Anna Torv has a cover and feature article in the June 11 issue of Gold Coast Bulletin!
SHE’S RARELY SPOTTED ON THE RED CARPET AND REFUSES TO FEED THE GOSSIP COLUMNS. GOLD COAST ACTOR ANNA TORV MAY BE A RARITY IN HOLLYWOOD, BUT HER BUILDING BODY OF WORK SPEAKS VOLUMES
The best thing about home is that it’s where nobody knows her name. While she’s been billed as the new Cate Blanchett, found immediate fame in US dramas like Fringe and is receiving rave reviews for new Foxtel drama Secret City, Anna Torv is an all but unknown quantity in her Gold Coast hometown.
Perhaps because, like the chameleon characters she portrays, the Benowa-born beauty just blends right in.
“You can take the girl out of the Gold Coast…” she laughs.
“I graduated from Benowa State High in 1996 and I still feel like a Goldie girl at heart. My mum still lives in Benowa, my brother just moved back and I still have heaps of friends there.
“It’s the place that I’ve spent the most time. We moved there in 1986 to Mudgeeraba, which was just all rural acreage.
“My first job was at the deli at Pacific Fair, I used to clean it. The Gold Coast has changed so much but I still love it. I remember when Sizzlers was just the place to go with your friends – or you’d go to Choices if you were really living it up.
“And the place to hang out was the pool hall at Mermaid. Those were the days.”
While her rapid ascent into the Hollywood stratosphere seems like a happy ending, it hasn’t always been a fairytale ride for the 37-year-old.
She’s long been estranged from her father, radio boss Hans Torv, and tires of fielding questions about her international media mogul uncle Rupert Murdoch.
She admits she wasn’t overly academic at school, but credits her alma mater with giving her the tools to capitalise on her natural talents.
“I’ll always have a debt to what the Coast gave me, especially my old school,” Anna says. “I wasn’t the most academic student, but the teachers at Benowa found my strenghs and played to them. I owe a debt my drama teacher, Jacqui Fry, and the music teacher as well. They were amazing.
It wasn’t just me. Peter Andre was a few years ahead of me too… but he was too cool for me.”
Eventually graduating from Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Arts in 2001, Anna picked up parts in local productions such as The Secret Life of Us and also appeared in the BBC series Mistresses.
But it was when she took the plunge to pursue her craft overseas that her career took flight.
She nabbed the lead role in Fringe, an award-winning Fox series that ran for five seasons until 2013, and is now set to star in the Netflix drama Mindhunter, from A-list director David Fincher and actor Charlize Theron.
However, Anna says she’s still just settling in to her LA base.
“People think America is so similar to Australia and that it’s no big deal to relocate but it’s harder than it seems,” she says.
“Plus I think even most Americans find LA a very strange place. It’s so spread out, there’s really no heart to it. Then there are the beaches.
Just before I left Australia after filming Secret City I was at Bondi Beach; then I got back to California and was at Venice Beach and I was just like, there is no comparison. There is no place like home.”
While Anna says she loved every minute of being Down Under to film Foxtel’s Secret City, the pace of production in Australia meant she wasn’t here long enough.
She says she’s super-proud of the final product, not just for herself but for her country.
I love seeing how Australia can match it with the best,” she says.
“It’s unbelievable how we do so much with so little. The pace that this show was made at was just ridiculous; you would never see that in America.
“There’s literally no time to waste. From the director to the extras, everyone is ready to go.
“The end result is amazing. I love how Secret City looks. I love seeing too how we can match America with a show about political intrigue.”
Filmed in Parliament House and locations across Canberra and Sydney, Secret City is inspired by the best-selling novels The Marmalade Files and The Mandarin Code, written by Canberra political journalists Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis.
Amid rising tension between China and America, Canberra press gallery journalist Harriet Dunkley, played by Anna, forces her way closer to the truth, uncovering a secret city of interlocked conspiracies, which will threaten her career, her life and the freedom of every Australian.
While Anna says she loves the plot and that politics is a topic that greatly intrigues her, she admits she has lost touch with the current Australian players.
But living in America, who can blame her?
“It’s total crazy town here right now,” she says.
“No one ever thought that Donald Trump would get this far, it’s like watching a car wreck in real time. I’m absolutely fascinated and horrified by it at the same time – but it means I just have no time to follow what’s happening back home.
But it’s definitely making me appreciate being Australian more than ever.”
Credit: Gold Coast Bulletin