In between her busy acting schedule or directing a music video, we recently caught up with one of Australia’s most talented actresses, Anna McNiven. She updated us with what she has been up to over the last few years as well as the projects she has coming up. Here is what she had to share with the readers:
Since we last spoke to you, you’ve been busy on quite a lot of projects. How has everything been going?
Yeah, it’s been a while, good to see you again. Time has flown by, I have been busy with several projects that I am so grateful for. So yeah things are good I really love my work!
What have you learned the most over the last few years of being in Hollywood?
Perseverance, hard work and the balance of letting things out of your control not stress you out too much. Trust in your vision and surround yourself with good people, and be good to people.
What was one of your favorite productions you have worked on and your most memorable experience?
I honestly have had many memorable experiences on set, but the first that comes to mind is when I was working on the James Franco film “Why Him”. I was playing the friend of Keegan Michael Key. We were shooting a party scene with James, Brian Cranston, Megan Mullally, and Zoey Deutch. Mid way through a shot, Jon Hamberg stopped and walked up to me and pulled me aside. I literally thought I was in trouble or something. Then he asked me “Can you twerk”? I was not sure how to respond, I was like, “Umm well not like the kind of pro twerkers you see on some of those music videos, but I guess I could kind of try!”.
He was like Ok cool, when I call it over the mic, I want you to go over to Brian and move in on him and do a twerk dance on him. I was like, oh crap ok, feeling like man, I better pull this twerk off haha. It ended up being really funny and Brian was super cool. That whole experience being on that film was awesome. The cast and crew worked so hard and so professionally, yet it was still so much fun. 16 hour days literally flew by because we were having that much fun. It was a bit sad when it ended, actually.
What is also one of the funniest experiences you’ve had on set?
It was on another James Franco film called “The Disaster Artist” I was playing a bartender in a scene and James was playing this hilarious character of Tommy Wiseau. He came in with this ridiculous long black wig and started dancing and breakdancing, like crazy out of control. I t was of course, part of the scene but it was so funny, it was hard not to crack up laughing!
What is like working with James Franco?
Always a good time! I noticed that he is really focused when he is on set and is very much about getting the work done. He is always working! I mean, he’s pretty impressive with the amount of work he constantly has going on, and yeah, just a cool person to work with.
What is one of the most challenging roles you have played?
Emotionally, it was a the role of the character Rachel from a famous Australian play called “Black Rock” which I had the privelege to be directed by Catriona McKenzie. We performed at the Matrix theater for the Australian Theater Company in Hollywood. The character was torn between her loyalty to her family and her loyalty to the truth and her ethics. This character reflected a strength in her values that I certainly related to.
Physically, I would have to say being on the film “Cold Chains Hard Hearts And Bloody Chains”, directed by Isaac Meriedos.
We shot it in a national park in Oregon, in the winter time, freezing cold and in the scenes that I was shooting, I was barefoot, walking through mud and forest grounds. We walked deep into the forest and it was physically taxing, but at the end of the day when we were back at the house we were staying at, there was a sense of true accomplishment artistically, but also of survival!
What is your favorite genre of film to work on and why?
The ones that have been really fun are Westerns. I worked on “Traded” as a saloon girl called Giselle with Kris Kristofferson and Michael Pare, directed by Timothy Woodward Jr. The costumes were beautiful and the language was something I enjoyed too. With all of the horses, guns, and western tongue it really felt like I was time warped back to the western era.
What’s coming up next for you?
Two leading roles! One in a horror film I co-wrote called “Noise Farm”. I get to play a bad ass character that is fighting some seriously messed up people to save her family. I’m very excited for this one!
The other is a science fiction where I play a cyborg set in the future. I’m so in love with this story and her character. I feel like I can really relate to her with her vision of the world and her reflection of self.
What are your plans for the future, more directing and producing as well?
I have been directing and producing music videos for a few artists that are friends of mine, that have given me a lot of good experience and this has become a true passion of mine along with acting. So there is more to come yes, over the next few years!
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