What’s in a name? Quite a lot if that name is Ophelia Lovibond – the assumption being that its owner is “posh”, despite being raised in a one-parent family on a housing estate in Shepherd’s Bush, west London, “underneath the floodlights of QPR football stadium”, as she puts it rather poetically. Her upper-middle-class accent was, she says, picked up as a scholarship girl at a fee-paying school, and from parents who were “well-spoken but not wealthy”.
But there’s also a lubricious, Bond Girl feel to her name, which is reflected in the various typographic errors that have crept in over the years. “Oh, I’ve had the lot,” she says. Ophelia Lovelybuns … Lovelybum [this was on a note from her GP]. “I kept that one … I don’t mind being called Lovelybum.”
These days Lovibond is making a name for herself in other, more rewarding, ways. After roles as Nick Frost’s Californian hippy girlfriend in Sky Atlantic’s Mr Sloane, and as Izzy, the PA who’s not officially a PA in the BBC’s painfully funny self-satire W1A, Lovibond now plays Sherlock Holmes’ protégée, Kitty Winter, in the latest series of the American TV show Elementary – the one with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as updated, New York versions of Holmes and Watson.
“My agent in LA just rang me up and said, ‘Have you heard of a show called Elementary?’,” says the 28-year-old, whose CV also includes Nathan Barley and the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy. “The creator would like you to self-tape yourself. I did the tape at home with my mum on the Wednesday and was offered it on the Thursday and then after eight days I flew to New York for five months.”