LGBTQ+ actress, singer, and teacher Anna Hindman kicked off 2022 by starring alongside Bruce Willis, Rob Gough, and Timothy V. Murphy in the new film “American Siege.” Hindman portrays gun-toting Grace Baker as she searches for answers about her sister’s disappearance with her boyfriend Roy (Rob Gough), and their outlaw friend Toby (Johann Urb).
The Connecticut-born actress started acting when she was just 6 years old after being featured in a commercial for a local power company. Hindman later earned a BA in Musical Theater and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and commercial work upon graduation. The Untitled Magazine caught up with Hindman to chat about her role in “American Siege”, being an LGBTQ+ actress, and her career as a teacher and musician, after releasing her first single “Dislove”.
You started acting when you were only 6 years old! Can you share a bit about your background – where you grew up, and how you got into acting?
Thank you so much for having me! Yes, I started when I was 6 years old, but I definitely knew I wanted to be a performer even before that. My dad is a musician and artist. He has recordings of me singing along with him and trying to play the piano when I was two or so. I’ve always loved the arts! Mostly because of my dad. I grew up in Cheshire, CT which is a small New England town that had a lot of opportunities for acting, singing, and dancing. I did all three religiously starting in 4th grade. The high school also has a great theater program, so I was lucky to be involved with that. When I was a senior in high school, I was lucky enough to have to choose between taking a modeling contract or college. Ultimately, I decided to pursue my BA in Musical Theater at Western Connecticut State University.
How has your career in acting, film, and theatre informed and/or inspired you throughout the years? I understand you all have a BA in musical theatre?
It has been my ultimate driving force. In high school, I started dealing with depression and anxiety. Sometimes the only thing that got me out of bed was knowing I had rehearsal later that day, or telling myself that once I got through high school I could pursue this career. High school was really difficult for me, and I would have dropped out if I didn’t have this intense desire to work in the entertainment industry. College was a huge turning point. I found a support system and a lot of freedom being able to do what I loved every day.
Tell us about your role as Grace Baker in the new film, American Siege alongside Bruce Willis and Rob Gough?
Grace Baker was so much fun to play in “American Siege”! She is so strong, and she is driven by love of family which gives her a soft side. Getting to work with Bruce Willis was such an honor. He is really down-to-earth and professional. Rob Gough was great, as well! He and I became fast friends on set. Working with Ed Drake, our director, was also incredible. Ed was our fearless leader, and had a great vision for “American Siege”.
How was it working with Bruce Willis for the film?
Bruce Willis is great! He would strike up conversations, joke around on set, and was welcoming. Working on camera with him was really cool, he just dives right into his character.
How did you get cast for the role? Did you have any preparations to get into character?
I sent in a self-tape for this role, and, originally, the producers passed on me. This is my first big feature film role, and they wanted someone with more experience. A few days later, after I was told I didn’t get the part, I got a call from Ed asking “How soon can you be in Georgia?” I was in my car in 30 minutes, and on set the next morning. I didn’t have much time to prepare because of that, and it was a whirlwind! I read through the script when I got to my hotel room that night and was acting with Bruce Willis less than 12 hours later.
Tell us about your 1st single “Dislove” that you recently released?
“Dislove” is a collaboration between myself and Kit Nolan. We wrote it the first session we worked together in Nashville in January 2020. We came up with the idea because we were talking about toxic relationships. It’s this idea that even if someone hurt you badly you might still wish they were part of your life. We have a few more collaborations under our belt that we might work on releasing, too!
I understand you are also a photographer? Can you share how you got into that and some of the projects or subjects that have inspired you?
I actually started getting interested in photography in Los Angeles a few years ago, and I bought a used film camera. I love the idea of film, because you’re limited in a way. You only have a certain number of exposures, or pictures, per roll of film so you have to be specific. My first few roles of film were terrible (actually my very first role of film was completely blank because I loaded it wrong), but with help from friends, I understood it more. My favorite photos are from walking around Culver City – an old car with handprints on it, an American flag RV with a plastic kid’s car next to it, a colorful motel sign. I like taking pictures of ordinary things and capturing them for a moment in time the way I see them.
You also teach? Tell us about your career teaching and how do you balance that with your creative commitments?
Yes! I am a middle school science teacher, and I’ve really enjoyed my time teaching. Working with kids is a lot of fun and challenging. Teaching, in some ways, has given me more creative freedom because I can leverage my time off. Having the summers and school breaks free is great! It is definitely a balancing act, though.
I understand you are passionate about fostering youth, will you tell us a bit more about why this is important to you and any programs you are working with?
I was really inspired by seeing other LGBTQ+ couples foster youth and the role they took on for their kids. My wife and I want a big family and have discussed the importance and possibility of fostering. As a teacher, I know how important stability and a loving home can be and the impact they can have on a child’s learning process and their day-to-day experiences. Being able to provide that space, even temporarily, to a child would be incredible. There are so many circumstances that can put a child in foster care, and I know that if it’s possible you work closely with their family to get them reunited. We haven’t began working with any programs yet, but are hopeful for the future!
As an LGBTQ+ actress, what progress have you seen for that community in film over the last few years?
When I was growing up, there were hardly any lesbian couples in TV or film. There was definitely even less LGBTQ+ representation in the ways we see today. I remember, in high school, finding a musician who was bisexual and listening to her songs on repeat, because it was so affirming and I couldn’t find that representation anywhere. Today, we have made large steps in the right direction. I love TV shows like “Good Trouble” that show so many LGBTQ+ stories, and movies like “I Care A Lot” where there is a lesbian couple and it’s normalized. I wish those existed when I was in high school, but I am extremely grateful there’s a place for them in media now.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love taking my dogs on trail walks with my wife! Anything outdoors – camping, kayaking, hiking. We also love watching “Survivor,” I wish I was tough enough to go on it.
What are some philosophies you stick to? Do you have any mantras you live by?
“You can only fail if you quit.” I think success can come at any time, you just have to keep going. I like to write down my goals to manifest them, say things like “I am so grateful I have an abundance of success”, putting things in present terms.
What is your definition of success?
My definition of success is being able to have freedom. Being free from significant financial worry, being free to spend time with family, being free to create the things you want to. Feeling a freedom in your work.
What can we look forward to from you in 2022? Any other projects on the horizon?
I have a script I’m developing called “Daughter,” and hopefully some more projects coming soon!