Exclusive Interview with Hannah Anderson
I recently had the opportunity to speak with the incredibly talented Hannah Anderson. Hannah plays the role of Jenna on USA Network’s The Purge.
RB: First off, I love your character on The Purge, and I’m thrilled to talk with you! Thank you for taking the time!
HA: Thank YOU.
RB: I’d love to know if you were a fan of The Purge movies and if that played a part in your taking on this role?
HA: The horror genre generally terrifies me so I’m going to use that as my excuse when I tell you I knew nothing of The Purge movies. I took this role because I was riveted by the concept and story regardless of the films (which I eventually watched in broad daylight), and I worked hard to get it.
RB: I want to add that this is one of the good things about The Purge, is that viewers don’t have to have seen the movies in order to enjoy the show. You can jump right in without having any previous knowledge of the franchise. So, what was your reaction when you first read the script?
HA: Since I had no preconceived notions about The Purge I think it made it a much more interesting read. I found the pilot episode so haunting it gave me shivers.
RB: Shivers is always a good sign. Hannah, you’ve played many kinds of characters—how different is Jenna, and is there anything different about the way you approach playing her, as opposed to other parts you’ve done?
HA: I put more of myself in Jenna so it was mostly about trying to be open and vulnerable in this character. It felt more like I was starting on the inside (i.e. what is Jenna’s inner life and how can I relate to that) and working my way out rather than the other way around. I related to her emotionality right away so that was a good in for me.
RB: Well, it’s working, Jenna is one of my favorite characters, for that reason, because I relate to her on an emotional level. The Purge is a really intense show. What is the mood like on set? Any favorite moments you’d like to share?
HA: We laughed A LOT. It helped combat the darkness of the world we were playing in. The threesome scene in particular between Rick and Lila (Colin Woodell and Lili Simmons), we were giggling uncontrollably. And there was another scene between the three of us where we could barely get through a take without laughing. That was partly a result of the long hours and being delirious but also really just enjoying each others company. I was very lucky to have them.
RB: That’s so funny, I’ll remember that next time we see one of those threesome scenes. Okay, obviously no spoilers, but what are your hopes for Jenna? If you could wish something for her, what would it be?
HA: I hope Jenna will take charge and stand up for herself while, obviously, protecting herself and her family. I also dream of Jenna becoming like a black belt in Karate but mostly because if there’s a second season and I’m in it, I want to be some ninja like action star (Like Gabe Chavarria who plays Miguel).
RB: Yes, a black belt would be a good skill to have on Purge night. Fingers crossed for a Season 2! And what about you, what kind of projects are you working on in the near future? Anything you can share with us?
HA: Right now I’m finishing up a short film called I’d Rather Be in Bed that I wrote, produced, and starred in. It’s about how social anxiety infiltrates our every day lives even in the simplest of tasks and the masks we wear to hide our true feelings. It’s more comedic. Other than that I’m keeping my eyes peeled for the right project to come along.
RB: Your project sounds amazing, and I know many people can relate to that, myself included. One last question—you probably get this one a lot—if the Purge were real, what would you be doing on Purge night?
HA: I’d want to make it as fun as possible and be surrounded by my friends and family. I’d probably have some kind of Purge potluck last supper type deal with games and funny movies to take our minds off whatever’s happening outside. I’d likely turn my house into some kind of steel fortress.
RB: I like your plan. Can we come to your house on Purge Night? Hannah, thanks again for taking time out for us, I really appreciate it! And best of luck to you on The Purge and all your future projects, we’ll be watching for you.
Guys, you can catch Hannah in The Purge on USA Network, Tuesdays, 10/9 C, and check in with Hannah on Twitter @hannahemilyandy (she does some live tweeting during the show!).
If you need to catch up on The Purge, you can check out my recaps.
Before you go: