"Call Me Adam" chats with rising actress Anna Sargeant about starring in the blockbuster film Fifty Shades of Grey, which will be released on DVD May 1 in the US and May 8 in Australia. Click here to purchase your copy!
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1. What made you want to audition for Fifty Shades of Grey? Being cast in Fifty Shades wasn’t something that I had thought about before. It was really just a matter of hearing I had an audition for a high profile "secret" project and then finding out after that I’d actually been cast in Fifty Shades of Grey. I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about it for months, because the security around the whole film was so tight. As filming was taking place around Vancouver people found out about it. I had friends being like "OMG did you know Fifty Shades is filming here?" I would be like, "Yeah I heard something about that" meanwhile in my head I was like "…ohhhh you have no idea how much I know."
2. What was the best part about being part of this film? The best part was probably watching all of the excitement among fans as the release date drew nearer and then the aftermath when the movie was released in theatres. It was such an incredible experience to be a part of something that not only had the large global release that it did, but also the attention its received and is still receiving. You probably can’t go too many places in the world where people don’t know about the movie and its been surreal to be a part of that.
3. You are currently in Australia promoting the May 8 DVD release of Fifty Shades of Grey with deleted scenes and an alternate ending. What are you enjoying most about this promotional tour? Yes, I’ve been spending some time in Australia over the past few months travelling around the country and backpacking South East Asia. So as my time here draws to an end I’m doing some promotional stuff in the lead up to the DVD’s release. I head back to North America at the beginning of May and will actually be in LA when the DVD is released. Australia is a beautiful country and I could ramble on forever about everything that I love about it. A couple of things that I will miss the most are the coffee (if there’s one thing Aussies are serious about it’s their coffee and the results are delicious), the sunny weather and of course the beaches.
4. You started your career with a role in the hit Canadian series Smallville and have since gone on to be featured in various television shows including the pilot of FOX's Backstrom. What did you like about working in television? How does it differ from film work? My start was in television, so naturally there are many aspects that I love about the television industry, specifically. The biggest difference between film and television, in my experience, is with film you have more time to act out the scenes. Whereas with TV shows everyone’s on a much tighter schedule as you only have a week or two to complete a one hour episode. There are pros and cons to the deadline demands of television. The cons; feeling rushed, but the pros would probably be using that pressure to your advantage and going full force into a scene instead of holding back, and just getting it done without over thinking or over working it.
5. In addition to film and television, you are also a trained stage actress. Do you have dreams of coming to Broadway? If so, what kind of show would you want to star in? What do you love about performing in front of a live audience? I was the lead in a Comedia dell’arte play a few years ago, and I had an experience I’ll never forget. In one of the scenes myself and the other actor always had something go wrong. It was almost as if the scene was jinxed. Anyway, my character is searching for a notebook and I had to find it in order for the scene to move forward because basically the whole scene was about this bloody prop. This night in particular the notebook hadn’t been placed where it usually was, in fact it wasn’t even on stage at all, someone had forgotten to set it. Luckily my character was a complete scatter brain and I just improvised a reason for going into the wings to search for the notebook. The whole time I was yelling to the audience off stage because as I said it was comedia dell’arte and breaking the fourth wall was done through out the whole show. I couldn’t find the notebook so my scene partner was just like "here use this" and shoved a coin in my hand. I went back on stage and for the rest of the play what would’ve normally been the notebook became the coin. It’s moments like that where you’re scared shitless and have no one to save you except your own improvisational skills and, in my case a very quick thinking cast member, that make me love live theatre. It’s the age old saying "the show must go on." Where as in film you would just stop the scene, reset and then go again.
I don’t have any current plans of making the transition back into stage work. If I were to ever star in a Broadway play, however, I would love to play "Eponine" in a production of Les Miserables. I think my singing would need a bit of improvement though.
6. When you are not acting, you can be found painting. When did you realize you had an interest in being an artist? What do you get from painting that you don't get from your acting work? Visual art was my first passion even before acting. I’ve been drawing and painting since I was very little, probably since I could hold a pencil. Painting can be quite therapeutic for me because it’s something I do on my own time, that’s just for me. I don’t feel the pressure to always produce results, whereas I can sometimes feel that way with acting. Acting is my career so I’m always "on" when it comes to being on set and auditioning. When I paint I can just unwind and relax and if I start to think "wow that looks ugly" I can either throw it away or simply start over. I love taking my time with my artwork and just enjoying the simplicity of running the brush over the canvas. I get lost in it and can easily paint away a whole afternoon.
7. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Stories and storytelling are what first drew me to performance. As a kid I had a wild imagination (what kid doesn’t) and more often than not I would conquer boredom by making up characters and stories with my toys. Disney movies probably had a lot to do with it too; watching a movie I felt as if I was there with the character’s living the story. When I started reading, I’d devour books, clinging to the story and letting my imagination roam the pages. It was my love for stories that made me want to become a part of them. I guess I figured what could be better than becoming a character in the books and movies I loved so much.
