Canadian actress Anna Hopkins first took on the entertainment world in 2005. Since then, she has been busy making a splash and proving her versatility and talent across the board. Her breakout role was appearing in “Barney’s Version“, a film in which she starred alongside Hollywood stars Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver and Paul Giamatti. 2014 is looking to be a bright and busy year for the actress. She will be appearing in multiple film projects and returning as a series regular to the hit SyFy show Defiance.
We spoke to Anna about her latest projects and what fans can expect from her this year.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Anna Hopkins below:
What inspired you to get into acting? How does it feel to be living out your dream?
Anna: Both my parents were artists, and so at an early age it felt very natural to explore lots of creative fields. I played violin, sang, painted, and then really latched onto dance. Over the years that interest in performance just naturally evolved into acting. And so it has been more of a discovery over the years that this is I guess what you could consider “my dream”, but it has never been a trajectory from A to B for me. I’m very happy where I am right now, but know I’ve got a ton more to learn and to explore within this field.
You’ve had the wonderful opportunity to act alongside some great talent (Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver, Chris Noth, etc.). How has it been working alongside some of these actors?
It’s always a thrill, especially when you become friends and create a rapport on set. It’s like getting in on the best acting master class while getting paid. I feel very lucky to have been able to learn and work with some of these great actors.
Is there anyone who has influenced or inspired you as an actor? Who would you love to work with someday?
I’m inspired all the time by performances I see in films and theatre. Most recently, I saw a production of Brad Fraser’s “Love and Human Remains” put on by Witchboy Theatre in Toronto that was really inspiring. Also just saw “The Rover” and was blown away by Guy Pearce in that. I think if there was anyone I’d love to work with it would be Spike Jonze or Michel Gondry…on a project written by Charlie Kaufman. Those three filmmakers tend to present the world in such a whimsical and unconventional way that has always really spoken to me.
Let’s talk about your new starring role in the hit SyFy series Defiance. Can you talk a little about your character and what attracted you to the role?
Jessica “Berlin” Rainier is a hard ass soldier with a heart of gold. She is very personally connected to wanting peace in Defiance, and so really gets behind the Earth Republic and its mission. She’s an interesting character because she begins to question who she is working for, which throws her set of beliefs into turmoil. When I read the description of “Berlin” for the audition, she was said to be like “a militarized Holly Hunter in Broadcast news”. When I read that I thought, wow. Now THAT sounds like an exciting role to play.
As a science fiction series, it’s a bit different than some of your previous work. What do you enjoy about working in this kind of genre?
There’s a feeling that anything can happen when you work in this genre, and a thrill that comes along with engaging in such imaginative circumstances. But when it comes down to the character, her relationships, wants and desires, they all boil down to very human traits, and so although very circumstantially different than my previous work, there are a lot of similarities too.
Were there any challenges you faced while filming?
Coming onboard during the second season presented some challenges for me in regards to understanding the mythology and backstory of all the characters, alien races and Defiance itself. I had a lot of research to do, but after shooting the first couple of episodes, I became comfortable in a world I wasn’t very familiar with to begin off with.
Season 2 just premiered this week. What can you tease about what the fans and viewers can expect from the new season?
If you like dark, then season 2 delivers. All the characters are faced with making decisions that keep them teetering on the edge of right and wrong, and propel them into morally questionable behaviour. This makes for a very turbulent environment for Defiance, which is ultimately very exciting to watch.
What’s in store for your character?
Berlin shows up in total control, and throughout the season begins to unravel in certain ways. Although she is sort of the new kid on the block (with Pottinger), she begins to form some really interesting and conflicting relationships with the characters of Defiance, sending her into some pretty precarious situations.
You also have two films coming out later this year. Can you talk a little about your role in “After The Ball” and your first French speaking role in “Les Maîtres du Suspense”? Were you nervous at all taking these on?
Both films are comedies, “Les Maitres du Suspense” being a far darker one however. In “After the Ball” I play a very conniving character, a real “mean girl”. In “Les Maitres du Suspense” I play a writer’s muse with a sinister family history. I was very excited to work on these films, and it was a great feeling to satisfy my appetite for variety, in taking on these two very different roles.
Finally, how has the fan support been so far? Are you looking forward to everything that’s ahead for you?
The Defiance fans are incredible. The second I began working on the show they were very supportive and excited about my character joining the group, which is a great feeling. Although I’m not entirely sure what is around the corner for me, I am certainly looking forward to whatever is ahead. It has been a really exciting year…and here’s to hoping the next one delivers just the same!
Be sure to tune in to Defiance, Thursdays on SyFy.
Keep up to date with Anna Hopkins by following her on Twitter @AnnaBananaHops