Veronique • December 13th, 2021
A Book Of interview

ONE OF US IS LYING’S ANNALISA COCHRANE ON GROWING INTO HER POWER

Annalisa Cochrane, one of the four stars of One of Us is Lying (the newest addition to the streaming service Peacock’s 2021 lineup), is no stranger to the world of television. She is known for playing the quintessential mean girl on the widely loved Cobra Kai. That being said, Cochrane is nothing like her previous role’s mean girl persona. Instead, she is all thoughtful answers, big laughs, and warm remarks.

Cochrane’s role on One of Us is Lying is that of the relatable and sweet Addy. This twisted story covers outlandish plots of murder mystery and intrigue while also delving into many common concerns of modern-day teenagers. Specifically, Cochrane’s character Addy exemplifies the common teenage dilemma of figuring out who one’s self really is. However, she does her self-discovering amid a traumatizing investigation — this may be the only unrelatable thing about the relatable character.
Our conversation covered her experience filming the new show, what future roles she hopes to jump into, and her connection with others through social media (good and bad). As a person, Cochrane is sweet and intelligent, and as an actress, she is convincing whether she plays anything from bad girl to girl next door.

So, how have you been recently?

I’m doing well. It’s been so exciting. It’s kind of just been pretty crazy. How are you?

You know, I’m good. I’m great. I actually read the book “One of Us is Lying” before your show came out, probably over a year ago, and I loved it! I was super psyched to see the show coming out and see that you were in it. And I just want to ask, how was your experience filming during COVID-19?

I mean, it was pretty wild. Everybody had projects that got put on hold or pushed, but I feel like our project just kept having COVID problems. We did our pilot before COVID, and it looked like everything was good for our pickup order and that we would start filming. Then, of course, the world shut down. And so we were kind of left in limbo for about six, seven months. Then finally, they told us, okay, we’re gonna film, but it’s going to have to be in New Zealand. I felt like we won the lottery being able to work during a pandemic and being able to work in a country that, until recently, was totally free of COVID. So that was really, really special. Once we got over our two-week quarantine in New Zealand, we could work without the same kind of rules and regulations required in other countries. We still had COVID precautions on set, people still had to wear masks, but it wasn’t as strict because the country had no cases. And then we had three days left of production, we were almost finished, then New Zealand went back into lockdown because one case was found. It was really impressive how they handled their cases, but to us, it felt like the show couldn’t get a break. I mean, being two years older than when we were cast, playing high school characters was definitely interesting for all of us. But I’m so glad that we did it, trials and all. It’s finally out, and oh my gosh, I feel like we won the lottery being able to have done a show during all of this.

And do you think that experience changed the way you see yourself or the way you see the industry? Did it change the trajectory of your career in any way?

Oh, my gosh, I think it totally did. With all that reflection time and that forced period of quiet, then having to get back to what you want and what your passions are without the world telling you to — that was an invaluable experience not just influencing my career but also myself. Having to go through the disappointment of everything being canceled, expecting so much, and then coming to terms with the new world was challenging. Even today, having to do press and not being able to do it in person during my first time doing all of it. Honestly, it’s been disappointing. That being said, it’s helped me grow immensely. So although it has been challenging, I’ve been very grateful for the experience. I’m trying to turn it all into gratitude.

If you weren’t an actress, what do you think you’d be doing right now?

I graduated from Loyola Marymount University, and I would have loved to do my graduate studies and maybe study foreign policy. I would love to do something that really helps the world. Maybe work with the UN, do something a little bit more international. I spent a lot of my childhood growing up in India, so I think there’s still a massive part of me that wants to be a citizen of the world and really influence and make change where I see that it’s necessary and needed. But also, what’s fantastic about acting is it does give you a platform and gives you influence. So you can kind of start to have an impact even without truly working in the field of foreign policy. In different ways, for sure, but very cool ways.

