After watching Ann Truong in the new Scott Adkins film Hard Target 2, I wanted to learn more about her. Fast forward a couple of months we started chatting and, here it is, an exclusive 2,000 word interview to delve deep into her work on 'Hard Target 2', her extensive action training, and future plans. Ann is an honorable lady, striving for the betterment of herself and others, grab some tea and read on.
Chat about your childhood, was there
a moment in time that you remember that made you want to act? Same question for
Growing up, I never considered being an actor – only because the thought
never crossed my mind. I didn’t see actors as real people, they were people
that existed on the TV screens and magazines. As a kid, I was tossing up
between becoming a painter/illustrator, a singer/songwriter, or an Olympic
runner - it was quite a dilemma I had. But looking back, all the pieces were
there. I loved art, I loved self-expression, I loved sports.
I’ve especially always loved martial arts, and loved watching martial
arts movies. I would beg my parents for martial arts lessons but my family
thought I had too much spirit and feist (for a girl) already so I was never
given lessons. When I started earning my own money as a late teen, the first
thing I did was put myself through classes. I started with Boxing at an MMA gym.
What are some of the styles of
Martial Arts you practice and train in? Currently what is your average week
training regimen consist of?
Over the years, I’ve trained Boxing, Muay Thai, Circus – specializing in
the Chinese Pole and Adagio, and dabbled in Arnis. My training regimen changes
depending on what I’m working on at the time. Currently, I have a personal Muay
Thai coach. We train a few times a week and, outside that, I run outdoors.
I know you told me you are based in
Australia, how are the opportunities there to live and work in the acting
I have an amazing team. My agents are based in Melbourne and my manager
is based in LA. They work unbelievably hard and I’ve had some amazing
opportunities. I have to admit though, I get more opportunities overseas than I
do in Australia.
Would you ever want to move to the
U.S. to live, or only if you were on a steady network show?
I would definitely consider living in the U.S. But at this stage, yes,
I’d only move if I had a job there. I don’t think you need to be living in the
states to be working. Most U.S. productions I’ve auditioned for recently are to
film internationally. I’ve worked on two U.S. productions to date, and one was
filmed in Thailand and the other, in Australia. So let’s see where I end up J
Saw you did a romantic style film
called Never Forget, do you like that genre or is it on a case by case basis?
Never Forget is a story about a girl rediscovering her roots, more than
it was a romantic film. But the cinematography and storytelling was definitely
romantic in style. To be honest, I love all genres. If the character resonates,
if the story speaks to me, if it’ll be fun, if it’ll be challenging, if I’ll
grow, if the project has heart, I’ll do it.
Chat about the audition process if
there was one for Hard Target 2?
Initially, I actually auditioned for the role of Sofia. A week or two
later, my agents rang to say that Roel had seen my tape and wanted to see me
for Tha. New sides were sent and I quickly put the tape down. A few days later my
agents rang again to say that Roel was flying to Sydney and would like to meet
me. So I flew up to Sydney and did a call back audition in the room with him. I
loved his energy in the room and his approach to the audition process. We just
played with different possibilities. He did a little exercise in the room that
was interesting and I enjoyed. The camera was on my eyes, and I was to not move
my body, he talked me through a whole series of scenarios, and watched my
Chat about filming in Thailand looked
hot and sweaty, share a story from the production.
Filming in Thailand was definitely hot and sweaty! There was a scene I
did with Peter Hardy, who played the Texan hunter, that I think epitomises the
hot and sweat of the shoot. There was a scene where he was on top of me and I
was struggling underneath…The sweat from his forehead dripped into my mouth
during the scene. For each subsequent take, I would (kindly) ask Peter and make
up to wipe his sweat off his forehead just before action. But as soon as the
sweat was wiped off, action was called, I could see the beads of sweat forming
again on his forehead and back in my mouth it went.
Chat about working with Scott Adkins,
and some of the moments of dialogue, did you learn technique from him?
As all fans of Scott knows, he is amazing at what he does. I loved
watching his stunt work on set. And he’s a great guy to back it up with.
Something he said to me over lunch that kinda stuck… This is not verbatim by
the way… so don’t quote me quoting him… He said that the one thing he regretted
in his career was to not have the self-belief earlier on, the belief that he
could be on the same level as Tom Cruise or Matt Damon. It was only the day
that he believed it, that things started happening. And I agree with him.
You’ve got to have the self-trust and self-belief (without the ego of course).
Talk about the action training you
had for Hard Target 2, any new moves learned?
I trained with the stunt team for a week before shoot. I loved training
in the humidity and focusing on nothing else for the day. My love of Muay Thai,
and my focus on the style now, grew from my time in Thailand.
I learned lots of new moves… but I think maybe the most valuable was
learning about the physics of how one’s body reacts to a certain blow. This was
my first action movie, so I’d never learnt to take a hit on screen before. When
I watch fight scenes now, I have such an appreciation for the ‘loser’ of the
fight. The amazing fight sequence wouldn’t be so spectacular without the
‘loser’s reactions to sell it.
Have to ask about the fight with
Rhona Mitra, she was pretty built muscle wise, looks like it was a tussle.
Perhaps share a story from the training and one from the filming day of the
Haha… it did look like a tussle. I have to admit though, the fight
itself wasn’t too much of a tussle to actually do. Everything was very
controlled, we were very safe, we’d rehearsed, everyone knew what they were
doing, Seng (the stunt choreographer) was on set the whole time. And as
mentioned before, it’s all the reactions that sell it. Rhona did jump the
carriages in heels at one point, and I was very impressed by her finesse there.
The biggest struggle on the day for me was that I had come down with a
massive fever the night before. I had no voice on set that day, my head was
congested, and my body was aching and could barely hold itself up. Till this
day, if something ever feels a little hard, I remember the will to get through
that day and anything seems possible. So I’m grateful for that experience.
Watching the completed film, are you
overly critical of your work? Did you like the film?
No, I’m not overly critical. I try not to be anyway. I try to only be critical
of my work to the extent that I can grow from it. I know I worked hard and gave
my best at the time, so I can’t regret what comes out of that.
I did enjoy the film! I really liked it. It’s an escapist, fun, action
packed film. The hour and 45 minutes flew by.
Can you chat about new projects in
2017 you are working on?
All I know is that 2017 will be an interesting year. Exciting times
What are some of your long term goals
in the acting realm? Ever want to go behind the camera?
I just want to keep growing as an artist. I want to keep getting better.
I’ve grown so much in the past 5 years, and it really excites me to know that
in 5 years time, I will have grown that much again - if not more. I live in the
moment and don’t think about the future too much. I barely think two days
ahead. I allow for change and opportunities to take me places I never would’ve
thought of. I just keep working on my craft, I make sure I’m doing what I love
every day, and trust that that means I’m growing. And I trust that the work will show, and the
right projects will line up at the right time.
I do want to get behind the camera as well. I write a lot in my down
time, and I’ve recently started producing. I’d love to direct too. I like
creating work, I love exploring ideas, I like working on the macro and micro
levels of production. To me, I think it’s about the chase of or finding of the
authenticity and truth in the work that excites me.
Do you have a motto, words to live by? Perhaps some final advice for
young people wanting to get into acting?
Just put your head down and do the
work. Don’t worry about other people. Don’t compare yourself to other people.
Trust yourself and trust that you are enough.
Like her official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/anntruongofficial/?fref=ts
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