Defiance is one of my favorite shows on television. During such a long period between seasons to keep things fresh, I tinkered around in the video game world, watched some web-episodes and got myself ready for Season 2. To my surprise, we were introduced to a new regime in Defiance, as a new Mayor was put in place and the Earth Republic took over.
Part of this occupation is EREP soldier Jessica “Berlin” Rainer, played by the talented Anna Hopkins. Berlin creates propaganda videos for the Earth Republic and loves her job, this is due to something that happened in the past. Anna has made various guest appearances on shows like Arrow and Nikita; while portraying characters in films such as Barney’s Version, The Grand Seduction, and It Was You Charlie. Anna has even voiced characters in video games properties, Watchdogs and Splinter Cell! So you can see this actress is well-rounded when it comes to our favorite Geekly formats.
The Canadian-born actress can speak both English and French, a talent that she will put to the test this year! Anna has landed her first French-speaking role in this year’s Les Maîtres du Suspense. Look for that film to premiere this Winter! Her next film will be Sean Garrity‘s After the Ball, where she will play the part of Simone. The movie looks to be very “fairy-tale” like, and will be released in 2015.
I recently had the chance to talk with Anna about Defiance, her career, and other things Geekly. So let’s see what she had to say!
DFAT: Tell us a about Barney’s Version, and how working on that film helped to launch your career. Also what was it was like working with Hollywood icons like Dustin Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, & Minnie Driver, on your first feature film?
Anna: It was very exciting to work on Barney’s Version, especially because I loved the book so much. To be able to have played a character from a Mordecai Richler novel is something I will always cherish. Working with the incredible cast was like taking a master class acting workshop. Just being able to watch them work was a thrill. Although it was a nerve-wracking at first, the film was shot in my home town and so there was a level of comfort that came with that; most of the film was shot just blocks away from my apartment at the time!
DFAT: What was it that got you into acting? At what point in your life did you decide that it was the career for you?
Anna: I was always geared towards the arts and performing. My family is full of artists, and so it was natural direction to go in to. Dancing and violin were my first passions as a child, and it was in high school that being apart of the theatre productions really sparked something inside of me, making me want to pursue acting.
DFAT: Do you prefer working on a movie or a TV series? Why?
Anna: Both mediums are wonderful for different reasons. I don’t prefer one over the other. I think if the caliber of the writing is high and the people you are working with are creative and collaborative, then that’s all that matters. I have to say doing a whole season of Defiance was quite interesting because it was the first time I could work on a character that develops over 11 episodes. That is certainly very different than doing a guest star or even
DFAT: Before Defiance, Arrow, and Nikita, were you a big fan of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre? If so, what were your biggest influences (from those genres) growing up?
Anna: I love many different genres of film, and television, comedy being one, and sci-fi being the other. We had a few VHS tapes in our house that I would watch constantly on a loop. They were SNL tapes from the 70’s with Gilda Radner, Steve Martin, Bill Murray and John Belushi. We had a tape of ET, we had all the Star Wars movies, we had The Labyrinth, we had a comedy from the 50’s called The Court Jester starring Danny Kaye (still one of my favourite comedies of all time), we had Airplane! and we had Beetlejuice. Such a random grouping of movies but they must have influenced me somehow because I watched them all religiously.
DFAT: After a strong start, what can we expect from Jessica “Berlin” Rainer this season on Defiance?
Anna: Berlin runs the gamut of emotions in season 2. Where she starts out is very different from where she ends up, and she may unravel in certain ways, contrasting her very in control demeanour off the top.
DFAT: Do you have any other exciting projects coming up that you can share with us?
Anna: I’ve got a film called After the Ball coming out in the fall. It’s a really fun comedy where I get to play a very mean girl. Then I’ve got a French film coming out in December where I play a writers’ muse in Les Maitres du Suspense.
DFAT: Have you ever been “star-struck” in your ventures? If so, by who?
Anna: I haven’t really gotten start struck by anyone I have worked with, but I have to admit when I met Patrick Stewart at comic con I became a full-fledged giddy little girl.
DFAT: Who is your favorite female superhero/villain or fantasy/sci-fi character, and why?
Anna: Not sure she can be considered a super hero but Sigourney Weaver in Alien comes to mind as one of my favourite female characters in sci-fi. Her performance is astonishing, and she demonstrates just as much vulnerability as strength in that film which I think is a really honest way of portraying someone in that fictional scenario.
Anna, Ripley is one of the best answers to that question EVER! Aliens is one of our favorite movies of all time, so we would agree with you 100%!!
Thank you Anna so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to hang out with DFAT! Good luck with Defiance this season, and all of your future endeavors.
You can catch Anna as Jessica “Berlin” Rainer on Defiance, which airs Thursdays at 8pmEST on SYFY! Also don’t forget to read our recaps for each episode this season!