I recently got the chance to talk to Ann Harada about her role in Freddie Highmore’s new film, ‘The Art Of Getting By’. Here, Ann talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and how she got into acting in the first place…
Hey Ann. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. Of course we‘re here to talk to you about your role in ‘The Art Of Getting By’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
A bright but lonely and fatalistic high-schooler, George, played by Freddie Highmore, has been making excuses and getting through high school without really working at all. He is told he will not graduate unless he completes every missed homework assignment, about a year’s worth. In the meantime, he meets a beautiful but equally disillusioned fellow student played by Emma Roberts. The story follows the twists of their relationship as well as his efforts to actually have some ambitions and live up to them.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I auditioned! Just like the olden days!
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play a caring teacher who is about to catch Emma Roberts’s character smoking on the school roof – George is there and quickly figures out a way to take the blame for it.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
I think it’s a very specific coming of age story, in a milieu that many may not be familiar with.
The film stars Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Sasha Spielberg and Marcus Carl Franklin – with Gavin Wiesen onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
It was a very relaxed atmosphere even though it was done on quite a low-budget. Everyone seemed delighted to be there and Gavin is a thoughtful and meticulous director.
Let’s talk a bit about you Ann. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I always loved attending plays but never tried to participate until high school. I went to an audition with a friend, and got a small part in ‘The Importance Of Being Earnest’. I so loved the collaborative nature of performing and to this day that is what I enjoy most about acting.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
Don’t talk yourself out of anything until you’ve given it a try.
You’ve been in a number of TV series’ – who has been your favourite actor/actress to work with so far and which has been your favourite to guest-star on?
Well, I loved working with my old friend John Tartaglia, my co-star from ‘Avenue Q’, on his children’s series ‘Johnny And The Sprites’. I was a ruthless real estate developer and I got my comeuppance alright! And my favourite show to guest star on was definitely ‘Lipstick Jungle’. It was not only a thrill to play the wife of Dan Lauria but to be directed by Andrew McCarthy – that’s a lot of eighties nostalgia in one week!
If you could have a dinner with three historical guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
- Abraham Lincoln – I just can’t imagine how a boy who grew up with such hardship managed to educate himself to the point where he could be the president of the United States.
- Oprah – just because I want to listen to the conversation between her and Abe. I bet he’d be really impressed by her!
- Judy Garland – because I love her so much. I’m sure she’d be a mess, but I don’t care.
What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Hawaii – where I was born and raised. I never get tired of going home and it is so spectacularly beautiful and restful and the food is just out of this world!!!!!
What’s coming up for you in 2011/12?
I have a recurring role on the upcoming NBC series ‘Smash’ – all about the making of a Broadway musical! Not only am I well versed on this subject, most of the actors involved are Broadway vets as well, and watching them sing and dance is a dream!
Thanks for the interview!