On Both Sides of the Camera with Analeigh Tipton
Analeigh Tipton has always considered herself a shy person, but with a newly blossoming career as an actress, the 25-year-old brings a quirky yet relatable humbleness to the screen. She may already be well known for playing Steve Carrell’s lovesick babysitter in Crazy, Stupid, Love, but Tipton’s acting career is a surprisingly recent development.
During her childhood, she moved from Minnesota to California to pursue competitive figure skating. Wideeyed, slender, and bubbly, the very traits that contributed to her success as a skater, led her naturally into the world of modeling. At age 20, she landed a spot on America’s Next Top Model, finishing the season as third runner-up. From there, Tipton transitioned into acting, appearing in movies and televisions series, including HBO’s Hung, Damsels in Distress, and the zombie film Warm Bodies. Now, the young actress aspires to write and direct films. Tipton prefers the anonymity afforded by a life behind the lens, but that doesn’t mean her acting career is slowing down in the slightest. With a new role on the ABC series Manhattan Love Story, this Hollywood starlet may well be on her way to the top and no one, not even Tyra Banks, can stop her.
When I moved to L.A., I came to write and direct, and I needed a job. That’s when America’s Next Top Model came up as an opportunity, and I was like, Great, that’s something really easy to do in L.A., and I can still pursue everything that I want to pursue. But when it didn’t work out, I got an agent, but never booked a commercial job ever. I make far too many faces that are un-relatable. They did set me up with This Beautiful Life, a pilot about models, and I booked The Green Hornet for the role of “hot chick.”
It all started when I was in school plays, but then it was more of a hobby. I’ve always been fascinated by people in stories and those who create them. If you can be in an environment that is surrounded by creative individuals, all making realities from their imagination, that is so beautiful to me. So I think that’s probably what attracted me most to the industry in general.
What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
I’d say one of the proudest moments I actually just had recently because, up to this point in my career, everything has been more of an observation. At the Venice Film Festival, when we closed the festival for Damsels in Distress, we were in this beautiful theater and they gave us a standing ovation. Looking down at the audience, it was surreal.
You’ve been a figure skater, a model, and an actor. What talent do you wish you could add to the list?
Recently I’ve gotten into photography, which is something that I’ve always been interested in. My favorite part of film school was cinematography. When the show [Manhattan Love Story] got picked up, I got a new camera. I carry it everywhere, and I try to capture everything. If I’m good or not I don’t know, but it’s such an incredible tool because it allows me to be engaged without having to be the center of everything. I get to capture the beautiful stuff and chaotic stuff that’s going on around me, and it lets me hide a little bit, which is more of my nature than having it in front of my face.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
A polar bear. I think I’ve just always loved polar bears, and I want to see one in person one day. I don’t like to see them at the zoo, it makes me sad. I just think that they’re absolutely gorgeous creatures, and my nickname is “Oso,” which means bear in Spanish. I’ve always just kind of figured I’d come back as one.
How do you spend your days off? Any guilty pleasures?
If they’re around, going to the mountains. In L.A., you’ve got the beach, but I’m drawn to the Los Angeles National Forest. Not many people go up there. It’s actually gorgeous. I don’t know what I’m going to do in Manhattan—it’ll probably be Central Park. If I can be in nature, with trees and dirt, that’s my guilty pleasure. I can sit in a forest for days.
What are you obsessed with right now?
I’m obsessed with my camera right now. I walk a lot. If I’m not in the mountains, and I have a chance to walk around with my camera, I’m kind of obsessed with stalking strangers. That’s going to look awful in print, but in context it’s mostly to capture pretty, cool, unique movements.
What is your dream role as an actress?
It’s so difficult because every script that I read that has an interesting character is something that I want to move toward. Anything with space or science documenting a woman in history who did something extraordinary. I’ve always wanted to do a kind of Into The Wild, I think that would be amazing. Just having that experience is something I personally, selfishly, would like to do. I hope to play someone that’s made an impact in the real world, so that I can have the experience of doing the research and becoming completely involved in another world instead of creating something new.
Fast forward to retirement. Where do you see yourself?
I try to not ask myself this too many times a day because I think that it’s a pretty common question that actors ask themselves, like, “Where is my career going to go in ten years?” We don’t have a whole lot of control over that. I would like to be somewhere traveling, probably living abroad; to be in a position where I can enjoy another culture without having to stress about doing so. Career-wise, some of the actors that I respect the most are not famous. The people who watch them might not even know who they are, but they do work because they’re good and hardworking. If I can have it like that, that to me is doing a lot.
What is your WILD Wish?
I wish that I could have a year without being concerned about ignoring a career, where I get to travel the world. This year got a little hectic, and I had this Southeast Asia trip planned. I had to cancel it, so I think my wish would be to be able to have no pressure and go backpack, especially that part of the world for a year. Sleep in hostels and couch surf and have a backpack and a very smelly pair of jeans. That would be incredible.
Stylist: Sophia DeArborne
Stylist Assistant: Dominique Miller
Makeup: Ashleigh Laue