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Alanna Smith

11th April 2023

Interview: Amy Bell

Photo Credit: Danielle Now

Alanna Smith chats to us on who inspired her, theatre and her new Disney+ show, 'Chang Can Dunk'.

Thanks so much for talking to us, what made you want to get into the acting world, and who inspired you? 

Hi ReVamp! Thanks for having me! When I was in 3rd grade, my teacher assigned us oral presentations based on our “personal hero.” My best friend chose Mother Teresa, I chose Rosie O’Donnell. I interviewed myself, as if Rosie had Rosie on her own talk show. Super meta. I’ve always been chatty, ambitious, and clearly do well with a one-woman show, so I think the acting world might be the only world for me.

You are in Chang Can Dunk with the talented Bloom Li, what attracted you to this role? 

I love stories where characters jump without a safety net. Chang bets he can dunk in front of a ton of witnesses, then has to reverse engineer a way to back it up. He learns a whole lot about himself in the process. I’ve been there, I can relate. Some of my favorite rewards have been the result of some objectively reckless goals! I’m thrilled to see the film getting such a positive response. I was just happy to be a small part of such a fresh new story for Disney+. And I love hoops.

From starring as a lighthearted romantic actress to a sultry actress, how do you change your persona? 

It’s all somewhere inside me, I’m just one of the lucky ones who gets to play around in different worlds. My path has always been a roundabout one, so I try to say yes to any project that intrigues me, and follow my gut. And anytime there’s a boss female show-runner attached, like the amazing Courtney Kemp, game on. 

You just finished starring in ‘CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF’, what made you want to star in this?

Maggie the Cat is an incredible role—a ferocious, sexy, sensitive female warrior with an imperfect past. As women, there aren’t a lot of chances for us to play anti-heroes. This was one. I loved working to stand behind a flawed character, to find the truth in it all, especially the parts I relate to. And I’ve always been inspired by gorgeous, smart women like Elizabeth Taylor, Jessica Lange, and Scarlett Johansson, so it was an honour to follow in their footsteps. 

Has theatre always been something you have been attracted to?

Always. I have a reverence for it. When I studied abroad in London, we would take theatrical walking tours all over the city. We’d meet at a tube stop, and our professor would walk us through the theatre history in that neighborhood. It was breathtaking to feel connected to the centuries of artists who’ve kept theatre alive. I remember standing in front of Oscar Wilde’s flat in Chelsea, and writing in my diary, “I know someday I’ll pay you homage, Oscar.” 3 years later I was writing in another diary, this time on stage, playing Cecily in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

What are you most excited about in your future endeavours? 

Ok hear me out. I want to star in a holiday rom-com that takes place over the course of a Jewish holiday. Somebody finally made a Hanukkah one, but I think Passover is up for grabs. If not, maybe Rosh Hashanah? Sukkot? If someone has that in development, please call my manager— I’ll put myself on tape tonight.

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