Hot 20 2009: Anastasia Griffith, Actress in NBC'S 'Trauma'
Judging from Anastasia Griffith’s riveting performance as a drug-using minx-cum-restaurateur on FX’s Emmy-winning drama Damages, it’s only a matter of time before the Paris-born actress starts raking in the award nominations. For now, earning distinction as one of this year’s Hot 20 evokes an acceptance speech from the modest Londoner. “I’m definitely under 40, so I qualify,” says Griffith, who stars as a paramedic in Trauma, NBC’s new high-octane medical drama set in SF. “I’m fairly of-the-moment, working on a show that’s being filmed in San Francisco. I’ve never received accolades before, so this is very flattering.”
While Griffith’s training at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art is certainly nothing to sneeze at, working alongside some of Hollywood’s major players—Michael Douglas, Jude Law and Glenn Close, among them—has also proved invaluable. “Glenn, especially, is phenomenal to watch. She allows stillness. There’s something that goes on behind her eyes that conveys a psychological depth,” says Griffith, who co-starred with Close on Damages. “I still can’t figure out how the hell she does it.”
Which is not to say that the juice-fasting, occasional cigarette-smoking, ice cream-obsessed starlet can’t hold her own on set. “I’m quite good at playing intensity and accessing some uncomfortable emotions,” says Griffith, who mines A&E’s hit show, Intervention, for its rich character studies. “I hope it’s a skill that comes from a compassionate place. I’m fascinated by how people’s behavior reflects their inner lives.”