On the topic of influence, actors really bring to life stories, but there are also a lot of people behind the camera calling the shots. Recently there has been an influx of diverse writers and directors sharing their stories and influence for good. In the future, do you think you’d ever want to get into different aspects of film or TV production?

Absolutely. I don’t want to jump the gun, though. I think that there’s so much value in just education, so I am now focusing on making sure that I am aware of all processes and what they truly entail. I definitely have taken some filmmaking courses. I write a little bit, and I would love to direct; I would love to be on the other side because I think what makes work meaningful is autonomy, complexity. Acting can be really fulfilling, but you are often in someone else’s project and creative vision. As a person, it can sometimes be frustrating because I want to have a say; I want to have a little bit of that control. In these periods of quiet, I’m definitely trying to work towards that.

How did the age you entered the industry affect the way you see acting/Hollywood in general? Do you wish you would have started earlier or later?

I think I’m pretty happy with where I started. I graduated high school early and moved down to LA when I was seventeen. That’s when I began acting in productions, and it was really nice because I felt like I got a “normal” childhood before entering the acting world. Also, it was really my decision and my own momentum that got me started. I feel very blessed that I got the incubator of college. I was studying in college while auditioning on the side, and I had all of these fantastic teachers and friends that kind of got me through that, which I am endlessly grateful for. At the time, acting wasn’t my entire life, and maybe things took off a little slower because I wasn’t entirely focused on it. But it was a nice, gradual ease into acting that I feel fortunate to have had. Of course, starting earlier also would have been helpful for my career. But I am happy about how it all turned out.

You play Addy in the show. Before taking the part, did you read the book?

The book itself has been really popular these past five years, so I’d heard of it and planned on reading it but never found the time. But then I got the audition and read that script. Usually, I don’t read the source material, but I picked up the book, just an online ebook version, right away because I saw that it was written in a first-person narrative. And I was like, Oh, this could be helpful. And I truly meant to only skim Addy’s parts, but I ended up reading the whole thing so quickly because it’s so good. So I like to joke that I’ve had such a cheat code to the audition because I was able to get into her head so easily because of the book. I’ve “cheated” my way into this role, but I’ll take it.

What did the audition process look like for this role?

It was intense. I did an initial audition with Gayle Pillsbury, the casting director — I love her. At the time, it was filming in Atlanta, so I couldn’t go to my callback. But I think it might have been helpful because they allowed me to take my callback with producer notes. And I taped for, I think, two days in a row because my manager wasn’t happy with the first day of four hours of taping. My friend, Jason Woods, shout out that man because he was so patient with me and coached me. It really should not have taken eight hours, but I just wanted to get it perfect. After that, I had a final read in front of our wonderful producers and lovely pilot director, Jennifer Morrison. I felt like I had put my heart and soul into that little test. About a week and a half later, I found out I got the part. And I cannot tell how happy I was, crying, screaming, all of it. It was so special.

I personally think your character is fascinating. Her story is really that of self-discovery and figuring out what she wants out of life. Do you believe that you and your character are similar in any way?

When I first picked it up, I thought we were less similar than we ended up being. As I continued to play her and really get into her mind/mindset, I began to recognize so many similarities. We both think a lot and have little insecurities. And then also her story of growth and stepping into her confidence stepping into herself, and her power is something I felt myself doing along with her. Especially after a year and a half of COVID and feeling a bit knocked down and feeling a bit unlike my usual self, it was such a beautiful journey for me and also a way to step back into it. I felt my confidence and my power coming back to me as well. And yeah, it was bizarre how much I really realized I aligned with Addy. Life imitates art, and art imitates life. I brought her to life as I was experiencing being brought back to life, so it all worked out really beautifully. I feel fortunate.

This is also one of those teen shows that covers some darker themes. How did you feel going into a role like that? Did you feel like you had any responsibility to portray the character in a certain way for young viewers who could be affected by these kinds of storylines?

