August 15, 2010
Question: Annabeth, your boys are so cute ! Do they know, who their mommy is ? Saw you on the screen ?
Annabeth: No, they only know me as Mommy. They are still very young. Only watch Sesame Street and Curious George.
December 12, 2005
Question: Name 3 of the best Christmasí that youíve ever had ? (Like, did you receive a special gift, visit somewhere interesting or just spend time with your family that made it extra memorable).
Annabeth: By far, my best Christmas was the year my husband proposed. He didn't propose on the actual day, much earlier actually, but it now marks the official beginning of the Christmas season for me. It was quite an event, our very own special, romantic, private holiday memory which he created entirely on his own. Every Christmas holiday is now marked for me by the beautiful surprise and the joy of it. While growing up, my parents took us to spend most of our Christmas holidays with family every year in New Mexico (where we all were born) and there isn't a Christmas that goes by that I don't long for the Southwestern traditions ... my grandmother's enchiladas, or my sister's green chile stew, putting up luminarios along the adobe walls of her home, traveling to local pueblos to watch traditional Native American celebratory/prayer dances, watching the lights of Albuquerque sparkle and twinkle like magic in the crisp mountain climate. Every Christmas I miss New Mexico. But there were also amazing Christmas experiences in Iowa. Cold Midwestern winters warranted a fervent holiday spirit and Iowans delivered !!! In my younger days I think my favorite gift was the Mr. Microphone my brother gave me when I was 9 years old. I guess he secretly knew I wanted to be a rock star or something performance oriented...
Question: If you were a Christmas tree ornament, what kind would you be and why ?
Annabeth: Well, you're actually asking me to address honestly an aesthetic dilemma I go through most years when faced with decorating the Christmas tree. Ornaments, for me personally, tend to clutter up the beauty of "The Tree." I really prefer simple lights and the gorgeousness of the greenery... I like simple white lights. I like pine cones. I like the tree au naturel... However, there is one ornament I do have a fondness for, a certain one red globe with sparkles throughout that was a special gift... I guess that's the one I'd be... it carries all the love in the world in it.
May 24, 2005
Question: I wonder if you have/had someone, like your fans have in you, who influenced your life in some way. Maybe also an actress ? Maybe friends you met through your work as an actress ? And how exactly have they influenced your life ?
Annabeth: Oh damn, it's too hard for me to name just one... Today, in this moment, I'll pick my meditation teacher... I have been studying with her for over 10 years. She is not a guru of any kind, and would not ever want to be... however, in her classes and through her insights I have learned a great deal, and have been influenced tremendously. The influence comes in the training of the mind, the connection to the Self and the practice of strengthening the spirit. The cultivation of these aspects are the beginning of living a good and conscious life. On a lighter note, Christian Louboutin has influenced my life by designing gorgeous and sexy shoes... I'm a [P]isces, what can I say, shoes are a passion...
Question: What do you look for specifically in a script which makes you want the job ?
Annabeth: As I've gotten older, I've found that a guiding factor in my work choices is an aversion to boredom... It gets tiring and old playing the same thing over and over again... so I have definitely been more daring of late, taking roles available to me that are out of my comfort zone and roles that challenge me on as many levels as possible. Breaking the mold. This year in particular I feel excited by and proud of the new aspects or colors I've been allowed to explore and reveal - and hopefully as I am more willing to do this, more opportunities will come to meet my goal. I also want jobs that stir it up, move emotions, and galvanize the spirit - both mine as an artist and yours as an audience. I know I love watching movies and t.v. programs that do this, so of course I want to work on projects with that quality.
February 15, 2005
Question: Out of all your films in your career so far which has been the hardest to prepare for and why ?
Annabeth: On a physical level, the salsa movie I did for VH-1 (The Way She Moves) was the most labor intensive - just to learn the dance numbers and the style of the dance. I love that kind of sweaty, hard work that requires time and loads of preparation - it's the most rewarding. I'd like to do more of that kind of physically demanding work! True Women also required preparation with riding, props, costumes, weapons and historical research. Really, each role has its own kind of mental and emotional preparation - just to get in the head space of another woman with another mind, memories and experiences... Every role is different.
Question: What does a typical day entail in the life of Annabeth Gish ?
