Pitch Perfect’s Anna Camp On Her True Hollywood Story

Anna Camp Dishes on Embarrassing Moments, Success in Hollywood, and California Living

Written By: Marissa Wright Pitch Perfects Anna Camp On Her True Hollywood Story
Photographed By: Damien Andrews
Wardrobe Stylist: Nicole Pollard
Beauty Stylist: Lisa Prova
Make up Artist: Jacob Vega

Unlike some of the roles she has played, such as her pretentious Pitch Perfect character, Anna Camp is genuine, unassuming and gracious. If you are familiar with Camp’s work it would be easy to imagine her behaving like one of her characters in her daily life, but it’s really a testament to her abilities as an actress. Even after traveling from South Africa to New York to Los Angeles over the span of a few days and suffering from jet lag, Camp jokes and tells stories while getting her hair done by friend and stylist Lisa Prova of Lukaro Salon in Beverly Hills. In a place with no shortage of people who are trying to be somebody, it is refreshing to see someone who has made it in LA remain grounded. Camp takes her acting work very seriously but doesn’t take herself seriously at all.

While jet setting and getting pampered in fancy salons sounds like the life of any other Hollywood starlet, Camp is far from typical. A transplant originating from South Carolina, Camp has all the charm of a Southern belle minus the accent. Though she considers herself at home in California these days, it was in New York that Camp started chasing her dream of being a working actress. Beginning her career in theatres on and off Broadway, it wasn’t long before Camp made headlines and received nods for her performances. After first auditioning for the character of Sookie, Camp was offered a role on True Blood and appeared in 23 episodes as Sarah Newlin. Camp continued to gain momentum as a television star with recurring characters on Mad Men, The Good Wife, and The Mindy Project before going on to star in Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2.

Anna Camp’s sincere nature and gentle spirit are enough to make you lose sight of her A-List ranking, but she has enough projects on the horizon to ensure you will be seeing plenty of her.

Q: Did you ever think you were going to make a living with your acting?
Anna Camp: I went to New York when I was in high school and I remember my first time walking down Broadway—where all of the theatres were—and never thought that I would ever get there. I just thought that it was this dream place to work and live. I cried when I left New York City because I didn’t know when I was going to be back. And then fast forward years later and I’m opening my first Broadway show, so you really never know where you’re going to be or where this career is going to take you. So I’m always surprised that I’m working and I’m always surprised to be getting paid for what I love to do.

Q: When did you first start to feel like you made it?
AC: The first time I started feeling like I was making it was my first cover. I think it was the New York Post that came out when I was in this Off-Broadway show called The Scene over at Second Stage with Tony Shalhoub and Patricia Heaton. It was the first big Off-Broadway job that I had ever had. The cover of the art section had a picture of me and Tony Shalhoub and the headline was something like: “Shalhoub and Heaton Shine but Camp is Champ.” I was like, “What?!” That’s insane to me. To see my picture and have my name in a headline—that was the first time I really felt like I had a shot at this business and working consistently.

Q: So what’s the most diva-like thing you have listed on your rider?
AC: I really don’t have anything. People think that actors can demand blue M&Ms and yellow candles, but you really don’t get to do that until you’re J-Lo, so I have nothing.

Q: How long have you been singing?
AC: I would sing around as a little kid; I sang in high school and was the lead in some of our high school musicals and stuff like that, but I never really considered myself a great singer. I just consider myself an actor who can sing a little bit, but the first job ever that I got in New York City was a musical.

Q: Was there a song in Pitch Perfect that was especially hard for you to feel like you were nailing it?
AC: Not really. We had classes with this a cappella guy and our music supervisor and stuff, so I never really felt like it was too hard. We were all ready to shoot by the time we got in front of the camera.

Q: Did you ever stop getting nervous for your nude scene for Equus?
AC: I remember when I got the job. I was on the subway when they called and said I booked it. I almost didn’t want it because I knew I was going to have to get naked, but I felt like I had to do things that scare me. I think I will never be as scared as when I walked out on the stage again after being totally nude for 10 minutes. It was nuts. In the beginning it was the most nerve-wracking thing I had ever done. I was doing that show for six months so there were days where I felt fat or I didn’t want to go on stage, and then there were times when I became completely numb to it. By the end of the run I was just totally naked walking around like, “Whatever, I ate a burger yesterday.”

