Photographer – TJ Manou
Talent – AnnaLynne McCord
Makeup & Hair – Trace Watkins
Wardrobe Stylist – Lindy Corley
Retoucher – Alla @Retouch_Laprimavera
AnnaLynne McCord (born July 16, 1987) is an American actress and former model. Known for playing vixen-type roles, McCord first gained prominence in 2007 as the scheming Eden Lord on the FX television series Nip/Tuck, and as the pampered Loren Wakefield on the MyNetworkTV telenovela American Heiress.
In 2008, she was the eighteenth actress to be cast in the CW series 90210, portraying antiheroine Naomi Clark. Initially, the part of Clark was conceived as a supporting role. Fortunately for McCord, by the end of the first season, however, various media outlets had begun referring to McCord as the series’ lead.For the role of Naomi Clark, she was nominated for a Teen Choice Award and received the Hollywood Life Young Hollywood Superstar of Tomorrow award in 2009. In 2010, she won a Breakthrough of the Year Award in the category of “Breakthrough Standout Performance”.
Apart from acting, she has also contributed to charities in her free time. In 2009, she was labeled by the Look to the Stars organization as “one of the strongest young female philanthropists standing up in Hollywood and fighting for the charities she believes in.” In 2011, she was nominated for VH1’s “Do Something” Award in the category of “TV Star”. Her turn as a disturbed and delusional teenager in the 2012 film Excision was widely acclaimed. For her role in Excision, McCord won “Best Actress” at the Malaga International Week of Fantastic Cinema in 2012. Also for her role in Excision, she earned second place for “Best Actress” at the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards in 2013.
We had the great pleasure of interviewing AnnaLynne and found out more about her acting career, personal goals, humanitarian efforts and more. Please read below for more.
1. What inspired you to transition from a modeling career to acting?
I dreamed of being an actress since I was 9 years old. The modeling helped me save money for classes and make my move out to Los Angeles.
2. You have starred in so many huge TV shows, ranging from Nip/Tuck to
90210. How does TV differ from film in your experience?
For me as an actress, it doesn’t differ. I have my same process as I do whenever I take on a new role.
The filming process is quite different, however. It’s typically a very different style and tone. The film is a director’s medium. TV is a writer’s medium. On a film, everyone defers to the director for the overall vision of the project. Directors and department heads defer to the “Creators”/Executive Producers on TV. And on both film and TV, when I’m working, everyone defers to me! (That’s a joke! Or… is it?)
3. You’re known for playing “bad girls.” What has been your favorite
“Favorite role” is difficult. “Liza” from ‘68 Kill’ is my favorite wild and crazy psychopath. ‘Excision’s’ “Pauline” is my favorite deeply personal role. My character “Naomi” in ‘90210’ was my favorite mimicry role. I just played my little sister Rachel every day for 9 months a year for 5 years. My role as “Eden Lord” on ‘Nip/Tuck’ is perhaps my overall favorite if I were forced to choose one. It launched my career. It was a show I already loved. Eden was an incredibly delicious, dark, devious and yet clearly pained character to play. Also, in one of the most memorable moments, Nip/Tuck Creator, Ryan Murphy sat down on set with me, crossed his legs and very seriously told me, “Eden Lord is who I picture myself as.” Day one of filming. No pressure! I hope I lived up to his desires. 🙂
4. “Excision” gained a lot of buzz for your haunting performance. How did you tap into playing such a disturbed character? Are horror movies
more fun to act in?
There are ‘actor-y’ answers and then, there are ‘AnnaLynne’ answers. Actor-y answer: I love to challenge myself. I wanted to prove that I could do more than my notoriety for 90210 may have suggested. AnnaLynne answer: I tapped into playing a “disturbed” character like Pauline because many disturbing things have happened to me since I was very young. This is just the truth from which I do not shy away. If the performance felt real that is because at its core it was real. History repeats. Art imitates. Same shit different setup. Art versus reality melded into one.
5. In 2011 you starred in the adapted off-Broadway play “Love, Loss, and
What I Wore.” Do you think you’ll return to the stage?
The stage was my original love. And, we always feel the beckoning of old, untainted, pure love. If and when the opportunities present themselves I will be elated to continue my love for this craft on the stage. Much respect and gratitude to the late Nora Ephron. It was such an honor to be one of the last few to showcase Love/Loss in her final days.
6. Your charity work is extremely inspiring. What draws you to giving
back, and how do you select the organizations you work with?
My second (perhaps, now my first) passion has become my work as president and long-term ambassador for Together1heart, an organization working with a ground team in Cambodia fighting human trafficking and educating against it on a global scale.
