By Dylan Tracy
Twenty-nine year old Analeigh Tipton is a true class act in an industry in which pretension and ego run rampant. The first time I had the chance to speak to her was in person at the 2017 Napa Valley Film Festival.
And, due to a technical glitch, I was fortunate enough to interview her not once, but twice for her film Broken Star (which opens July 20th). Our first interview didn’t record, and although I had notes to go off of, I had lost our entire taped conversation. She was so gracious to allow me more time for another chance to speak with her. After seeing Tipton’s performance as Markey in her new film Broken Star, you would never expect her to be so genuinely nice in real life.
I asked her why she took on the role of Markey, considering she is the complete opposite of her in real life. Markey is so vain and craves the attention that the Hollywood limelight gives her, and Analeigh is so sincere and down to earth. “That’s exactly why I took the role”, she chuckles. “Markey is so far from who I am as a person, and I wanted to be able to portray that. Markey has so much anger and frustration that we all kind of feel at times, and it was fun to let out that side of me, because it does exist”.
Broken Star follows Markey Marlowe, a washed up celebrity fresh into a court ordered house arrest for thirty days with no Internet or cell phone. Bored and lonely, she befriends the reclusive landlord of the property she is living in, only to find out that he may be harboring darker secrets than she is.
Although her character is able to survive thirty days with essentially no connection to the outside world, could she herself do it? “Yes…at least I think I could. I went camping for a week east of the Sierra Nevadas, where a lot of Western films are shot, and I had no cell reception unless I climbed up a large pile of rocks where I cut myself. I was able to get one bar to text my family that I was alright, but that was it”.
Markey thrives off of the attention and adoration the world gives to her, much like how many people are with their social media today. When asked if she thinks our society could relate to her character in this way, Analeigh replied “Yes, definitely. Social media is this really beautiful yet complex tool that has allowed people to use it however they want to. When I’m not posting on social media publicizing a movie, I like to post my photography or my music, things that are really characteristic of who I am as a person. I wish people posted more of who they really are and not who they want to be”.
Many of you may remember Analeigh from her third place win on Cycle 11 of “America’s Next Top Model”,yet you may be surprised to find out that modeling was not something she ever dreamed of. “I never wanted to be a model. I just happened to be tall, and it happened to seem like a really cool thing at 19”.
So how did she go from a runner up on a modeling reality television show to actress? “It was a lot more natural than one would assume only because I never saw myself as a model. I was just fresh out of high school, I had just moved to LA, and this was back in 2007 when I feel like reality television had a different thing to it, and I never wanted to be an actor,” she explains.
“I moved to LA to write and direct, and that’s probably my number one passion. So when I got the show I had to drop out of school, because I missed too many credits and I was on scholarship, so I needed to work. My cousin was down here trying to act and introduced me to Abrams (a talent agency). They took me in commercially and were like, “Oh you were on ‘Top Model’ we need you in commercials”, so I tried that, but never booked a commercial. They had a show about models coming out on The CW called “The Beautiful Life”, and they were like “Well, you know, you should audition for this”, and I ended up testing for it, and they were like “Oh! Well you can act”.
Her first big screen movie role was in Green Hornet (her character’s name in the film is Ana Lee), and that was followed by Crazy, Stupid, Love.
“It took a really long time, I think it took a few years, for me to admit that I was an actor,” she recounts. “I felt like I had let my parents down, I felt like I was falling into the whole thing of LA, and it felt really uncomfortable until I started meeting actors that I really, really ended up respecting and understanding, and kind of re-evaluating my initial judgment on what it meant to be an actor and that it wasn’t necessarily just this selfish thing that people were going for because they wanted to be famous, but it was an appreciation for the art and creativity and collaboration”.
It may come as a surprise to many that Analeigh was a competitive figure skater growing up. With the critical and commercial acclaim of the movie I, Tonya and its success during this past Oscar season, I asked her if she has sought outa role involving the sport. “Yes, I have,” she says.”It’s tricky because I really don’t like figure skating but I loved I, Tonya. I feel like it portrayed that world a bit more accurately than something like Ice Princess. I have tried to seek out skating films, but again it’s wanting to see the world accurately and see the darker side of skating. I’ve been tempted to write something, but again it’s kind of a difficult thing to feel like anyone would care because most people don’t know that aspect of skating and I feel like it would be a little jarring.”
And then she reveals this,”I am attached to a film that does kind of accomplish that, with Mickey Rourke and Anne Heche. Mickey Rourke would play my coach, Anne would play my mother who has dementia.It was a Sundance screenplay, and it was basically a combination of Ex Machina/Black Swan, and it sounds like it would be horrible but it’s a really beautiful, kind of amazing script set in the future, and I play a figure skater who’s going to the Olympics”.
Analeigh was the recipient of the 2017 Rising Star award at the Napa Valley Film Festival, and a rising star she is. Whether it be acting, directing, or writing, Analeigh is sure to continue to make an impact on the Hollywood scene for many years to come.