Q: Have you ever had an embarrassing moment where you were glad the paparazzi missed it?
AC: Yes! I literally got pushed off of the stage once when I was doing a play in Baltimore. It was one of my first jobs and an older actress didn’t want to wear her contacts while we were acting together. Well, there was a blackout and she pushed me and I fell off the stage, snapped my ankle and beads went everywhere—I was playing a flapper. During the music change I hoisted myself up onto the stage within the music cue. There was no way anybody was going to see me with my dress over my head so they called an ambulance, stopped the show and I was taken to the hospital with my full costume on, mascara running down my face and this feather on my head. It was crazy. I was really glad there were no pictures of that. It was bad. I did the rest of the show—it was a small performance—on crutches.

Q: Do you prefer to work on Broadway, TV shows or films?
AC: I think it depends more upon the role. If the role is something that’s really complicated and challenging, I’ll work in whatever medium it is. I’m pushing myself as an actor, going places that I wouldn’t really go in my daily life, and I want to make sure I’m building on the last role that I had. But I like to work.

Q: Your trademarks are your soft smile and your blonde hair, but have you ever wanted to drastically change your look?
AC: Who knew that’s what I’m known for? And I have wanted to dye my hair dark. For True Blood they made me a long, dark brown wig that was beautiful. I loved it and I want to do that one day. I think it would be fun. Every time I say that Lisa [Prova] says, “Yeah but it’s going to be a lot of work to get back to light and you know you’re going to want to be blonde again.”

Q: How long has Lisa Prova been doing your hair?
AC: Five years. We were at a party at the Roosevelt Hotel and I had just met Lisa. I was trying to get ready when she was like, “Girl, what are you doing?” She curled my hair for me and it looked really good, so I went in to see her a couple days later. She has changed my hair. I had to keep cutting my hair almost once every two weeks because it was just breaking off and it wouldn’t grow. After I started going to Lisa my hair was growing out and it was healthy and amazing—and the color! People started complimenting me every job that I ever went on. When someone would do my hair they’d be like, “Who does your color? It’s so natural.” Now we’re more friends than anything. It’s great.

Q: How would you describe your personal style?
AC: You mean when I’m not wearing pajamas on an airplane? I like to dress a little bohemian, a little California beachy. I love dresses. I have a problem with walking by a beautiful sundress; I’ll think, “That looks like it’s me” and I usually buy it. My closets are bursting with sundresses. They’re so comfortable when you’re getting your hair done, too.

Q: Who are your favorite designers when you need to be red carpet ready?
AC: I love a good Marchesa dress. There is something super elevated, yet romantic and classic at the same time. They’re super feminine and I love feminine dresses. So yeah, Marchesa is one that I really love.

Q: Are you primarily a California girl now or do you spend more of your time in New York?
AC: I just booked a television show that is going to be shooting in New York, but I love California. I always get so happy when I land. It’s beautiful. California itself is a beautiful state and it really feels like my home now.

Q: You have a lot of really cool work coming up: Saints & Strangers, The Good Girls Revolt, Brave New Jersey. What role are you most excited about?
AC: Well I just finished Saints & Strangers, that’s what I shot in South Africa. It’s a really gritty telling of the Mayflower and coming to America. It shows the struggle and the courage of the people to be on this boat for so long and to go into a place where they had no idea what was waiting for them. It’s an incredibly emotional performance and I’m playing a very selfless and kind person. I usually play these kind of uptight bitches, so I’m excited for people to see a different side of me and for people to see someone who is incredibly generous and selfless and truly a good person.

Q: Do you still get nervous for auditions?
AC: I’ve been very lucky that I’ve been offered the last few jobs that I’ve gotten, but usually I’m excited to go into an audition room if it’s something I’m passionate about. I used to be super nervous. It’s the worst. There is so much rejection in this business, but there’s a part of me that thinks people know how I work finally. If they want what I’m selling then they want what I’m selling, and if they don’t want it then they don’t want it. We weren’t meant to work together and it wasn’t my job to begin with, so I go in totally confident that I am a good actor and I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. You just have to throw your audition sides out in the trash before you get in your car and you’re done.

Q: If you could star in any remake, TV or movie, what would it be and what role would you want to play?
AC: I would love to play Blanche Dubois, whether it’s on stage or whether it’s a remake of Streetcar, like the film. It’s a role that I would die to play when I get old enough. It’s something that I have to do before my career is over.

Native Knowledge: The Library Bar inside The Redbury Hotel features drink and food specials from 5-7 p.m. daily for social hour. Enjoy $8 specialty cocktails, $7 wine by the glass, $5 beers and bar bites from $3-$7 while lounging with friends or shooting pool.

The Redbury Hotel

1717 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90028
323.435.9724 | www.theredbury.com/hollywood

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