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An interview with Australian actress Anna McNiven

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An interview with the beautiful and talented Australian actress- Anna McNiven about what inspires her and what keeps her grounded.

Please introduce yourself to the readers:

Hi I am Anna Grace McNiven. Born and raised in Sydney Australia by my awesome mother in a busy household of 6 siblings.

How and when did you first get into performing?

I grew up in an artistic household, My three older siblings were all artists, my older brother being a writer, and one of my older sisters an artist and the other a dancer, so this is what influenced me and naturally drew out the artist in me. I started dancing at the ripe age of 4 and continued dancing through highschool where I attended Newtown Performing Arts High School in Newtown Sydney Australia. Although initially I was there for dance as my major, I fell into acting when I auditioned and performed for the drama companies associated with the school. I then realized that this was what I was really passionate about. I have always written; poetry, songs, stories etc since I was a kid and then this tied into acting for me where I began to write for theatre and then eventually film.

Who were some of your biggest inspirations?

My biggest inspirations definitely were my siblings to start with, There is a big age gap between us so I always looked up to them and was inspired by their talent. Then as far as a 'star' inspiration goes, I loved anything or anyone that shined in what they did. Whether it be music, film, theatre, dance, writing or anything really that I was exposed to through my mother/father/siblings; such artists as Michael Jackson and his film clips, Hitchcock films, Elizabeth Taylor, Chaplin films, rock bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Jazz Miles Davis, Weather Report, dance; Martha Grahem, Baryshnikov, painters and artists like Picasso, Van Gogh, Freida Carlo and the list seriously goes on and on and on...

What kind have training have you done?

I was constantly dancing from my tiny years up until after highschool, sometimes 7 days a week, in contemporary dance, ballet, jazz, theatre training at the Actors Centre in Sydney, theatre classes in Sydney, Ivana Chubbuck in LA, Michelle Danner's Acting School, film at The Actors Centre Sydney and Margie Haber Studio in LA.

What has been your favorite role to play so far and why?

My favorite role recently has been playing the role of Nusch Eluard who was one of Picasso's muses. She had such a free spirit and at the same time was very well educated and wise, so it feels really liberating to play her.

What projects do you have coming up?

A few films that I can't really mention right now, but am totally stoked about!

Who would be your ideal co-star and why?

God I mean there are so many I could choose to want to work with, its hard to name just one. For a female I would love to work with Jennifer Connelly, I have always liked the movies she has chosen to work on and she seems like a really intelligent and beautiful human being so I feel like I could learn a lot from her and be a part of something that has integrity. As far as a male artist I would love to work with Matt Doran. He seems pretty cool, talented and I have always wanted to be in some kind of action sci-fi film and could totally see myself allying with him in a film like this!

What are your plans for the future?

I have ideas of future plans but I know that they never work out exactly as you imagine which is the fun part. I do have plans for writing more films, I have 2 short films that I will be shooting over the next month, and about to release a short film I wrote, directed and produced. As for future future plans, I see myself producing feature films and directing in theatre and film. I also plan to live on a piece of land where I can grow my own produce and create a hub for friends and family to hang out, eat good food, play music and create anything that has to do with art and love! So we shall see...

What is your advice to aspiring artists?

Do what you love, educate yourself with anything that inspires you, know yourself and just be yourself, follow what feels good and work hard. Oh and don't ever give up!!

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