Anna Sargeant may not be a very well-known young actress, but that doesn’t mean she’s one to overlook. In fact, the 22-year-old could play a young Maria Hill from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe if they want to explore the character’s past. She already has the heart of a true adventurer and clever nature. We spoke to her about her future goals and some of her past works, including her role in Beyond Sherwood Forest and an appearance in 50 Shades of Grey.
Cliché: What was it like playing a young Maid Marian in Beyond Sherwood Forest back in 2009? Where you a fan of Robin Hood?
Anna Sargeant: Yeah, I am a big fan of that genre, more so than just him. It was really cool to be a part of a story that I knew as a kid and to be a part of a historical piece. I just loved working with the costumes that we had. I got to try on all these different kinds of historical gowns. When we were filming in the forest, it felt like we were back in time. That had to be my favorite thing about shooting. It was really fun. As far as costumes, it was my favorite project to work on. It was the only historical piece I have done so far, and I loved it so much.
What are you hoping to do more of? Would it be more fantasy work?
I would definitely love to do more fantasy. I am actually big into a lot of the science-fiction shows that are going on, like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Gotham, and all the different Marvel movies. I think it would be fantastic to play a superhero or someone with supernatural abilities.
Would you rather play a hero or a villain?
It would be pretty cool to play a villain. I guess as far as what kind of superhero, or villain, I would like to be someone with ultimate knowledge or someone like Lucy from [2014’s] Lucy. I love how she was able to do all these crazy things with her mind. Just being able to do something like Chronicle, where I could fly and control things with my mind, would be amazing, too.
What was it like being in 50 Shades of Grey?
It was a great experience. It was pretty surreal. When I heard they were making the books into a film, it never crossed my mind that I would be a part of that. I thought that was kind of crazy that they were doing that, and it was probably about a year before they started production, so I hadn’t a clue I would be in it.
Then, I got a call for an audition. I hadn’t known at the time that it was for 50 Shades because of how tight security was. It was under a codename. I didn’t know what it really was until after I had been cast. It was just so surreal believing that I was going to be in a movie that people were eagerly waiting for and that had all this hype around it. On top of that, I got to work with Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. They are two really great actors. They are the biggest actors I have worked with so far. It was pretty amazing.
Had you been a fan of the series before you were in it?
No, I hadn’t read the books yet. I had thought about reading them when I got the part. It’s just not my cup of tea, but my mom is a really big fan of the series. There was one summer where she got a hold of all the books, and she just devoured them. She was trying to hide what she was reading, but I was like, “I totally know what you’re reading.” [laughs] She was really excited when we found out what I was in. She’s the big 50 Shades fan of the family, but I’m definitely going to see the next two films when they come out.
With all the traveling you do, a ton of wild things have happened to you, such as being attacked by a monkey. What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?
Being scratched by a monkey and needing emergency rabies shots is up there. But I’ve also missed flights and had to sleep on airport floors multiple times. Getting caught in a rainstorm on the back of a motorbike in Indonesia was pretty wild, especially driving amongst the locals there. It’s all bumper to bumper and no road rules.
Another animal-related experience happened when I was swimming in a bay in Australia, and I spotted two sea lions playing in the waves by some rocks. Being the animal lover I am, I swam over to them, and we just watched each other for about 15 minutes. They let me get within a couple arm’s length of them. Little did I know this was extremely dangerous for two reasons: the first being a general rule of thumb in Australia that where there are seals, there are sharks, and the second is that sea lions can actually be quite aggressive. I was lucky. If they had young with them, I most likely would’ve been attacked, and they have very sharp teeth.
Later this year, Sargeant will be appearing in an Australian web-series that centers around an elderly man suffering with dementia as he tries to hold on to his memories. Sargeant plays a student, whose name is also Anna, who comes to the nursing home he’s in due to a career placement program. She says, “It was a great experience to be a part of the project since it brings awareness to those who currently suffer with the condition. It was a bit personal for me since a close friend of mine’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago. It’s been tough to see her struggle through that, and so I was happy to be a part of a project like this that tells her family’s story and so many more.”
It seems that Sargeant truly captures the adventurous, brave, and kind spirit of Maid Marian in her personal life, too.
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Anna Sargeant Interview: Photographed by Simon Harrington