Cast Conversation: Anna Rizzo as Chelsea

The cavalcade of cast members continues as we meet Anna Rizzo who plays Chelsea, a free-wheeling gambler full of secret grief:

Anna is an actor, singer, and songwriter with an impressive body of film work.  We chatted about her character and how acting is like being a little crazy: 

Brendan:  What has your experience been like so far with the pre-production of this movie?

Anna:  It’s been fantastic. Just even reading the sides for the auditions, I could tell it was something exciting. And the first time I read the script I was quite literally buzzing with excitement afterwards!

Brendan:  I thought I heard a buzzing. That was you?

Anna:  Probably.  It’s just the best feeling to read a really good script that speaks to you.

Brendan:  We’ll have to work on the buzzing before shooting starts.

Anna:  Yeah – the sound person will hate that.

Brendan:  What do you like about Chelsea?

Anna:  I like how uniquely herself she is. I think there’s a part of her that feels numb, so she’s always looking for stimulation and a new adrenaline hit to fight that feeling. And while inside she might feel pain or numbness, from the outside she feels so alive.

Brendan:  Yeah, it’s funny – I think Chelsea in a lot of ways is the most mysterious character in the film. It’s awesome how open you’ve been to pouring your real self into her.

Anna:  She is mysterious. But there was also so much to her, that I when I read the script I felt like I had a strong sense of the parts of her that weren’t specified in the script. I felt like I knew who she was right away.

Brendan:  I think once you did the read through, it helped fill in the gaps of Chelsea in my brain. And you indulging my weird phone calls about your deepest darkest secrets has certainly been helpful too.  Has that been strange?

Anna:  Maybe a little bit – but so much of acting is very strange to the casual observer. I always joke that if it wasn’t a recognized form of art and expression, then we’d probably just be labeled crazy and institutionalized.

Brendan:  It still might happen.

Anna:  Any day now really.

Brendan:  What do you like about being a crazy person… uh, I mean acting?

Anna:  I feel like it gives me an outlet to make sense of my crazy. It lets me take things I’ve experienced and either work through them or give voice to them in some new abstract world as a different person.

Brendan:  So it’s free therapy, basically.

Anna:  Definitely. And then other people watch it for some reason.  What are you most looking forward to with this film?

Brendan:  I’m excited by seeing what the actors bring to the characters. When I write, I have what I think are full versions of the characters in my head. But then when the actors start bringing them to life, I realize how full they can really become. That’s an exciting process.

Anna:  Actually, I feel a lot of the same. I feel like when I read a script, I’m forming a sense of each of the other characters, my character’s relationship to them, and who my person is. But then seeing what each person brings to their own character always takes what I initially came up with initially so much further. Just even being at the table read and seeing what everyone was beginning to bring to each role started to do that. I’m really excited to start rehearsing and going even further with it.  Basically that was a long winded way of saying: talented people help me act more good.

Brendan:  What’s important for the people reading this to know about you?

Anna:  That I’m simply fun crazy, and this interview was not a cry for help. No one need be concerned.

Brendan:  The ambulances will be by soon.

Anna:  I best go wait for them.

Give Anna the help she needs by supporting the SUNDOWN Kickstarter page!

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