that "Sophie and Benji have officially split. The decision was mutual and they remain amicable." In January 2011, Monk announced her engagement to Jimmy Esebag. A few months later Monk announced on Chelsea Lately that she had separated from Esebag.
In 2013, Monk revealed she recently had a stalker who wanted to kill her. “He thought he could hear me screaming in the corner of his hospital room and thought I wanted to die. So I wrote to him and told him I was fine," she said.
In February 2010, Monk was photographed in a wheelchair following a car crash in Los Angeles.
Image[edit source | edit]Edit
Monk is often spotlighted for her looks. In October 2012, Monk was ranked No. 7 on Maxim Australia's Hot 100. She ranked at No. 96 in the Maxim Hot 100 List of 2011. She was No. 2 in FHM's Sexiest Women List in 2003. In August 2008, Monk was offered $1 million to pose for Playboy, which she declined. She has appeared on the cover of several men's magazines, including Maxim, FHM, Stuff and Ralph.
In October 2007, Sophie began appearing in a campaign for PETA to promote people becoming vegetarian. "There's no doubt in my mind that going vegetarian has made me feel better not only physically but also because I learned about the suffering of animals who are raised and killed for food. I feel good knowing that I'm not contributing to that," Monk says.
Monk is also well-known for her modelling career. She has appeared in several commercials for Diet Vanilla Coke, Pepsi Max, LG Electronics, Coca Cola and Expozay Swimwear. In 2012, she appeared in a billboard campaign for Angel Champagne on the famous La Cienega Boulevard in Hollywood.