After her impressive turn in “Underbelly The Golden Mile”, New Zealand actress Anna Hutchison has been yanked left, right, back and center as she catapults around the world at the bequest of feature film and TV directors like Drew Goddard (for “Cabin in the Woods”) and Steven S.De Knight (“Spartacus : War of the Damned”). Hutchison’s most recent gig, that of the love interest of a forlorn footballer in director Richard Gray’s “Blinder”, took her to Australia. Clint Morris caught up with the amiable Ms Hutchison on the film’s whirlwind promotional tour downunder.
Clint Morris: I spent some time on the set last year. But I don’t think I got to meet you. So, I’m kind of phone-meeting you, I guess.
Anna Hutchison: Oh, excellent. Did you have a good time? Did you go down to Torquay?
Clint Morris: Yeah, I went down to Torquay. Yeah, yeah, it was lovely down there.
Anna Hutchison: Oh, cool. Was it the footy day or what were they filming that day?
Clint Morris: It was. Yeah, it was the footy day, yeah. So, I take it you weren’t around much on the footy days?
Anna Hutchison: No. Like, at the very beginning I said, “If I’m doing this, can I please be involved with the training and stuff like that ’cause I don’t know know anything about AFL?” But after… I think it was the first morning. I got tackled, and they just did an easy tackle on me, and I was just like, “No, forget that. I’m going to the beach.” So, I’m tanned in the movie, but I know nothing about how to tackle or handle a tackle. So, yeah. So, I kind of kept away from it when all the boys were doing that stuff. Thank goodness. I don’t… Yeah, not built like them. But did you play footy when you were little?
Clint Morris: Yeah. I was talking to someone about this the other day actually… Yeah, I did. I played footy and I played cricket, and did all the sports and so on. I think when you get to about 20, you just stop. I enjoyed the aspect of belonging to something more than the games themselves..
Anna Hutchison: Well, it’s kind of a shame though because you don’t have that… You know, when you’re at school, it’s all organised for you, all that kind of sporting thing, and then you have to do it yourself. But that was… One of the things we did, Scott, the producer; his son, Jack; and Chris, another one of the producers, we did couple of half marathons together while we were filming, just on the weekends; and also Tough Mudder, which was probably the stupidest thing any of the four of us had ever done in our whole lives. And I would not recommend doing that. But it was just great to have that kind of organised team environment again.
Clint Morris: Yeah.
Anna Hutchison: And just… Of course, you do have, at the school kind of the same thing, as what you’re just saying, but yes.
Clint Morris: And that aspect of belonging to something too I think is important. And I was actually just thinking about this very same thing, but in a different context. I mean my five-year-old just started school, and you know, I was just thinking how good it was for… Dropping her off this morning, you know, they are all in their same little uniforms and…And as scary as it is for us to kind of see her going away off to school now and all that kind of stuff, it’s like this is actually good. This is a good thing for her because now she feels like she belongs to something. They are all in their little red dresses and…
Anna Hutchison: Aww, cute!
Clint Morris: Yeah.
Anna Hutchison: It’s that little school community thing. It’s just beginning.
Clint Morris: Exactly. Exactly.
Anna Hutchison: Cool.
Clint Morris: And then that… As you say, that’s like with sport too. And you’re kind of forced into that. But it’s a good thing, whether it’s the parents or it’s the school making you get into something like that when you’re younger, that it is good to be involved in that. And it’s a good thing all around I think. So…
Anna Hutchison: And in a way, that’s what Richard did at the beginning of the thing. He wanted to create a team environment for all of the cast that were involved, and the crew. So, we did lawn balls on the weekend. And you did really truly feel like you were part of a special project, not just like, yeah, let’s just put in our time cards, do the job on the set. Like, we were really involved with each other right throughout the shooting period, which is nice. And we’ve all kept in touch since then as well. So, he has kind of get that little stuff going. And I didn’t think that he was a sporty dude when he was at school. So, yeah, he’s got it going on.
Clint Morris: Most of us arty types aren’t usually [laughter] It’s usually one or the other. It’s like… We’re either into the movie making side of things or the art side of things or we’re at on the football field, I guess.
