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3 Questions with Analeigh Tipton of Mississippi Grind

It’s not difficult to fall head over heels for Analeigh Tipton. The model turned actress may have gotten her start on TV’s America’s Next Top Model but she has captured hearts with her honest and raw performances in films such as Damsels in Distress, Crazy Stupid Love, as well as on the short-lived television shows Hung and Manhattan Love Story. In the recent charming (but unfortunately, little seen) film Two Night Stand, her character bewitchingly warns Miles Teller’s character that if he were to see her dance, he’d develop feelings for her on sight. Of course by the time he does see her unabashedly dance, he’s crazy about her, and it’s not difficult to see why. Tipton is graceful, insightful, and mature well beyond her twenty-seven years. In Mississippi Grind she displays tenderness and aching vulnerability in her limited screen time with co-stars Ben Mendelsohn, Sienna Miller, and Ryan Reynolds. In an intimate setting, we, as well as a select group of esteemed local film critics, had the opportunity to speak with Analeigh Tipton prior to the film’s Canadian premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. With seasoned aplomb she spoke about her dream to direct films, her conviction not to continue modelling, and her adoration for the film Gladiator. The following are some of the additional highlights of our fascinating chat with the actress.

Scene Creek: What sort of lessons did you learn from your castmates? 

Analeigh Tipton: Good question! I just watched their ways. I learned kindness from numerous actors I have worked with and they definitely were amongst that kind. Sienna (Miller) is an incredible woman. The fact that she’s a hard worker. It’s nice to see someone with so much going on being able to focus and be clear in that moment. I’m trying to learn from as many women as I can right now. I think that’s the most important thing I can take from situations like this.

Scene Creek: What did you learn working with co-writer and co-director Anna Boden? 

Analeigh Tipton: Oh geez. She’s such a fantastic director. They’re both fantastic! Both (co-writer and co-director) Ryan Fleck and Anna, the way that they work together, is really interesting. Ryan will do one scene and Anna will do another and they both very much respect the other’s opinions. They also work so much out beforehand. I’ve worked with director pairs before and that’s usually the best dynamic. They’ve always worked, I don’t know how they do it. I feel like once you find that person with a similar vision and it works, it really works. I get asked all the time, “Don’t they fight on set all the time?”, but no, no, that’s why they’re doing so well I think.

Scene Creek: In your next film, In Dubious Battle, you worked alongside singer/actress Selena Gomez. What was it like working with her? 

Analeigh Tipton: Wonderful! She’s a very grounded girl, which I think is most likely an incredibly difficult position to be in for her. I don’t think anyone can really understand what that girl goes through, and she’s very committed and hard working. It’s hard when you have that much fame surrounding your life.

Mississippi Grind opens in select theatres in Toronto, Montreal, and Medicine Hat on September 25 and is available everywhere on VOD.

Leora Heilbronn

Leora Heilbronn is a Toronto based film aficionado who has a weakness for musicals and violent action flicks. She can often be spotted reading a wide range of literature or listening to show tunes.