Multi-award-winning actress Anna Danshina is currently riding high with the upcoming release of her new film BREAK – a heartwarming, thriller starring Sam Gittins, David Yip, BAFTA Winner Adam Deacon and the late, great Hollywood screen icon Rutger Hauer, in his final screen role.
In her role as Alena, we see Danshina play a woman desperate to seek justice for her late brother, Denis – who as a young teenager, was killed in a gang fight.
The film follows the troubled but talented Spencer Pryde (Sam Gittins), wasting his life on petty crime and violence, until a chance encounter with Chinese stranger and former ‘eight ball’ pool champion, Vince Qiang (David Yip) and tough guy club owner Ray (Rutger Hauer) presents him with the opportunity to turn his life around…
Introducing… Anna Danshina
Famous for roles in films Love Possibly and The Bromley Boys, Anna Danshina has gone on to enjoy quite the successful and diverse career since graduating from the Drama Centre London, Central Saint Martins back in 2016.
As talented actress, with undeniable star quality and style, Danshina finds herself now able to enjoy the fruits of her labor, relishing in a number of diverse and challenging roles both on screen and on stage.
For this weeks edition of “Fuzzable Talks Fashion!…” we caught up with Anna to talk FASHION, BEAUTY, STYLE INSPO and BODY CONFIDENCE!
How would you best describe your own personal style?
Easy, practical, flexible but with a touch of modern femininity. I think these modern times are full of challenges and having the wardrobe that allows you to stay flexible throughout the day to meet those challenges is very important for many of us. I am a screen and stage actress and in my career the competition is very stiff and sometimes it can be very demanding to choose your capsule pieces. When my agent is calling me in the morning saying I have a new audition in two hours that’s far away, I have to be there, prepared and looking good, and then after that I may have a theatre rehearsal or a masterclass, so I need to feel comfortable during the day but also look good at the same time! So I prefer pieces which fit both purposes: a well fitted jacket, jeans, white shirt, cashmere cardigan, a little black dress, a trench coat and a sweatshirt always help me with my busy lifestyle. Also, I always pay attention to the fabrics of the garment because good quality natural materials not only make you look good, but also make you feel comfortable. Besides, because I am professionally involved in different countries, sometimes I feel I have to “adapt” my wardrobe depending on my geographical location as people in different countries may appreciate different styles. When I came to Los Angeles last year, I realised that some of the “European” styles which I enjoy wearing here in London were not so popular there, I have noticed that women involved in an acting career appreciate more fitted clothes showing the body a bit more than here in Europe. I even received some critical comments from industry professionals that I needed to make some changes to my “European” wardrobe in order to look more “local” in LA.
Where do you look to find inspiration for outfits?
I think clothes can be a very strong visual language, it reveals your inner self, creates your image, so I try to choose my outfits with care because it tells my story. I am not obsessed with fashion but it may take me some time to decide what to wear. When I want something new, sometimes I just walk around my favourite shops and try on a few pieces. I do like to look through new trends in fashion magazines like Vogue, or watch the fashion shows of my favourite designers. But I have to admit that some of my favourite pieces that I have in my wardrobe were purchased because I just saw them on the shop rail and could not leave them behind. Also, occasionally I get ideas from watching TV shows like Frasier – I really like how female characters in that show are dressed up and sometimes I just want to find some similar garments in contemporary collections available in shops. Also, I like watching theatre plays and there were a few times when I was absolutely fascinated by the outfits created by the costume designers for modern plays. For example, last year I was very impressed by the costumes of the play Timon of Athens at the Royal Shakespeare Company. To me they felt like a striking diffusion between early Versace and contemporary Givenchy. Also, some of the silk gowns worn by Sophie Okonedo while playing Cleopatra on stage of the National Theatre in 2018 were truly stunning and could belong to Elie Saab artwork.
What 3 items do you always carry with you in your handbag?
Actually I have several “live” handbags at any one time with about 300 items in each! The essential 3 items are a bottle of water (normally with the top not done up properly), my mobile phone and a credit card. But these days it is also a good idea to have a face mask with you and a hand sanitiser!
Can you tell us a secret makeup tip?
