Author: Nina Lee
I was sitting behind the women in front of the camera in front of the man behind the camera, when I realized something. Acting is a series of simple instructions, repeated over and over with slight variations until someone says “cut”. And somehow, through all these simple instructions, the actor interprets and reinterprets the words in the script into a compelling, personal story. Watching Laura Tremblay portray Anna, the lead in Veltri’s newest film, Drowning, I was mesmerized, How did she know how to minutely adjust her emotions for every take? How did she know how those emotions would play on camera? and why did she want to take on such a heady, complicated character?
Tremblay, an actor, musician and filmmaker, believes in dreams and perseverance and serendipity. Originally from Midland, Ontario, nestled on the shores of Georgian Bay, Laura dreamed of being an entertainer. Previously in Evil Dead: The Musical, an actively touring musician and a filmmaker in her own right, Tremblay says of her character, “Anna is a strong, independent, real woman, who fights for what she wants in life. I admire her ability to decide to do something and see it through until the end. She may be stubborn, but she knows what she wants and she takes it, and that's inspirational. Being a part of the Drowning team has been one of the best experiences of my life. I am so grateful for the opportunity to explore a character I never imagined I'd play.” Tremblay called the role daunting. Anna is so different from many of us. She is a complicated woman who has been abused by her uncle, sold into the sex trade by her boyfriend, and struggles to relate with family, friends, co-workers and case workers. She is trying to simultaneously escape and accept her past, while learning to adjust to her new reality and change her inevitable future. Which she accomplishes by creating a cathartic dream world where she acts out her anger, frustration and uncertainty and gives herself the control and power that she craves.
But Anna is all of us. We are all forced into situations where we lose control of our lives, we are angry, we are uncertain of our future. We all have an “uncle” that takes their anger out on us, a “boyfriend” who takes advantage of us, or a “mother” who doesn’t understand us. The “uncle”, “boyfriend” and “mother” are archetypes that can be replaced with any relationship; boss, friend, brother, neighbour, co-worker or spouse. Tremblay saw the human struggle within Anna, which attracted her to the role, “Anna is such an in depth character, with struggles and vices that I don't necessarily have in my life. I was attracted to the character, the opportunity to learn about the lives of others and to challenge my craft in a way I never have before. Anna has had so many hardships that it was hard at first to really put myself into her shoes. I knew that research into the character was the only way I could prepare myself to play the role. I watched a lot of documentaries and read a lot of articles about the lives of people working in the sex trade, child molestation survivors, and those suffering from mental illness. I have also had a few experiences in life, including being a survivor of sexual assault and living with a sister who suffered from depression, that have given me strength and guidance in finding Anna's character. I also felt like, though Anna had her downfalls, she was ultimately a strong willed, independent warrior and I couldn't wait to explore that.”
Learn more about Laura Tremblay’s future projects at www.thelauratremblay.com