“Fifty Shades Of Grey” Actress Anna Sargeant Chats About Her Role In “Backstrom”
With a recent role as one of the female graduates in Fifty Shades of Grey and another background role in the Fox crime-comedy series Backstrom, 22-year-old Canadian actress Anna Sargeant has been appearing on both the big and small screens. Real Style spoke to the emerging actress about her experience working with actress Dakota Johnson, her dream role and her strong case of the travel bug.
Real Style: What originally inspired you to pursue acting as a career?
Anna: I was quite a shy kid, but I was put into a fine arts program at school. The only reason I wanted to go into it was because I wanted to do drawing and painting. Just being introduced to drama at an early age, I think that’s what pushed me into it. From there on, I really liked it and it kind of became a way for me to not be that “shy girl” anymore. When I was about 12, I decided I wanted to try my hand at auditioning and get an agent. I was close to Vancouver, and that was also lucky, because there’s a lot of filming in Vancouver.
Real Style: You’re Canadian, but were you based in the U.K. before moving to Australia?
Anna: No, I was born in England and lived there until I was eight. I moved to Canada (to just outside of Vancouver) when I was eight with my family. I only have been in Australia for the past six months. I’m just temporarily based here.
Real Style: What are some of the challenges of being a young, emerging actor?
Anna: When I started out at 12, I was going up against girls my age who had been doing this since they were in diapers! That’s always a bit of a challenge, continuously going for the same roles with girls who have a lot more on their resume. Also, just dealing with the rejection. You do get rejected, it’s kind of inevitable. There can only be one person for the role. What I learned to do (I was really lucky, I had a lot of really great mentors) is just to enjoy the audition process.
Real Style: How was the experience of working alongside Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, as part of the Fifty Shades of Grey cast?
Anna: It was a great experience. Myself, Dakota, Eloise Mumford who played Kate and the other girl in the scene with me, Megan Danso, who played the other graduate, we all sat together in the makeup trailer that morning, chatted and ate breakfast. That was really nice, just being around actors who were just so open and friendly. In terms of acting in the scene, Dakota was just very at ease and very easy in between takes.
I didn’t really talk too much to Jamie. I was obviously ogling him as my part! One of the only interactions I had with him was we were walking around and he was singing, if I remember correctly. He was just singing some show tune, and I was like “Oh, that dude’s talented!” I mainly talked to Dakota on set, but everyone involved was just really lovely, really friendly. The atmosphere on set was really great.
Real Style: Describe your role in Backstrom.
Anna: It was the pilot episode. It was cool to be a part of something at the very beginning. I’ve been on episodes before of shows, but I’d never been on a pilot episode. My scene originally (there was more to it that got cut for the final product) was a really cool experience. It was cool being on a show with Rainn Wilson because he’s hilarious. I didn’t get to meet him, but I thought “This is cool that he’s going to be on the show”, because of The Office.
Real Style: Can you relate to your character in Backstrom, and how are the two of you different from each other?
Anna: My character on Backstrom was one of the additional characters on the show, so it wasn’t as involved as some of the other characters were. In the scene that I’m in, it’s me and this girl, Alyson. She’s being investigated for the murder of her ex-boyfriend, because he turns up dead. In the scene, we’re sort of filming this video and we’re getting back at him basically, because he recently broke up with her. We’re giggling, messing around and we make out in the video, just to get back at him, like a revenge thing.
I don’t know if I could relate to that kind of character. I can relate to wanting to get back at an ex, but not going through and doing it in such an extreme way to make a revenge video. I could relate to wanting to stick up for my best friend. She’s a bit more intense! I wouldn’t do anything about it, because I’m basically a zero conflict person. I’d probably be like “that pissed me off” and then go make a cup of tea!
Real Style: What is your absolute dream role?
Anna: I think something where I had superpowers, maybe something where I knew all the answers to everything. Also, a thriller or suspense, where I have some sort of special ability. If I could have some karate, kung fu or just really good ninja fighting skills, that would be one of my dream roles as well.
Real Style: If you could work with any director and cast, who would be your top choices for your ultimate dream team?
Anna: For director, I think maybe Baz Luhrmann. Leonardo DiCaprio goes hand in hand with Baz Luhrmann and Kate Winslet would be involved in some way. Maybe Toni Collette and Steve Carrell (but not as a comedian, I’d want him to be playing a serious role). Probably Jennifer Lawrence (because who wouldn’t want to work with Jennifer Lawrence?), Dane DeHaan and Ryan Gosling.
Real Style: What exciting new roles and projects can we expect from you in the future?
Anna: I’ve been in Australia for a little while. I’ve been auditioning, for some bigger projects that are coming up probably in the next six months. I just feel really lucky, because Fifty Shades has opened up some big opportunities for me.
Real Style: Is there anything else that you’d like to share, that fans may not know about you?
Anna: Well, I am really into painting and art, so I do that as well. For me, that’s something that’s important as well, to do something other than acting to keep that balance in my life. I do painting and I’m also really into travelling. I’m working on some travel videos at the moment, from the time that I spent in Southeast Asia.
Photos: Simon Harrington
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