Annabeth: A typical day when I'm not working is an early walk/hike with Lola, coffee or tea with my husband while we read the paper, yoga maybe followed by lunch with a girlfriend. I try to do something every day that requires creative focus or study - I always feel like I have to be learning something new or learning more about acting, film, writing, business, the environment, etc... I don't know if it's a drive that comes from feelings of inadequacy or ambition... Sometimes it's hard for me to relax... so I have to spend time every day cultivating that, too. I try to meditate either when I wake up or before I go to sleep. Wade and I love to go to movies, so if we plan evenings out it's usually built around dinner and a movie with friends. That's pretty typical... If I'm working then everything is scheduled around work -preparation, learning lines, etc...
January 20, 2005
Question: Have you considered or do you have any interest in doing voice work for an animated film (like Finding Nemo or Shrek)? I think you have a great voice, and I would love to see/hear you as a character in an animated film.
Annabeth: My vocal chords - thank you for the compliment. I would love to do more voice-over work. I think it is an art in itself and there are masters who make/allow their voices to do amazing things. One of my first professional gigs back in Cedar Falls, Iowa was a radio commercial for Swiss Valley Farms Milk. I think I was 10. Does that count as the beginning of an as yet untapped vocal career? Of the animated films out last year I especially loved A Shark's Tale and The Incredibles. Both were so much fun to watch and listen to... so yes, the answer is yes, I'd love to do an animated film.
Question: What kind of music do you listen to ? (To relax ? Calm down ?) Any current recommendations ?
Annabeth: Well, well, well. Music for me is an incredibly important source of emotional food. Some know by now that Sarah McLachlan is my favorite female vocalist. Patty Griffin, Mindy Smith, Emmylou Harris ... I love the ladies who make poetic and aching soulful music - kind of a folksy/country thing. If you wanted to know what CDs are loaded in my disc player right now I would tell you of these: The new Keane album which I cannot recommend enough - go get it ! I swear it is an amazing collection of music ! Jeff Buckley's Grace (which has its fixed place forever); Mindy Smith's One Moment More, U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb ("Sometimes you can't make it on your own" is my favorite song !) Green Day's new CD and Mos Def's New Danger. I'm very eclectic. But when I want to relax I have my collection of CD's... Robert Haig Coxon's Silent Path is my favorite CD to put on when I need to enter the land of music to soothe and dream. My husband laughs about my ambient music collection, but I do have a CD called The Most Relaxing CD EVER. What can I say... Sometimes he even falls asleep to it, too ! I think music has the power to heal and alter cell patterns and evoke feeling. It is medicine and always a way in to the heart...
August 3, 2004
Question: Could you describe your "dream" character that you would like to portray were you to commission an original script written specifically for yourself, as well as a historical figure and a literary character that you would also like to play.
Annabeth:Alright, Iím writing these answers just as the month of July is coming to a close. Literally, there is a blue moon rising (I love full moons) and I am finally in front of my computer to write a few responses... My dream character... There is only the hope to play women who are complex, multi-dimensional and imperfectójust as most people really are. I am finding myself more and more ready to work on roles that are symphonic, rather than simply one or two notes to play. From the literary world women like Anna Karenina or Hedda Gabler or Madame Bovary... Heroines who are not easily defined and not easily redeemed, but who are intensely themselves and intensely flawed - which is, essentially, real and robust work. If I could commission a script ... Well, there would be a few... the tough Sigourney Weaver-esque role from Alien, and then there would be the tortured Jessica Lange-like Frances... then the sweeping, romantic epic like Pride and Prejudice. Brian, are you a writer ??? Get started !!!
Question: I havenít seen you since graduation from NU High, but I want to know what qualities of your life in Cedar Falls and rural Iowa living did you take with you on your way to success. Also, which actor or actress that you have worked with could you identify with most as to home roots ideals. Thanks !
Annabeth: Wow. Is this Carol, the mother of Eric, with whom I went to school ? How are you ? I hope your family is doing well! Please tell Eric hello. I still carry many things with me from my years in Cedar Falls. Growing up in a midwestern community gave me a real sense of a normal American life with good values and good people. The qualities that will be with me always are simple kindnesses ... smiling at people, helping when I can, believing there is more to any equation than just myself and my ego, a deep appreciation for weather/nature (I miss seasons so much !) and something I can only qualify as a willingness to abide or endure - maybe because of those seasons ! Growing up in Iowa gave me a sense of heartiness... As far as home roots... actors are always such mixed bags of ideals and elements... if I met someone who grew up in Cedar Falls, that is who I would most identify with... Good to hear from you and give my best to Cedar Falls.
