Interview: Annika Marks from The Last Tycoon and The Fosters

Annika Marks was born in Sweden and has traveled the gypsy lifestyle finding residence in Washington, New York, and California where she now lives.

A born artist putting on family performances as a little girl, Annika began her acting career in 2001 and it boomed with her role as Amanda in the movie, Sessions (2012); winning her the Special Jury Award. It was a blessing and a sign, as prior to that incredible acting performance, she thought the stage was a better fit for her. The roles in Grace and Anguish helped propel her career in movies until she was offered a short-term role on the television show, The Fosters.

Annika was not only surprised that she would continue her character as Monte Porter, but felt very grateful. She talks about feeling as though she became a member of the family as the seasons continued and she “could not be more proud to be part of something with these messages (LGBTQ).”

She also has been more than happy to be part of the new show, The Last Tycoon, with Kelsey Grammer. She plays Bernadette Davis who is Monroe Stahr’s sister-in-law by marriage. Another character that Annika was able to parlay into a continuing role as she was only initially contracted for the pilot.

Outside of her remarkable acting abilities, she does a lot for kids who age out of foster care and are now on their own with no help from family members. She is also very active in the organization called HAMOMI. They do a lot of work that improves the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Pop-Culturalist Chats with Annika Marks

Annika Marks is hardworking and talented—a winning combination for Hollywood. Not only is she an actress, but she is also a writer and a producer. She creates her own original content and acts in things like the popular TV show The Fosters and the new show The Last Tycoon. Needless to say, we were excited to chat with Annika about all the work she’s done and what she hopes to do in the future.

P-C: Tell us about The Last Tycoon and how you got involved with the project.
Annika: The Last Tycoon is based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final unfinished novel and takes place in 1936 Hollywood. The characters of Monroe Stahr, the golden boy executive, and Pat Brady, the studio head, are loosely based on Irving Thalberg and Louis B. Mayer. I’ve known Chris Keyser, who partnered with Billy Ray to run The Last Tycoon for over 10 years, and he initially brought me in to read for Kay Maloney, the sole female writer at Brady-American Pictures. I met Billy Ray at that session. They hired the brilliant team at Bialy/Thomas to cast this project and together they created the safest audition environment imaginable. I felt so nurtured, respected and loved in that room—and once I was on set I realized that every actor who read for Billy had the exact same experience. They cast the incomparable Kerry O’Malley for Kay and I was lucky to have them reconsider me for the role of Bernadette Davis, the wife of Dex Davis, another writer on the lot. Dex is also Minna Davis’s (Monroe’s deceased wife) brother, so the role came along with a complicated history, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to get the call!

P-C: Were you familiar with the source material prior to your audition?
Annika: I was familiar with the material. I had a Fitzgerald obsessed phase when I was younger. But I revisited the novel during the pilot and was shocked at how little I remembered. It’s a really interesting read because it was unfinished, and you get this insight into Fitzgerald’s mind sifting through his notes. It’s an intimate read that way and makes for a beautiful, creative adaptation. I think Billy and Chris did a tremendous job of honoring the text while also imagining the world surrounding it and extending from it.

P-C: How do you get in the head shape of a character who experiences a huge personal tragedy with her husband? How does that affect your character throughout the series?
Annika: The pilot was tough, but tough for an actor is also exciting because being challenged is imperative to continuing to grow. There’s nothing that scares me more than artistic complacency. I had lost someone close to me a couple months before and, although it wasn’t my romantic partner, the finality of it was very present for me. I was able to tap into that without having to reach for it. I was more concerned with bringing all of Bernadette’s circumstances to set with me—her husband (who she knew was frustrated, but didn’t realize was suicidal) killed himself, she hasn’t slept and then she’s discovered he’d been abusing drugs and there was no way Monroe was unaware—the anger, the grief, the hysteria, the refusal to imagine that I could be part of it, and the need to blame someone. I was trying to hold all of that in my head and in my heart and the longer we shot that scene for, the more dehydrated and exhausted I was, the bigger headache I had. That all made the scene easier because that’s how she feels. I also had the honor of working with Matt Bomer—who I can’t say enough amazing things about. He is so generous and so present. And Billy Ray was directing, who is the most loving, passionate, inspiring leader imaginable. So, I was very lucky to be doing vulnerable work in a very safe and creatively full space.

Continue reading at Pop-Culturalist

The Fosters, The Last Tycoon, and Church & State

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‘The Fosters’ is back with all new episodes! In case you missed the season 4 premiere, you can catch up by watching it online on Freeform’s website here. Tune in for new episodes Monday nights at 8/7c.

 

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Check out ‘The Last Tycoon,’ one of Amazon’s latest pilots in which Annika portrays the role of Bernadette Davis. According to Amazon, the series “follows Monroe Stahr, Hollywood’s Golden Boy as he battles father figure and boss Pat Brady for the soul of their studio. In a world darkened by the Depression and the growing influence of Hitler’s Germany, The Last Tycoon illuminates the passions, violence and towering ambition of 1930s Hollywood.” Watch the pilot here and don’t forget to take the survey to help determine which pilot becomes a series.

 

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Annika will be performing in the political play, ‘Church & State’ at the Skylight Theatre Company in Los Angeles. Here’s a description of the production via Skylight Theatre:

Three days before his bid for reelection in North Carolina, a Republican U.S. Senator makes heartfelt and off-the-cuff comment after a school shooting to a blogger that calls into question his belief in God. The Senator’s devoutly Christian wife and liberal Jewish campaign manager try desperately to contain the damage.

In a brutally honest and surprisingly funny way, the play sheds light on how our reaction to religion, gun control, and social media influences elections.

Previews begin this Friday, June 24th with opening night next Saturday, July 2nd. For a full performance schedule and to purchase tickets, please click here.

Kerry O’Malley & Annika Marks In ‘The Last Tycoon’

Kerry O’Malley (Terminator Genisys) and Annika Marks (The Sessions) have landed recurring roles opposite Lily Collins and Matt Bomer on Amazon’s pilot The Last Tycoon, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final unfinished novel. The project, from Sony TV’s TriStar Television, was inspired by the life of film mogul Irving Thalberg, on whom the book’s protagonist Monroe Stahr was based. O’Malley will play Kay Maloney, a writer on the Brady-American studio lot. Marks is Marks is Bernadette Davis, Declan Davis (Ryan O’Nan) loving wife. Marks is repped by TalentWorks and LINK. O’Malley is with Primary Wave and Professional Artists.

Source: Deadline Hollywood