It may sound very trivial, but drinking plenty of water the day before a special event. I would recommend drinking 8 glasses of water every day anyway, but in case you have something special planned – it becomes crucial not to forget about this tip. When your skin is well moisturised – your face looks fresh and your skin looks glowing, so you don’t need to spend much time on makeup. I remember last year I had an overnight flight from Los Angeles to London and a photo shoot with the famous photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten the next day. Drinking plenty of water on the plane and a moisturising mask before leaving home for the shoot helped me to avoid the “tired face look” on set, and as a result we had a wonderful shooting day and one of the photographs with me was later featured in Vogue! Besides, as a makeup tip I would always recommend to invest money first of all in a good quality foundation and mascara as they are crucial to make you look great.
Do you have a favourite red carpet look of yours from over the years?
Actually, one of my favourite red carpet dresses is the one that I am going to wear for the Break film premiere in just a few days. It is by the British designer Richard Quinn and it is a truly unique and outstanding dress. Richard Quinn is a young British designer but he has already established his name in the world of fashion, he is a graduate of Central Saint Martins where I also used to study. In 2018 Queen Elizabeth II attended one of his runway fashion shows. I really like his vision of beauty and glamour and I am really exited I will be wearing his gown at the premiere. My other favourite red carpet dress was given to me for the Bromley Boys film premiere at Wembley Stadium in 2018 by Kelly NG Couture. Kelly is a young and very successful multi-award-winning designer from Toronto. All of her couture dresses are so skilfully made that you feel like you are wearing precious jewellery. The gown I wore for the Bromley Boys premiere in a different colour was chosen by Oprah Winfrey for her Christmas interview featured on the cover of a magazine. I also very much liked the dark blue gown by Elie Saab that I wore last year on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. I think Elie Saab’s garments have a strong transformative power making you feel beautiful and special.
What one style trend from the past do you most want to see make a comeback?
I think that contemporary fashion is very eclectic, it sometimes unites style trends from the past in one outfit. I think modern fashion diversity offers you so much choice that you can find outfits inspired by 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s in one given year at fashion shows of various designers, so you don’t have to wait for a comeback because you can buy in shops almost everything you like!
Is there a particular era of fashion that you love / wish you’d been a part of?
I would like to live in a future era of fashion where there is a better balance of rapid change and sustainability. I think at the moment we live in a unique time when modern trends change extremely fast, and this is great, but we should not forget about sustainability as well. Overproduction of clothes depletes our planet’s resources, so we should find the right balance between creativity and change on one hand and being respectful to our planet on the other. That is why I generally prefer timeless pieces, and aim at having fewer garments in my wardrobe but of a good quality, but I still have a lot of room to improve myself.
Who is your all-time fashion icon?
Audrey Hepburn is my all-time fashion icon; and I think millions of her fans would agree with me. The way she looks in the Givenchy dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is majestic and inspirational – her classic feminine style is timeless!
Which other celebrity’s wardrobe would you love to have free reign of?
I think probably Charlize Theron. As Coco Chanel once said, “in order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” I think Charlize has an outstanding talent to be different both as an actress and as a stylish celebrity.
What advice you would give to anybody not feeling so confident about themselves and how they look?
First of all, you should think whether this lack of confidence is caused by physical or psychological factors. Sometimes we feel bad about how we look because of something unrelated to physical factors – a painful break up, stressful exams, family conflicts, etc. And if it is the case, doing an operation on your nose or spending a fortune on expensive designer clothes may not help you to overcome the pain you feel after breaking up or divorce. But at the same time, looking good sometimes helps you to feel a little better overall. If you don’t feel confident about how you look, I would advise to start with some everyday physical exercises. They are useful not only to tone up your body, but to make you feel you are in charge of your life. Establishing some healthy routines just for a few minutes every day will help you to gain this feeling that you are strong and capable enough to make positive changes not only in your looks but in your life overall. Also, if you specifically don’t like something about the way you look, try to find some time every day and spend just a few minutes looking at yourself in the mirror and saying that you accept yourself as you are. It doesn’t mean you should not change; it is just accepting yourself and liking yourself as you are right now may help you to do the next step in your positive transformation. But of course, treating yourself with a nice dress or a pair of shoes may be a good way to feel and look a little better too. But whatever new piece you chose to wear to improve your look, you should never forget that happiness should be your favourite garment in your everyday wardrobe.
BREAK will premiere at Brent Cross Drive-In on 22nd July and rolled out nationwide in other drive-in venues, starting with Sheffield. To buy tickets for the premiere, please go to breakfilms.co.uk. Follow @BrEAK_Film on Twitter and/or @breakukfilm on Instagram & Facebook for more news.