Sally A. Edwards organised to meet actress, Anna Brewster at one of our favourite secret locations in central London. Anna had appeared in "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens" and was gaining traction as Madam de Monstepan in "Versailles". Look out for her role as Shelby Dupree with Edgar Ramirez in the Netflix film, "The Last Days Of American Crime".
The shoot and interview took place in spring 2017
Interview and Art Direction by Sally A. Edwards
Photography by Sarah J. Edwards
Make-Up by Anna Wild
Hair by Joe Pickering
Shot on location at Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, London
Anna Brewster, star of the highly stylised, Versailles and of course the legendary, Star Wars has also modelled for some of the most aspirational brands in Paris and Milan. We invited Anna to Elms Lesters, one of our favourite locations in London for a super low key, down- to-earth shoot – D.I.Y, 90s style.
Please introduce yourself and tell us where you are and describe your current surroundings.
"I’m in Paris at my house, we have a Cactus Green dining room downstairs with leopard print chairs and a small patio, so I usually sit down here in the morning have a cup of coffee and do my emails. It’s next to Montmartre and it’s a really cute space, except they are doing building work next door so it’s a little noisy at the moment."
You've been on quite the journey, having modelled and transitioned into acting. Please can you tell us about your journey from starting modelling to your first acting job to playing Bazine Netal in Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens to becoming Marquise de Montespan, the lead female role in Versailles.
"I actually started acting first, Modelling started when I was at Uni in London studying fashion. I initially didn’t want to do it but I thought, why not I’ll try this for a while and it was great! I shot for huge brands and made loads of friends and I now have a tonne of things to show my children when I’m older. At 25 I wanted to go back to acting properly and everything fell back into place. I was a kid when I started so I wanted to get the right team together around me as an adult which I’ve done and it seems to be paying off."
What have been most enjoyable and terrifying things along the way?
"I love travelling and I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of that with work but, unfortunately without really seeing much of the countries I’ve visited. I know the places I want to go back to, but it’s quite hard to take time away from work to travel like I did then.
"There are many terrifying things, I think a lot of the time as an actor you’re terrified but you have to realize that people believe in you and you have to know that’s for a reason. It’s good to be scared I think, it means you are challenging yourself."
What or who would you say has encouraged and supported you the most? Are you fiercely ambitious or do you credit having good people around you?
"My Parents have always been supportive, they very much allowed me to do what I want and trust that I was making the right decision. They are incredibly proud of me and that I think is what makes me happiest, my family is really important."
What advice would you give someone going it alone with dreams of being successful in the arts?
"I have people ask me this a lot. I was incredibly lucky and have continued to be, saying that it takes work, and a lot of determination. You will get a lot of rejections but when you get the one ‘Yes’ it makes everything worthwhile. I think I realized when I went back to acting as an adult you don't have to be good at everything and you won’t be.I think now I go up for the things I know I can do well and so you get less rejection and the whole thing becomes more manageable."
Who would you say are your style icons, one male, one female and why?
"Male: David Bowie. [I’m] totally obsessed. He's just an icon, totally fun and timeless and he's a creative genius too.
Female: There are so many, but I love this 70's look. Disco, sunglasses, head scarfs, there are so many ways you can do it. It can be dressed up and super casual and chic."
If you could pick a handful of designers to dress you for your dream role, who would they be, how would you look and what would your character's best traits be?
"Stylistically I love True Romance and Buffalo 66 - the female leads in these films are so cool and the imagery is iconic from both. The scene when Christina Ricci is dancing in the bowling alley with the silver shoes and the blue dress- I love and the scene in True Romance in the phone booth... such good style inspiration.
"There are so many cool designers out there at the moment, I love the stuff that Gucci are doing and it could adapt very well to film. I looked and there’s a pair of pink sunglasses with diamonds around them which are like €1000 which I’d love to own, but I’m way too clumsy and would sit on them or lose them within a week. I’d love to wear those in a film playing a similar role to [True Romance]. The crazed heroine."