May 28, 2004
Question: With all the talk about a second X-Files movie, would you be interested in playing Monica Reyes again ? What would you hope to happen if you did ?
Annabeth: I loved playing Monica Reyes for the brief time that I did, and of course I would love to meet up with her again - alas, I donít think itís in the cards... As far as I know, the Doggett/Reyes arc is not going to be included in the film. As I've said elsewhere, I understand the success of the franchise has at its core Mulder and Scully. It's a duo that is mythic now... I think the film will be a welcome return of the both of them...
Question: When playing Agent Reyes on The X-Files, did you base the character off anyone ?
Annabeth: In one of my first conversations with Chris Carter, when discussing his vision of Monica Reyes, he mentioned an ex-CNN news anchor named Lynn Russell. To him she was an example of a gutsy, independent woman who was simultaneously tough and alluring. And a bit of a rebel. I think it was really those qualities that guided me in my imagining of Monica - more than a specific person to model her after... I'm not so sure I succeeded in finding all or any of those qualities - I fumble around in my own life practicing them, wondering how in the hell to be even one at a time. We can all dream, right ?!
December 9, 2003
Question: What do you typically like to do at this time of year to celebrate the holidays ? Any family traditions that you have carried with you on your own, or that you and your family still do ?
Annabeth: Wade and I just celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a married couple. It was my inauguration into the preparation of the traditional Thanksgiving Turkey meal. Thank God everything went fabulously ! (I'm still learning to cook!) We find that we are excited to establish our own holiday traditions, but of course that means bringing with us the particular ones we treasure from our childhood. For me, the day after Thanksgiving is the time to get out the Johnny Mathis Christmas album/CD and play it repeatedly for instant holiday spirit. It was a staple for my family. Last year, Wade put up lights around the house as a surprise for me and it made me gleefully happy to see our home so bright and inviting. They are already up again this year. Somehow they symbolize for me what Christmas is about - the warmth and joy of house and home. Family and friends gathering to share the brightness within, to give thanks for the blessings in our lives, and to spread it around to everyone we might possibly meet.
Question: If the tables were turned, and you could ask us (your fans) a question, what would you ask ?
Annabeth: Being that each fan is an individual and unique, it would be hard to ask just one general question to fit everyone. The questioning would most certainly be about you guys and not about me or my career... I would start with wanting to know who you are, what you do and what your lives are like... How about this question: What inspires you? I'll leave it at that and will await your responses.
November 24, 2003
Question: What has been the most rewarding part of your career so far ?
Annabeth: The most rewarding part of my career is the exposure I have to the variety of human experience there is in this world. Whether it be a character and her life or a crew member and his life, the stories, the details I have learned from living a creative life amongst people who collaborate to make movies and television shows is quite amazing. For instance, to play the role of a young woman of the Texas plains in the 1800's, to ride horses and shoot rifles and wear corsets was a living history lesson to be sure, but not of facts only. The range of emotions in that historical context was enlightening and surely changed me by searching to find and play them... But just as much a part of that lesson was the time I spent off camera with the horse wranglers on the movie, rehearsing my horsewoman skills, learning from their particular excellence and absorbing the story of their lives - the path they took (or the path that took them) to provide horses to do the job for a t.v. movie. Or how about the physicists I met while working on X-Files, the art director who knew how to build sets that are so realistic but are made from Styrofoam... Itís amazing the gypsy lot of people who are called to this kind of work and the amount of information each of their stories has to share. That's what I love the absolute most about working in the movies.
October 21, 2003
Question: What is your all time favorite song, and what does this song mean to you ?
Annabeth: As usual, I cannot choose just one favorite song... typical Piscean trait, but there isnít just one of anything in any category that I can exclusively pick to represent my favorite. Whether it's Music, Literature, Film, Food, etc. I just can't make an exclusive choice. However, there are songs that particularly move me: "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel and "Fragile" by Sting are two that always affect me deeply. They both work to hook me into my emotional life. Anything by Sarah McLachlan always expresses something for me -- her lyrics are poetry. I like songs that make me yearn for something... or songs with such a strong bass beat that it makes me want to dance my ass off !!!
Question: As a child, what was your favorite thing to do (and why) ?
