Sundance Film Festival: Catching up with Malin Akerman and Kate Mara

amNewYork caught up with Malin Akerman and Kate Mara, two of the stars of the ensemble cast of "happythankyoumoreplease." 

Is this your first time at Sundance? How does it feel?
MA: I’ve been dying to come to Sundance since I started acting in LA. I’ve heard so much about it. It feels a little more relaxed. You can’t show up to the red carpet in a nice gown. I mean, it’s snowing outside.

KM: It’s not my first trip. I was here two years ago with a film I did called “Transsiberian.” All I ever do when I’m not working is see movies. I’m the biggest movie nerd.

What else do you like to do when you’re not working?
KM: I also love to shop, and I love to watch football (Kate's grandfather was Giants founder Timothy Mara). 

MA: I don’t do sports. I’m a foodie. That’s what I do. My husband is Italian, so that’s a big hobby of mine … cooking and finding new restaurants. I used to draw a lot. I do a lot of sketches of people, which I have to get back into. 

Do you watch any Food Network shows?
MA: No, I really don’t. My husband has taught me a lot. He’s a fantastic cook. He’s Italian and a drummer, so there’s also a lot of music in our life. And that’s probably a big hobby, too. We go and see a lot of independent bands in LA.

Back to the film. Malin, you play Annie, who has alopecia. What did it feel like to be shown on camera without hair?
MA: Shaving off the eyebrows and wearing a bald cap was kind of freeing. It was the first time I looked in the mirror and saw somebody else. I felt like Annie became more of an interesting person because of her alopecia.  It was more about finding that character than even the lack of hair. 

Kate, you blew us away with your singing voice in the movie. Are you a trained singer? KM: When I was 9, I decided I wanted to be in musicals. My mom loves old films and musicals like “Oklahoma!” and every Judy Garland film you could watch, so that’s what I grew up watching. That was my dream. And, eventually, when I started doing films, there was never really an opportunity for me to sing. So I haven’t sung in such a long time that it felt like I was 14 again. It’s such a different thing to sing in a film than it is to act. For me, I had to be much more vulnerable. 

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