Anna Camp talks equal pay, stereotypes and the benefits of being 30 (VIDEO)
Anna Camp is a talented and beautiful actress who we've come to know and love in roles such as the vindictive, yet somehow still bubbly, vixen, Sarah Newlin, in HBO's True Blood and the uppity Aubrey in Pitch Perfect.
Camp may have the controlling, beautiful bad guy casting on lock, but when SheKnows sat down with the actress to chat about her upcoming movie, Pitch Perfect 2, we found out that in real life she's a down-to-earth woman with some awesome thoughts and opinions about the gender gap and how to change the game in her own industry.
On having your voice be heard
"Equal pay in the workplace is something people are struggling with," said Camp, adding, "Even being in the industry as an actress, there are so many wonderful roles out there for men and so few for women."
Like fellow actresses Patricia Arquette and Meryl Streep, Camp isn't afraid to speak about the current state of inequality in Hollywood. "I feel like as a woman, you want your voice to be heard and if no one speaks up about something that bothers them, then no changes will happen," Camp said. "So I do feel like if I have something to say, then I'm going to say it."
On Hollywood and stereotypes
What Camp does have to say is that she's ready for film to do away with stereotypes by creating strong female characters who both men and women can relate to. "The writers need to start writing more female, complex, driven stories," she said. "If a guy has been seeing the same type of role over and over — like it's the woman playing a sex object in every movie — of course he's not going to be able to relate. But if the woman is incredibly well written and complex and interesting, I think that anyone would be able to relate to her."
Furthermore, Camp's ready to break through her own casting stereotype and try brave new roles for herself. "I'm not all blond hair and a big smile... I'm dying to do something totally different and have people look at me in a different way and get a darker role," she shared.
Camp also made it clear that making it big in Hollywood doesn't necessarily mean life is complete. "I think people think once you're famous or super successful in Hollywood, that equals happiness and that's definitely not true," she said. "Just because you can buy whatever or go out to eat or do anything or see your face on a big poster, it doesn't mean that someone is necessarily happy."
On finding herself in her 30s
For Camp, being kind and relating to others is huge, even in her work. "I always want to tell stories that people can relate to and walk out of the theater and feel less alone," she said — but the importance of lifting other people up stems all the way back to a heartbreaking incident in high school.
"There was a boy. He wasn't really liked, he wasn't really popular and he was throwing a birthday party. He invited all these people and of course they were joking and no one was going to go," she recalled. "I went over to his house. His parents had the whole house decorated and no one else was there and he opened the door and he started crying. He said, 'Come on in,' and we had birthday cake together and I sang to him and I'll never forget that. I'm so glad that I went."
Her brush with high school bullying helped shape her into who she is now and, according to Camp, officially reaching adulthood is a great place to be. "I'm really happy to be in my 30s. I think I was all over the place, a mess, in my 20s," she said. "I was living my life a lot for other people and other people's expectations of me and when I turned 30 I thought, 'Wow, you know, you only get this one day...' I have to start living my life for me or else I'm going to wake up one day and it's going to be over and I'm going to be full of regret. So I didn't have that foresight when I was in my 20s, but I definitely feel like I'm getting there now. It's a process."