I went on to study drama intensively at a Fine Arts high school, an opportunity I’m very grateful for, and then a year of theatre at a post secondary institution. While studying the origins of Theatre I realized stories are an innate part of our existence, we’ve always told stories throughout history and in some ways they’re what connect us and make us human.
8. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Romance is the driving force of life." An acting teacher once said this to me early on in my career. I’d been working on monologues and they were quite depressing and melodramatic, probably a reflection of my state of mind at the time. It took a few years for that sentence to really register with me.
What I think of it now though is this; In both acting and in life hope is strength. We are always hopeful of things, hopeful to find love, hopeful that a negative situation will turn into a positive one…hopeful for the best, whatever that may be. It’s that hopefulness that drives us and helps us go out in the world and fall in love with life’s wonders. Romance to me doesn’t necessarily mean falling in love with a person, I think it can mean falling in love with your life as well. Romance to me means finding happiness in the little things, it means taking the time to watch a sunset, laughing with a friend, swimming in the ocean…whatever it is that keeps you moving forward and drives passion into your life.
Next to that I’d say "Never stop taking risks" is another great bit of advice that I’ve taken to heart and tried to implement into my life as often as possible.
9. What have you learned about yourself from being an artist/performer? I want to say something really deep here…But honestly, the most valuable thing I’ve learned from being an actor and an artist is to not take myself too seriously. I’ve learned to avoid perfection instead of striving for it because trying to be perfect is a happiness destroyer. As artists, I think far too often we can get inside our own heads trying to figure out the way to "success" or how to get people to like our work. What I’ve realized though is there’s no way you’re going to please everybody and there really isn’t a universal idea of "success" either.
I’ve learned to remain true to myself and to trust myself. Letting go of my ego and not tying my self-worth to the results of my career. I always try to remember that nailing an audition and booking a part doesn’t define me anymore than a not-so great audition or not getting a part does. I am me and being human is far more important to me than being perfect.
10. If you could have any super power, what would it be? I’ve actually spent a fair bit of time thinking about this in the past. Originally, I thought being able to breathe under water would be the best thing ever. I’ve thought about being able to fly too…But I think the ultimate super power would be SUPER knowledge. Literally knowing everything, like in the movie Lucy with scarlet Johansson, for example. Although in the end of that movie she unlocks the full 100% capacity of her brain and becomes part of the universe in space and time…I wouldn’t want to combust into the universe but being able to think my way out of ANY situation would be pretty awesome.
11. Favorite skin care product? I’m all about natural, non-chemical, animal and environmentally friendly products. I would have to say coconut oil and vitamin E oil are my favorite skin care products. Coconut oil is great for moisturizing plus it has self cleaning properties that kill germs on the surface of the skin. Vitamin-E oil helps smooth out my skin tone, provides antioxidants to skin cells, and helps prevent any free radical damage.
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? Since working with a personal trainer I’ve discovered I love free weights. I literally had no upper body strength before I started. It was a slow and painful process but now I rock up to the gym and lift with all of the gym bros. It’s entertaining seeing some of the reactions when they see a girl as small as myself lifting 40 - 50lbs next to them. I love feeling strong and have definitely shifted my fitness goals towards gaining and toning muscle instead of trying to stay a certain weight.
13. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? Hmmm…I’m a smoothie enthusiast so I’d probably mix fruit and veggies with coconut water. Yesterday I made one for breakfast that had cucumber, green apple, ginger and lemon. Can we call that "Sounds Disgusting But Isn’t, I Promise" drink?
My brother always gives me shit for my green smoothies so he’ll appreciate the name.
You may not have heard her name yet, but it’s likely you’ve seen her before. Anna Sargeant is an up-and-coming Canadian actress, with a list of impressive credits already to her name. She was born in the South of England, then immigrated as a child to what some would call "The Hollywood Of The North," Vancouver, Canada.
As a teenager, Anna began her acting career with a role in the hit Canadian TV series Smallville and a co-staring role in an episode of Hiccups, followed by numerous short films and indie projects. You may also have caught her in last year’s pilot episode of the new FOX drama Backstrom. But it’s her latest role, acting alongside Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in the highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey, which has seen her burst back onto our screens.
Anna’s passion for the arts began many years ago; attending an alternative Arts school she furthered her theatre studies at a Toronto University. Currently spending time in Australia, Anna fills her time away from the cameras exploring her many fascinations. As an avid artist, she currently fine-tunes her skills in a quiet little studio by the Beach, a destination she is never too far away from.
Her travels through South East Asia have brought an appreciation of the opportunities she has been afforded and life’s little wonders. Whether she’s snorkeling through untouched paradises or being attacked by an adventurous monkey in a Balinese forest, Anna takes life in her stride. Ever engaging, Anna’s passion for life and her craft is energizing, and with an array of quirks that’ll keep us on our toes, Anna is certainly a talent to watch out for.