Anna Hopkins is a Montreal girl at heart, who swears that St. Viateur street, Café Olympico, and bagels are the essence of her city. It was only a couple of months ago that she experienced her first red carpet event at TIFF, when the film she’s in, Barney’s Version, made it’s North American debut. We caught up with this stylish beauty for a walk in the park, some more chatting, and a glamorous photo shoot to boot.
Anna Hopkins: It was. Besides the great hotel and the black SUVs, the hotel I was staying at, I guess, was where everyone else [other celebrities] was staying as well. It was quite the experience because there were people [fans] camped outside the hotel waiting for actors to come out. Here I was, walking out of the hotel and people would just look at me wondering ‘who is this girl’, some would even take a picture. I guess they would try to figure it out later.
AP: Based on the book by Mordecai Richler, Barney’s Version officially comes out December 24th, 2010. For those who don’t know about the film can you explain what the movie is about and who you play?
Anna: Well, the film is based on the book, which is usually referred to as Richler’s most beloved novel. The movie follows Barney (Paul Giamatti) through his present day life and flashbacks to his past (hence the idea that the account of his life, is really his “version”.) It includes three marriages (Rachelle Lefevre, Minnie Driver, Rosamund Pike), the birth of his two children (me and Jake Hoffman), his friendship with Boogie (Scott Speedman) and his heartwarming and hilarious relationship with his father, Izzy Panofsky (Dustin Hoffman). I won’t give away too much about the whole film, but can say that it is a beautiful, funny and moving portrait of a man who, although seemingly screws up every good thing in his life, still manages to find a way into your heart.
AP: Can you tell us a bit about your role?
Anna: I play Kate Panofsky, Barney’s daughter, one of the only characters in the book and film that sticks by him no matter what happens. The film takes place in Montreal, as Montreal, and will surely please any Montrealer who has ever been to Grumpy’s for a drink, Moishes for a steak, or a Habs game! (I won’t give away any more than that)
AP: Fair enough! What can you say about your cast mates? It’s a pretty impressive cast.
Anna: I worked primarily with Paul Giamatti, and can say that although I looked up to him before doing this film, actually working with him has made me see first hand what a powerhouse of an actor he is, aside from being an all around wonderful human being. I couldn’t have asked for anything more incredible for my first film role. I connected immediately with Macha Grenon as well, who plays Solange. She is a wonderful role model for young actresses. Overall, I was so taken aback by the performances of all the actors. Minnie Driver is hilarious, and Rosamund Pike embodies Miriam so perfectly. Rachelle portrays Clara beautifully, and Scott Speedman is captivating as Boogie. Dustin Hoffman is a GENIUS as Izzy Panofsky, and steals every second he is on screen. He is mesmerizing to watch. (I can’t believe I’m talking about Dustin Hoffman’s acting).
AP: Speaking of. The girls here have a little crush on Scott Speedman. First, how cute is he?! Second, there are quite a few Canadians working on this film. Rachelle Lefevre and screenwriter Michael Konyves are also Montrealers. Being from Montreal yourself, how did it feel being part of such a significant film like Barney’s Version?
Anna: Hehe, yes he is very cute. He’s also very kind and incredibly talented. Yes, being a Montrealer working on this film was almost too good to be true. Michael [Konyves] and I often talk about it, and laugh. I remember him saying that as Montrealer, being a part of this film is like being a New Yorker who gets drafted by the Yankees, and then wins the World Series. I have to say, I did feel a sense of pride while witnessing Giamatti’s first poutine experience.
AP: Many aspiring Montreal actors would love to know about how you started out in the business. Can you tell us a little bit about how you came to be a working actress?
Anna: Well, it started out with high school plays (doesn’t it always?) Then when I was about 17 I wanted to get an agent to start auditioning, so I submitted a taped audition for an agent I was interested in, and she signed me. Then the auditions started, and that’s that! I immediately began to study acting outside of school with acting coach Jacqueline McClintock (former acting coach of Rachelle and Scott), and continue to do so. I know people say this all the time, but the key is to really not take anything personally and continue to audition – you will be continually rejected, but there will always be a role out there for you, you just have to be patient and work hard.
AP: We’re big time foodies here at Bitchin’ Lifestyle, would you say you enjoy cooking, or are you more of an ‘order in’ type gal. Do you have a favorite dish?
Anna: Mmm…love food, all food. Favorite dish? Yikes there are too many. I could probably eat a million meatballs from Tavern on the Square if I had to. Overall, anything with olives, anchovies, rapini, hot peppers and prosciutto. If I order in, it’s definitely from Arahova – chicken souvlaki that is, and a little homemade mixture my boyfriend has coined the “Pou-tzaki” – fries, tzatziki and feta!
AP: Thank you so much for the interview and photo shoot. Do you have any upcoming projects; we’d love to know where we’ll be seeing you next.
Anna: Thank you! At first I thought the best part was that I got to hang out with an English bull dog [for the photo shoot], but then while we were walking in the park, we ran into a black potbelly pig wearing a Christmas sweater! Best moment of my life. As far as upcoming projects, right now I’m doing a scene study workshop at the Atelier Orphanspace playing Linda in “Savage in Limbo” by John Patrick Shanley on December 21st 22nd (Sugar Sammy is working on a scene in there as well) I am currently finishing up my Communications degree at Concordia University, and once I’m done that, I will be working on looking for a project as special and meaningful as Barney’s is.
Photography by Milosz Jurkiewicz
Styling by Vintage Scandal
Makeup by Anna Hopkins
Photo Editing by Milosz Jurkiewicz