Since moving to Los Angeles, actress Hanna Griffiths has been making quite the stir in Hollywood. The famed Australian actress stars in the new movie ‘Bittersweet Sadie,’ out on all digital platforms, and directed by Jaison Blackwater. Mark Meets caught up with the multi-talented actress about her latest happenings in Hollywood.
Can you tell us a little about your early beginnings living in Australia?
I love Australia, it is a wonderful place. I grew up in Melbourne. I was obsessed with horses and spent most of my time riding or at the stables. The farm was my favorite place. I love animals and nature, it’s where I am most at peace. I wasn’t very popular in school, I was always different to the other kids and was bullied. This made me avoid the playground and spend all of my time horse riding or in the theater. Which was a good thing as it helped me find my true passion. I started with my school play — ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ I played Helena. I took every class I could, singing, choir, ballet. I did musical theatre. I joined the local theatre company, I took workshops. I got involved in everything and anything that I could find. I just wanted to be in the world of it. After a while, I got my first agent and I started auditioning. The first film role I booked was a horror film called ‘Evil Never Dies’ It was a small role, but it was an American Warner Bothers film — and it was filmed at the Melbourne University where both my parents attended, so it was very special to me.
Was it always your dream to be an actor on the big screen?
My first passion was horse riding. I wanted to be a champion horse rider and was obsessed with horses. I used to compete all over Australia. I never really watched TV as a kid. I was always outside playing and I only came inside to eat or sleep. One day my father took me to the cinema to see ‘The Horse Whisperer’ and I was blown away. I kept looking at the screen and the audience then back to the screen. It was the first time in my life that I ever saw my father cry. He wasn’t crying because he was sad, he was crying because he was deeply moved. And I thought that this was something magical — being able to deeply move people. I wanted to be a part of that. And from that day on acting became my dream.
You are a well-known as the face for several high-profile brands. Which of the advertising shoots have you enjoyed working on the most?
I have worked on so many that I love. They are always so fun and too quick. Usually they last only a day or two but the image lasts forever, so I want to give it my all. I particularly loved shooting as the face of Ray-Ban. Ray-Ban is such an iconic brand. I felt very lucky to be chosen for that. When I saw the myself on the giant billboards up on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, I almost crashed my rental car.
From local theatre to leading lady. Can you tell us about your starring role in the film ‘Bittersweet Sadie’ and your character?
I loved playing the Sadie. She is very clever, cunning and mischievous. Instead of your typical womanizer lead male, hurting the poor naive girl, it was the other way around. Sadie played with people and got them to do what she wanted. She lives in the moment and is always seeking pleasure without thinking through the consequences. The director really let me play with it. It was a highly creative collaboration. The more complicated the character, the more I enjoy the process of playing them.
You also feature in the new comedy movie ‘White Crows’ can you tell us a bit about the movie and the role of Laura you play?
My character Laura is a well-established American model who meets the Russian girls under false pretenses. The girls have been misled by a top film producer who invited them to come to a movie premiere in Hollywood. When they get there, he ignores them as my character was there and he considered Laura’s image more valuable to him. It’s an interesting insight into Hollywood and how some of the top male power players use woman as objects and how they valued them 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 as things are clearly changing.
We were swooning when we saw you recently starring opposite Olivia Newton John on a TV commercial. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Olivia is a true super star. You can really feel her presence in a room. She is also a really amazing human. It was an honor to work alongside her for all the Nintendo brain training advertising commercials. We started with just the one commercial, then they became so well received that Nintendo ordered several more world-wide, so we filmed a series of them all over Australia. They played them during the Olympics, so almost everyone in the world watched them. I have never received so many calls and texts as I did that day. Olivia has become a great mentor to me, and we continue to work together on the Liv Campaign which helps raise awareness for breast cancer and promotes early detection.
What can we look forward to seeing you in next?
My next role is in the upcoming feature film ‘Brokers’ set in New York in the 1990’s. It is a comedy based on the true story of a currency broker and his journey to the top. The film explores decadence, temptation, power, betrayal, love and obviously the fashion will be epic. I cannot wait for the cameras to start rolling!
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