Anna Hutchison: Yeah, you know, that was kind of funny as well because a lot of the boys, they’re all arty, right, and they’re just actors. So, they’re changing their body shapes and stuff like that to try and look like those dudes who were on the field, or sing while they’re in the drama hall, studying at school. So, it was pretty funny and cool for them as well, to be those who was on the footy field because they’re all playing school kids in this thing.
Clint Morris: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.
Anna Hutchison: So, yeah. If you can run it ‘life, it’s funny’.
Clint Morris: That’s right, that’s right. And I mean it’s a good movie for you to be in because I mean you’ve actually been kicking goals yourself in the last couple of years especially.
Anna Hutchison: [chuckle] Well, yeah. But not at the moment. I’ve got a broken foot and a moon boot at the moment. So, there’s no kicking going on, but for me, I like the idea of coming back to Australia. Like every time, that I’ve come to Australia, like for, Underbelly and for Wild Boys, I’ve just had the best time ever. So… But that was based in Sydney. And this one was down in Torquay-Melbourne area, which is where we did all the stuff. So, I thought “cool, it’d be great to have a chance to get back here.” Plus AFL, it was something that was completely… It eluded my knowledge like there’s no tomorrow. Any time time I came home when I was filming Wild Boys, the dudes who I was training with will be watching this AFL thing. And I was like, “What is that? I don’t get it.” And, so, I had watched the rugby with them or watched the league, but I never had that AFL connection. So, it really brought that into it. Plus, also, I really liked Summer Coda which Richard did. And I’ve been a fan of Gus or Angus Sampson for ages. So, yeah. So, there was all these wonderful things. And I liked the story as well, and I liked the idea of playing 16 and also 26 because it’s that age difference. So, that was a bit of a challenge, but fun to work with the make-up artist to create that. So, yeah, for me, it was a real treat of a job to be involved in.
Clint Morris: And having worked in the States for a little while on things like Cabin in the Woods and stuff, did you come home and just realized how different it is working here to the States and so forth?
Anna Hutchison: I think, for me, personally, it’s all the same. But I think if you’re in that producer role and stuff like that, it’s different. But for me, I’m gonna work out and prepare just as hard on, like, even a student short film than a massive big budget kind of Hollywood thing. Like, I really think preparation is key with everything you do.
Clint Morris: Yeah.
Anna Hutchison: When I was on Spartacus, I was working a lot with special effects and green screens and camera trickery so it’s a different type of experience…but it was pretty fun to be. I would have just kind of sat and hang at the beach when we were filming. And yeah, it is different, but then you kind of want to take the same work ethic to every job you do. Do you know what I mean?
Clint Morris: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. No, look, I actually run a PR firm. And that’s what I do at the… My main office is in Burbank. And I come back to Australia, and I would… People will say, “Why are you doing so much on this actress?” I represent a couple of the girls from True Blood and you know, I’ll come back and I’ll be representing people you haven’t heard of from Australia at the same time. And I’ll be putting as much into them as the bigger names and getting them, trying to get them in exactly the same kind of position magazine-wise and so forth. And it’s just… You’ve gotta put everything into each job. No job is… I don’t say, any job is smaller or anyone is smaller, and you just prove yourself on each one. Each one’s a challenge.
Anna Hutchison: Yup. Yeah. Absolutely.
Clint Morris: Yes. And I mean… So you’re obviously laid up at the moment, so to speak, with your injuries. Is that preventing you from work?
Anna Hutchison: [chuckle] Absolutely not. If anything, it’s been a good thing. Because normally, I’d be, well, training for all sorts of things. But I’ve been able to put even more time into preparing for auditions and stuff like that because there has not been time to go out and do a three-hour trial run or something like that. So, work-wise, it’s just been the best thing ever. But it just means that coming back to Melbourne, it’s a little hot with this moon boot on. And so, I’m flying up in LA because it’s wintertime and stuff. But yeah, I’ve got a… I think I’ve got one more week of it and then it’s gone. So, no heels tonight, and I haven’t been able to wear high heels very well.