Annabeth: Another something favorite ? This one might actually be easier. I loved reading books. I was always reading as a kid. I especially loved both the Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden series -- the female sleuths! In between rollerskating and playing Barbies, my childhood friends and I would then act out the mysteries we'd just read about, finding imaginary clues and solving crimes around the garages and basements in our neighborhood. Maybe that was when the acting bug set in...
September 5, 2003
Question: Whatís your favorite place in the whole world and why ?
Annabeth: Oh no, forgive me but I have to say it is [being] next to my husband-to-be. Anywhere I go with him, whether it is traveling to another country or going to the grocery store, it is exactly where I want to be and it is the best place in that moment. Yes, I know that is just about the cheeziest answer ever (Iím even rolling my eyes as I write this), and I hate to sound like a romantic fool, but itís the truest thing for me right now. He is my favorite place. Now for a less woman-in-love type of answer and a more geographical one... High up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico the air is the freshest and the sky is the bluest Iíve ever seen. The aspen and pine trees wave a cool breeze across your face and everything feels clean and everything in your mind becomes clear. For urban flavor I love London and for sensual culture I love Italy.
Question: If you could select your next "leading man" in a movie, who would you choose and why ?
Annabeth: How about Hugh Jackman or Luke Wilson. Or Ed Harris. Or Anthony Hopkins (heís such an amazing actor). Or Denzel Washington. Or Benecio Del Toro. I like men who have flavor and skill and soul ! Bring em on !!! Iím ready to play in that professional arena.
August 8, 2003
Question: You mentioned in a recent article that you love to act in westerns and historical dramas. If you could pick a particular time period in which to "actually live" or to just visit for a while, when/where would it be and why ? Or to have been apart of a specific event that took place in history, what would it be and why ?
Annabeth: Good question ! Man, so many eras and events come to mind... does it have to be just one particular historical period? Because I feel drawn to a lot of different times... Iíve always had a romantic fascination with medieval times and the women in them. The story and times of Guinevere has always had a real pull for me. Iíve always wondered what it was like when women were sorceresses, very powerful and beautiful. To go way back, the time in history covered in the book The Red Tent also fascinates me - all the way back to biblical times. What did that time really feel like while you were living it ? That is the wonderful thing about being an actress because every so often an opportunity comes with a role that takes you right back into a recreated reality and you are transported back in time... I could spend hours on this question !
Question: How has your family, and the way in which you were raised, influenced you emotionally, spiritually and professionally ?
Annabeth: Letís see - this is a deep question. Iím not sure I can quantify and translate all of the effects of my family upon my personality. There are influences that I am probably not even conscious of, they are just woven so tightly into my being. But I was raised with good values - education, love, discipline, honesty, authenticity, hard work, compassion! I was the youngest of three children, so I learned a lot by observing my brother and sister as they grew up, and then when I started in the business at 13 my parents had a big job of carrying all the same values into an industry they knew nothing about. But because I maintained a life in Iowa, a state synonymous with "good values," and because my parents doggedly insisted I remain grounded, I think I always kept a good perspective about what was important. Both of my parents, and my brother and sister are very creative, passionate people and emotionally we all carry those genes. Spiritually I was on my own path from the beginning, my searching and longing independent from what anyone else in my family was doing, so Iíve taken my own cues there. Everyone would wholeheartedly agree with that !!! Professionally all the values I mentioned above were automatically applied to the way I try and handle my business on a daily basis.
July 3, 2003
Question: Youíve been acting since childhood. Have your motivations for being an actor changed over time and, if so, how ?
Annabeth:My motivation to be an actor has become more defined and distinct as Iíve gotten older. Iíve always wanted to act as a means of self-expression, creativity and connection with others, and as a young woman that was a very pure drive in me. Pure and innocent. Now the drive has deepened with experience. It is stronger and more individual to who I am as a woman, with a more focused awareness of how art and acting and film is each a business and a disciplined craft. It takes tremendous practice to find and manage a balance in both.
Question: Being a big, big classic movies fan myself, would you like to remake a classic movie ? If yes, which one ?
Annabeth: I have always been a fan of the Otto Preminger movie Laura starring Gene Tierney. Itís a great thriller but also a character piece with a strong female character. Spooky! I think it would be a great film to remake. I also love It Happened One Night with Claudette Colbert. Good comedy. And Jessica Lange in Frances has remained an incredibly intense example for me of fine dramatic acting. However, that movie and her performance in it is untouchable.