Totally, I did a lot of research. Even just watching YouTube videos was so helpful. So many girls will express and pour out their feelings to their online audience. Watching that and kind of get into that headspace and understand the current struggles of teenage girls and then also pulling from my experiences was very insightful. I didn’t want to ever make light of any of these issues or feelings, especially the feeling of lack of self-worth and never feeling good enough. I never wanted to make light of that because I’ve experienced that, and I know so many teenage girls experience that, and it’s so hard to get through. So, doing so much research to stay faithful to what is authentic and true for human beings was my top priority.

How do you feel about your own presence online, on social media? Do you think you have a certain pressure to portray yourself in a certain way on social media because of your younger fanbase?

Sometimes I do, and sometimes I just try not to let that affect me and hope that by staying true to myself, I can be a good and positive influence on the world. I want to continue to foster a public persona that does influence for good, but I think I’m still figuring out what that means for me. And currently, some days, I want to put my personality and my love of people and fun and friends on social media. And other times, I kind of want to show my artistic side and the interesting things I’ve been working on or thinking. I still have not figured out social media, I very much shied away from it for a long time, and I still feel a bit of resistance to it. I’m trying to work through those feelings, though, because I do think it’s such a valuable tool that allows you to share the beautiful inner workings of your mind. So I’m trying to figure out the balance, but I do recognize the responsibility of having a large audience. I hope that I can continue to live up to expectations without putting too much pressure on it.

In the future, what roles are you hoping to take? Are there any specific genres you want to work in? Which do you want to do more, television or movies?

I’d love to jump into some films and work with really interesting creatives. In choosing my next parts, I want to focus on who’s behind the camera, what the script, and who the director/producers are because I want to learn from the behind-the-camera creatives so I can learn from them. I think it is crucial for me to move forward. In terms of what genres I am looking at, in my heart, I love doing comedy, but I also care deeply about telling stories that mean something and give people some sense of hope or show them a side to life that they don’t see. So I would love to focus on just stories that mean something. Also, of course, my nerdy self loves sci-fi, so I would love to do something in the Sci-Fi realm. So definitely, the most important thing I am looking for is exciting creatives, maybe some sci-fi and just really good, good, interesting complex roles.

You want the next role you take to have intentionality, it sounds like.

Absolutely. So much of being an actor is just accepting what you get. It’s pretty hard to choose really meaningful roles all of the time because when you start out acting, you’re so thankful to work in any role. And I’m still so thankful to work, but I also want to stick true to myself and recognize the power and saying no. As an actor, you don’t have much power, so I don’t want to take a role that doesn’t sit with me because that will be six months of my life. I want to be very intentional, I want to live a full life, I want to have a great career, but I also want to live a full life and do what makes me happy. Taking new roles is really about taking stock and taking it step by step and hoping and trusting that you’ve made the right decision and then not regretting, never regret.

If you were a book, what book would you be and why?

What a beautiful question. I recently read the book “Cerci ” by Madeline Miller, a great take on Greek mythology with a modern-day spin on it. It follows this goddess and her journey of stepping into herself, her womanhood, her power. It’s honestly weird that I just said that because it very much mirrors Addy in my personal journey, so that really does resonate with me. Right now in life, I think I’d like to explore myself more.

Source: abookof.us

Welcome to Annalisa Cochrane Fan, the latest online resource dedicated to the talented actress Annalisa Cochrane. Annalisa has been in films like "The Bride He Bought Online", "Apparition", "Pacific Rim Uprising", "Confessional" & "Into the Dark: Pure". She has also been in TV Shows like "Heathers", "NCIS Los Angeles", "Cobra Kai", "Weird City", "Queen Sugar" and "One Of Us Is Lying". This site is online to show our support to the actress Annalisa Cochrane, as well as giving her fans a chance to get the latest news and images.
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  • Maintained by: Veronique
  • Since: 13 September 2021
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Current Projects
One Of Us Is Lying (2021)

Annalisa as Addy Prentiss

A brain, an athlete, a princess, a criminal, and a "basket case" walk into detention - but only the first four make it out alive.