As we walk from stall to stall at the Fairfax Swap Meet, Ana Mulvoy-Ten delicately picks up items that most people would never be drawn to, especially when overtaken by so many one-of-a-kind shiny treasures. She carefully inspects a dull, wrinkled, cream colored, silk slip dress that is seemingly masked behind its fluorescent sisters. She looks at me with big blue-green eyes and smiles; “It’s quite lovely, isn’t it, the way it looks like it’s had a life… maybe it came from Paris and just ended up here years later… by chance,” Ana remarks in her delicate British tenor.
Contrarily, the Spanish-English actress hasn’t gotten where she is in her career by chance. She recently finished filming the third season of House of Anubis, an extremely popular children’s TV show that has gotten her nominated for a Kid’s Choice Award in England; the same awards show that she hosted last March.
Ana was raised a world away from Hollywood by parents who were anything but drawn to the profession. The opera, “Carmen” and her natural ability to make people laugh through imitations sparked her interest in the industry. She took on screenwriting at the mere age of 8 when she cleverly wrote herself into Star Wars scripts that she actually mailed to George Lucas.
She picked up the phone the second she turned 16 and called every agent in London before one would give her an interview. She then auditioned for five months before she landed her first major role on “House of Anubis.”
Her ambition deflected her from feeling rejected. As she says, “Every one job you get makes up for all those you didn’t. You have to have tunnel vision and be so driven and hungry for it.” It is her mental and emotional strength that keeps her grounded and focused.
Ana embodies a rare hybrid of spunk, simplicity and elegance that not only makes her ideal to work with but also promotes a fruitful future career. A career that she has taken a hold of, brought to L.A and will “keep at until Hollywood kicks [her] out.
LF: Where does inspiration come from you these days?
AM: It’s an eclectic mix these days, I love Pablo Neruda’s poetry, Jane Birkin’s style and I’ve been watching Belle Epoque by Fernando Trueba over and over. I’ve been writing a screenplay that’s in it’s really early stages, set in the 1950s in London. I also started writing a book for children and teens that’s kind of a guide to things I wish I’d known when I was younger, words of wisdom and inspiration.
LF: What kind of films are you passionate about?
AM: Films that have strong characters and beautiful story lines.
LF: How do you feel when you see yourself on film?
AM: It depends! Sometimes it’s kind of fun, watching a scene and seeing how it turned out and sometimes it’s more “Oh dear, what’s with my face?”
LF: When do you feel most beautiful?
AM: When I’m in Spain with my family. I think that’s when I’m happiest so that’s why I feel most beautiful, it’s where I feel most grounded and where everything makes sense. It’s so far away from the craziness of Hollywood. All that matters is family, friends and good food! Everything else just seems so insignificant.
LF: Do you think it’s a good thing to be hard on yourself?
AM: It depends to what extent. It’s something I’ve struggled with a lot, especially in my early teens. I have a super Type A personality. I think it’s important to always work hard at everything you do and strive for the best, never settle for mediocrity, but not to make yourself ill over it. Now I’ve learnt that it’s actually important to be kind to yourself, not to beat yourself up, and that it’s more productive to be calm, to have unwavering faith in yourself and to know that your best is enough.
LF: What’s next for you? Where do you see yourself in five years?
AM: I’m reading film and TV scripts right now, it’s the first time I’ve been available in 3 years so it’s exciting to be reading so many wonderful scripts. I mean, ideally I’ll be Almodovar’s muse, making five fabulous films a year and be the face of Burberry Brit. That would be lovely. I just want to act and to inspire people, I love working, I love being on set, so that’s where I see myself.
LF: Where’s your favorite place to travel?
LF: Do you believe in love?
AM: Yes. Absolutely.
LF: How fast do you live?
AM: As fast as a Riva gliding across the Mediterranean, fast enough to feel the wind but slow enough to take in the scenery. (I can’t decide if that’s the lamest thing I’ve ever said or if Neruda’s rubbing off on me…)
Hair: Robert Grey (Shades of Gray Studio)
Hair: Tray Young
Styling: Aban Sonia
Make-Up: Rikki Ronae Ferrie
Photographers: Marisa Leigh, Jennifer Hoffman