Back Issue__ 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Anna Hopkins

June 27, 2011 | By

Words: Jess Bloom
Styling: Charlotte Eedson
Photos: Paul Labonté

Meet Anna Hopkins, the young emerging actress who snagged a breakout role to envy in Barney's Version alongside Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver and  Paul Giamatti

Okay, so maybe you don't know who Anna Hopkins is yet, but we've had our eye on her ever since she was cast in the film adaptation of Mordecai Richler's novel, Barney's Version. The film, about the "fully lived life of the impulsive, irascible and fearlessly blunt Barney Panofsky", stars Paul Giamatti (as Barney), Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver, Scott Speedman and Rosamund Pike, among others. Not bad company for a 24-year-old actress fresh out the gate.

In Barney's Version, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September, Anna plays Barney's daughter, Kate. Anna is so charming in her role as the proverbial daddy's girl that it's easy to see why she got the part--and you don't need a crystal ball to predict that we'll be seeing a whole lot more of her.

We met up with Anna in Montreal to snap some photos and chatted with her about red carpet parties, poutine and college drama TV shows. There were some things we knew (she's a student) and some things we didn't (she sings!) and we've compiled the highlights so that you and Anna can get acquainted. Without any further fanfare, let's begin the list.

1. She's from Montreal. Not groundbreaking, admittedly, but it gives her some extra swag around her home city because Barney's Version is a Montreal story written by a Montreal writer. When it came to getting time off from her classes at Concordia University, she said her teachers were, "very supportive and they all knew the Mordechai Richler story" probably because Richler attended the very same university back when it was called Sir George Williams College. Having home field advantage also helped her feel more comfortable on set with all those Hollywood big-hitters. "It helped that it was a real Montreal story, shooting in my neighborhood," Anna said, "so when I got to set, I was comfortable and felt I had something to show the other actors."

2. She loves poutine. Sure, so does any person who doesn't hate delicious food, but Anna paid it forward to Paul Giamatti. "I remember when we were shooting a little park scene at Saint-Denis and right across the street is Las Fleurs and he had his first poutine and he was pretty happy about it," Anna said. "I feel pretty proud about that because I love poutine."

3. She's a triple threat talent who looks up to Lauren Ambrose. Not only does she sing, but Anna used to "dance professionally as a hip-hop dancer" too. Can we expect to see her in the next Step Up movie? Probably not. "I really look up to Lauren Ambrose and her role on Six Feet Under," she said. "I think something like that would be awesome--something interesting and challenging."

4. She's choosing NYC over LA--for now. "When I was starting out at 18 or 19," Anna explained, "I decided that if I go to the States, I'm going to make sure that when I do it I have enough under my belt, that I have something to offer instead of going down there and hoping for something." Through Barney's Version she got a manager in New York and that's where she's "been gearing towards more." "I'm probably going to go to LA at some point," she said, "but I don't see it as a wonderland that I have to go to right away."

5. If she was Felicity she would have picked Noel over Ben. "I watched that show so much, I loved that show, but I always had a crush on that other guy," Anna said when we blatantly asked if she talked to co-star Scott Speedman about Felicity. "We didn't talk that much about Felicity but I have the same acting coach he had when he was in Montreal so we talked about that. He's a great guy."

6. She'll feel like she's made it when she's sought after. "I think with acting, and any type of arts, you are kind of living a freelance life and you never really know [what comes next]," she explained. "When I'm feeling satisfied with the work I'm doing and I'm being sought after because of my work, that's going to be a big milestone for me."

7. She wouldn't call herself a glitz and glamor type of girl. With red carpet pictures in Toronto and New York, she could have fooled us but Anna said that, "after a week [of TIFF] it was like, Ok, back to real life." "I don't love the superficial aspect of movies and acting, but I love acting and little doses here and there are really fun." She brought her boyfriend and her mom to the TIFF festivities, including the premiere of Barney's Version at Roy Thompson Hall. She might not glitzy or glammy, but girlfriend could have fooled us with how she wears a cocktail dress.

Copies of Barney's Version will be released internationally on June 28th.

Credits: Fillipa K dress and belt

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