Clint Morris: Yeah.
Anna Hutchison: But, yes, no problems.
Clint Morris: And do you head back for… Is it like pilot season or…
Anna Hutchison: Yes, I’m spending some time doing pilot auditions. I’m just having the best time. It’s kind of a really exciting… I don’t know, it’s like… You could really kick yourself because you’re playing all these different characters over the week. Like you might have team auditions or more on your to-do list. So, you’re going into absolute schizophrenic mode of the world, and teaching yourself, and your adrenalin is up and down. And it’s an incredible time to be over there, because there are heaps of other actors as well, all trying for this thing. And some of the time, you walk into a room and there’s 30 people exactly the same as you, and they’re all going for the same part. And then the other times, you go and there’s 30 people who look completely different, but they’re all going for the same part as well. So, yeah, it’s great. It is a very good thing. And then it makes you really thick-skinned and tough kind of and… Yeah, getting told “no” and “yes, but no” in all these different ways. It’s… Yeah, I enjoy it because it just makes you go. “Okay, cool, I’m working towards this. Can we put, just put in a lot of effort just to get the job.”
Clint Morris: Yeah.
Anna Hutchison: Yeah. It’s cool.
Clint Morris: Has being in films like Cabin in the Woods and of course, now with Blinder helped you get in the door a bit more?
Anna Hutchison: I wouldn’t really know because it’s my agent that generally deals with getting me in doors. I’ve got a wonderful agent over there who dabble that. So, I don’t really get involved with that stuff, but I have been really busy.
Clint Morris: That’s a good sign!
Anna Hutchison: It probably has. Like Cabin was a fun film to be involved with and also Spartacus is doing incredibly well.
Clint Morris: Yeah.
Anna Hutchison: So, to be attached to something that huge is very, very lucky.
Clint Morris: Exactly.
Anna Hutchison: So, yeah. And everyone loves the wolf pack, so, it’s a good thing.
Clint Morris: Exactly. And I mean are you heading back tomorrow to the states or?
Anna Hutchison: I’m going back to New Zealand for a day. And then, I’ll come back here. There’s a premiere [for Blinder] in Geelong. I think they’re doing one there. So, I’ll go to that. And then I’ll head back on Thursday. So, it’s been a complete whirlwind.
Clint Morris: How are you finding with the accent over there? Did you snap into the American accent easily enough?
Anna Hutchison: Yeah, you just kind of slip in… And whatever character you have to do. If they want an Aussie, you go Aussie. Kiwi, Kiwi. English, English. And then you do the American thing if they need that. So, yeah, it’s fun. It’s just… Honestly, I’ve got the best job in the whole world. I feel so lucky.
Clint Morris: Did you think you’d get to where you are now, looking back a few years back? Because you’ve done very well.
Anna Hutchison: I think I’ve been very fortunate with the people that I’ve worked with. And I think you just work really really hard. Plus, I feel like there’s so much more to get done and there’s… Yeah, I just have to work even harder and harder. I think it’s kind of exciting as well. Like you look around the heaps of people, not only in the acting industry, but people in business or in law, and just how hard they work to get to where they are and it’s a constant thing that you just have to keep striving for. So, yeah, I’m excited. And no, I didn’t really think that… I don’t know, I just kind of take one day at a time. You’ve got an overall idea of what you wanna achieve.
Clint Morris: Yeah.
Anna Hutchison: So, yeah, I don’t know. I’m petty lucky, I think. But yeah, it’s not… Certainly not just luck, lot of hard work.
Clint Morris: Have you gotten to know Jack Thompson at all?
Anna Hutchison: Yes, he was so cool. And he’s also a singer and he brought all this music to the set. So, he gave us a little CD which was cool. Yeah, all the stuff, it was just like the most incredible time to hang out. And he is an Australian icon, you know. So, yeah, pretty cool.
Clint Morris: Well, thank you so much for taking the time out to chat to us. I especially wanted to chat to you, just being a fan of your recent work and so forth. You’ve done some fantastic stuff.
“Blinder” commences Thursday