Pictured: Actress Anna Anissimova. Photo Credit: © Andy McCallie.

Pictured: Actress Anna Anissimova. Photo Credit: © Andy McCallie.

GALO: Your first acting gig was a role in Father of Invention, alongside Kevin Spacey. Could you talk to me about how you ended up getting the part?

AA: I met with the director, Trent Cooper. I auditioned for him twice. Then they had Kevin Spacey on board and he had the final say on all the actors. I had to go and audition for him, but he was in London, I think. So I got to meet the producer, Dana Brunetti, who I auditioned for. I went through that process, and then I got the part.

GALO: That then being your first movie, was it a surreal experience for you?

AA: Well, it was crazy to know that I was going to work with Kevin Spacey. That was completely insane to me. I didn’t think it would happen. It was like, “yeah, no, I don’t think this is real. I think someone’s playing a joke.” Then I remember the first day on set [I was asked], “are you nervous?” And I’m like, “No, I’m not nervous! This is what I want to do for the rest of my entire life.” I thought my first scene was going to be shot with Heather Graham and Camilla Belle, two girls I rehearsed with and that I knew by now. And on the first day, the director comes up to me and tells me he had to switch some things around and that my first scene is with Kevin. And I was like, “What?”

I remember I was shaking. I literally think I was covered in hives and shaking, and having a full nervous breakdown. My first scene ever, in anything in my entire life, would be across from Kevin Spacey. But we went there and luckily the camera was on him first. By the time they turned around on me, I was good to go. He was just an incredible person to work with and so generous as an actor. So, I think I got lucky there.

GALO: Now I have to ask — are you a House of Cards fan?

AA: Oh my God. Yes! One of my favorite shows right now. I love it. When season two came out, I think I watched it in like three days or less. I’m pregnant now, so I have nothing to do, really. All I do is stay home, watch TV, work out on my treadmill and watch shows. So yeah, it’s one of my favorite shows.

GALO: Your latest film is called There’s Always Woodstock. It’s described as a romantic comedy. Could you tell me a little bit about the film’s plot?

AA: It’s about this girl named Katherine, played by Allison Miller. She’s a struggling singer-songwriter in New York City, and in one day her world kind of falls apart. She decides to move back to Woodstock where her parents are from and spends the summer there to sort of rediscover herself. It’s this coming of age story of a girl who gets her heart broken and then falls in love again. I play her best friend. It was a really cool experience because there’s a lot of music in the movie. We got to work with Katey Sagal, who is amazing and also from one of my favorite shows, Sons of Anarchy. So that was cool. It was just like a really fun, romantic comedy with a great, fresh cast. It was James Wolk, Jason Ritter, Rumer Willis, and Brittany Snow. It was shot by Rita Merson, who I actually met when I was 14. We went to high school together, which is kind of a cool story. I was a producer on this film as well, and we got together. Just bringing all the pieces together of the film was cool to do.

GALO: Do you get to sing in the film?

AA: No, I don’t get to sing in the film. Everyone else does and I think that’s a good thing, because you don’t want to hear me sing.

GALO: Would you ever be interested in acting in other mediums, such as TV and stage?

AA: I’m very interested in TV, considering that I probably watch TV the most. I think there are such amazing shows out there right now. Game of Thrones and House of Cards, Homeland, Shameless I’m obsessed with. I think TV is so amazing right now that I’m absolutely drawn to it. I’m interested in exploring that world a little bit. And also, it’s a steady job. With film you work for two months, and then six months later you’re like, “OK, where’s my next job?” It’s also such a hurry up and wait game. You shoot a movie and then a year later it comes out. You definitely have to know patience in this business.

GALO: Who’s your favorite Game of Thrones character?

AA: There’s so many of them, but I think Khaleesi (Emilia Clarke). I think a lot of people would say that. I’m so excited its back [on TV now]. I was completely devastated last season. They always get me. They always make me devastated in their season finales.

GALO: If you could play any role as a film lead, what type of role would it be and why?

AA: That’s a really hard question. Well, I do have a dream role that I really want to play and I’m trying to develop it right now. It’s a story about my grandmother. She served 15 years in a labor camp under Stalin. She has a really fascinating life. She was sentenced at age 20 and was there until 35. It was awful conditions. She lost two daughters, buried three husbands. If you look at her now, she’s 92 and she’s an incredible woman. She has her daughter, my mom, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, another one on the way. She’s just an amazing person and so full of life, and you would never look at her and say, “Holy s—t, this woman’s been through hell and back.” And my dream is to actually play her, in the script we’re developing right now.

GALO: So what you’re saying is that this could become a reality?

AA: Yes, I’m hoping. It’s a really hard story to tell, but we’re trying to make it happen. I’m very drawn to real life stories and real characters; characters based on real people. I think that’s where the best stories come from.