Interview with actress, writer and director Anna Rust
Today on What On What’s Good with Jovin Tardif, I am here with Anna Rust. She’s an actress, best known for her role as Fleury in Amazon’s Carnival Row, as well as Young Mechtild in Ophelia (starring Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts and Clive Owen) and Khava Bazaeva in TNT’s Legends, to name a few. She also recently premiered her multi-award-winning short film Satiety as the lead actor and director. In our interview, we discuss her role on Carnival Row, working with Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts in Ophelia, the premiere of her short film Satiety, favourite films and much more.
1. Can you tell us about your role as Fleury in Amazon’s Carnival Row?
Of course! I play a faerie sex worker that works in Moira’s brothel, in the repurposed Tetterby Hotel. Like most of the mythical creatures on the Row, I came to the Burgue after fleeing my war-torn homeland.
2. What was it like working alongside Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts and Clive Owen as Young Mechtild in Ophelia?
Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts were wonderful, warm and hilarious; I loved getting to work with them. I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to interact with Clive Owen personally.
3. How are you staying creative during these trying times?
I’m finding so much solace in creativity, from painting to writing to auditioning. It’s what’s keeping me level-headed.
4. You recently premiered your multi-award-winning short film Satiety. Do you have any advice on how to juggle both roles as the lead actor and director in the film?
It’s hard to not get wrapped up in getting the perfect take as an actor when you’re also juggling directing; and equally, it’s tough to not look at the bigger picture when as an actor you should be focusing on the moment in the scene. I’m by no means experienced enough to give proper advice, but what helped me was plenty of coverage.
5. What are your thoughts on the impact of COVID-19 on the industry?
I desperately hope theatre, film & TV can rebound from this, and soon; the crippling effect the pandemic has had on all facets of storytelling is devastating. The optimist in me hopes that any projects currently held in pre-production are at least benefitting from having extra time to prepare, but I have to say, I’m very much looking forward to when things aren’t so difficult for the arts.
6. You listed some of your favourite films as The Big Lebowski and Interstellar. Tell us your favourite scene and why?
Ha! I do adore those films. Every scene in The Big Lebowski that has John Goodman in it is a godsend — “Life does not stop and start at your convenience, you miserable piece of s**t” is a quote that’s thrown around a lot in this household.
Interstellar… phew… I’d say either the scene on Miller’s planet, when they discover what they’re looking at are waves, or when Cooper is watching the messages from his daughter. Yeah, no, it’s the second one. That scene kills me every time, not least because it reminds me of the close relationship I have with my dad.