I have been through deep suffering throughout my early and well into my adult life. So much healing has come to me through the support I never knew I would find when I got on a plane to Cambodia 9 years ago to presumably “help young girls victimized by sexual slavery and violence.” As it turns out they were (and are the ones) who saved me. They taught me what love is. They help me see the much-needed sliver of light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel. They and their founder, Somaly Mam, are my heroes.
7. The St. Bernard Project, dedicated to assisting victims of Hurricane
Katrina has been a cause of yours for a number of years. Did your upbringing in Georgia contribute to the compassion for the Louisiana residents?
No. My ignorance did. I went to see a friend who was working in New Orleans about 2 years after the storm. I thought I would go visit the areas being rebuilt. I got a taxi (this was before Uber) and much to my driver’s dismay, I asked to go to the Lower Ninth Ward. He fought me on it (which I never recommend). I won that argument and off we went. Upon arriving I realized he was right. The Ward was a wasteland, a ghost town. It reeked of death, desolation, and despair. I’ll never forget the feeling and its effect on me. Here was a city in my country that resembled the streets of those corrupt Third World countries whose people are left by their governments to fend for themselves. How could I have been so ignorant? How did I not know? These questions led me to Zach and Liz founders of the St. Bernard Project. They had taken on the demanding task of providing support to the parish, and their efficient and effective approach has now been duplicated numerous times over. They are two of my heroes and my friends! The survivors of Katrina reminded me that family is everything but we need not rely on DNA. I am thankful I have DNA siblings who double as my chosen “family.” Angel, Rachel and my favorite little man in the world, my 4-year-old little brother, Jonny is my everything for whom I would do any and all things necessary (including mixing all of my craziest roles in film and tv and coming after anybody who would think to hurt them) Ha! And that is exactly how the survivors of Katrina are. They banned together and they are forever strong.
8. You’re currently the president of Together1Heart, with board member
Susan Sarandon. How did the organization come to be? What does your position entail in the fight to end slavery?
Susan has been a huge supporter by Somaly, the founder’s, side since before I came on board nearly a decade ago. I began as an ambassador raising funds and awareness within the US and abroad. As President, I further those efforts by overseeing and keeping a pretty heavy hand in all of the events, programs, and partnerships. This side of things has taught me a lot. Every decision I make I know that a little life hangs in the balance.
9. I know you have spoken out on sexual assault and domestic abuse, and shared your personal experience. What are your thoughts on the Times Up
movement within Hollywood?
I am, indeed, very vocal about these topics and have been for some time. I’m currently undergoing EMDR and a flooding of lost memories have come back to me only adding more drive for me to continue raising this collective voice. It is about accountability. It is about ownership. We must stop teaching little girls not to “get themselves raped.” We must teach little boys “not to rape.” Predators are often psychologically traumatized individuals whose dissociative nature combined with a need to feel power replay the cycles of their own abuse from the standpoint of the abuser. These individuals need help as much as the ones they are victimizing. We must stop these atrocities at their root cause. We must stop creating rapists and bullies and traffickers. EMDR is a major key to healing the body cycles which cause the history to repeat and repeat throughout a person’s life. I wish every single person who has suffered trauma could have access to this remarkable treatment.
10. The No More campaign has partnered with Me Too. As an ambassador, how
important is it for celebrities and influencers to use their status to
speak out against social issues?
As I was stating previously, I hope EMDR can be accessible to all survivors of trauma but they can’t receive what they don’t know about. My platform gives me an opportunity to say highlight the importance of treatments like EMDR, answer questions one only ever ask in their hearts and be given the chance to reach people I’ve never met around the world so they can potentially get the support that they need. Nothing makes me happier than to reflect on my 9-year-old self’s dream to become an actress seeing now what the dream has led me to. It is our responsibility as artists to challenge society. I dare society on a daily basis. I make my own rules, and I live by my own code of honor. A big part of that code is my deep desire to share the keys to freedom that I’ve found. On my brain were invisible chains but my girls in Cambodia taught me how to set myself free. It has become my life mission to pay forward what they have given me.
11. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, both professionally and
Professionally, I have my private thoughts, and I protect them as I have learned some things are better shown in action versus said with words. However, what I will say is this: I will tell the stories that no one wants to tell; that no one wants to be told. I will peel back the layers and get down to the truth. I will never stop searching, growing or learning. Knowledge is, after all, my first love. I want to bring the science of suffering in layman’s terms to the masses in the hopes of showing that shame can’t be a shame when it’s just science. Neuroscience is my undying hobby. It has taught me a million times over the most important lesson for a survivor: it is not my fault.
Personally, 5 years from August 16, 2018, a day that holds monumental weight for me, I want to be sitting on a beautiful boat on a beautiful lake with Jonny, Angel, and Rachel in shared sibling silence commemorating our will as siblings to survive everything so long as we survive together. Maybe if I’m really lucky that “lake” will be a river in Cambodia where my families can combine.