Filmoria sat down with Aussie star, Hanna Griffiths to talk about her latest comedy-filmWhite Crows’ and life on set of the multi award-winning TV series Underbelly.
Thank you, Hanna, for chatting with us. We caught your latest movie White Crows recently. Can you tell us about the movie?
It is a story following two best friends who leave Russia and head for Hollywood and get way more than they bargained for.
You play Laura in the film. Can you describe your character, and how she fits into the story?
She is a well-established American model who meets the girls under false pretenses. The girls have been misled by a top producer who invited them to come to a movie premiere in Hollywood only to forget and ignore them as he had my character there and he considers Laura’s image more valuable to him. It’s an insight into Hollywood and how some of the top male power players use woman as objects and how they valued based on their appearance. Which is very relevant to what is going on right now in Hollywood, hopefully this value system will be a thing of the past.
You are also in the multi award-winning TV series Underbelly, which follows the rise and fall of real life Australian underworld figures. Can you describe your character within the show?
Jodie was pure, an innocent girl blinded by love. She did not know that the love of her life was involved with drugs and the dark underworld that comes with it. By the time Jodie figured it out it was too late. I was playing a real person with a real story. So, I felt responsibility to honor her. Jodie was forced into witness protection and had to change her name and her life completely after the events that occurred in ‘Underbelly’ – her life was in danger they would have killed her if they found her. I focused mostly on building the relationship with Adam played by Hugo Johnstone-Burt because ultimately, she put her love of him before everything.
From TV shows to film, to giant billboard print campaigns to international TV commercials. Do you have a particular preference?
Yes, I love the theatre, I started acting in the theatre and I fell in love with it. I still find it the most challenging form of acting. I love the thrill of being live and the energy of the audience. In the theatre you have more time to rehearse and develop the character and I really enjoy that process. I love the creativity of film, often its very collaborative. The more imaginative the set the better. I love the fast pace of television, you have to follow your impulses quickly and you don’t often get time to redo things which keeps you on your toes. Commercials are a lot of high energy which I have plenty of, so they are always fun. Really, they are all different parts of the same thing, highly creative, imaginative, playful and for me being able to do that every day is a joy. I like to be constantly challenged and pushed past my comfort zone which by now is getting rather out there. But that’s the great thing about it it’s a never-ending learning process.
You have worked on some fantastic international projects, with some super stars so far in your career, including fellow Australian-actress Olivia Newton-John. Can you tell us about that project?
Olivia is a true super star you can really feel her presence. She is a really amazing person. It was an honor to work alongside her for all the Nintendo brain training advertising commercials. We started with just the one, but they were so successful Nintendo ordered several more and they played them during the Olympics, so almost everyone in the world watched them. I have never received so many calls and texts as that day.
Olivia became a great mentor to me we continue to work together on the Liv Campaign which helps raise awareness for breast cancer and promotes early detection. Contribution and giving back is huge priority to me and Olivia has done a large amount of this which is truly admirable. I’ve done hospital visits with her, she is such a genuine caring person and people can really feel this when they talk to her. Which is a wonderful quality when you consider the enormity of her fame.
When you are not acting, what do you enjoy doing?
I grew up on a farm with horses and that was my first love. I love to go horse riding, and to be in nature. I’ll go for walks or hikes on my days off. I love painting, reading – plays and novels. I love to go to the theatre. I’m going to the Melbourne Theatre Company tomorrow with my dad to see ‘The Father’. I’m around people a lot and I’m always talking and rehearsing using my energy to be ‘on’ so when I’m off I do need to spend time alone to process things and recharge.
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