Kristina Anapau was born in Hawaii where she grew up studying classical ballet, music, and theater. She graduated high school early at age 15 and attended the University of Hawaii.
Kristina trained and performed theatrically under the tutelage of The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and on the ballet front with American Ballet Theater and The Joffrey Ballet in New York City.
As she has risen in the acting world, she has evolved into a tremendous actress, writer, and producer. Her résumé includes:
Disney’s Moana (2017)
Black Swan (2010)
True Blood (2011- 12)
Anger Management (2013)
Think Film’s independent feature, Self-Medicated (2005)
Dimension Films thriller, Cursed (2005)
Sony Pictures/New Market Films release, Cruel Intentions 3 (2004).
Lionsgate comedy, 100 Girls (2000)
The Glades (2010)
CSI: NY (2004)
Without a Trace (2002)
Once and Again (1999)
General Hospital (2002)
Knight Rider (2008).
The Lyfe Magazine got a chance to interview this amazing actress.
The Lyfe: What was your first dream?
Kristina: Well, I never wanted to be an actor growing up. I had studied classical ballet since I was very young and was determined to join The Joffrey Ballet in New York. I was also very focused on academia – I graduated from high school early at the age of 15 and began my studies at The University of Hawaii that same year. I was taking a double course load and wanted to have my PhD by age 21.
The Lyfe: What happened? What changed your mind about a professional dancing career?
Kristina: I booked my first film role very unexpectedly at age 16 through a modeling agent I had had when I was younger. They were looking for extras for a movie that was filming in Hawaii and asked if I could go in to audition. I ended up getting the lead role.
The Lyfe: What was the movie?
Kristina: It was Universal Television’s Escape from Atlantis. I had such a wonderful time working on that film, was encouraged to move to LA to continue pursuing acting, booked more jobs as soon as I arrived, and the rest is history.
The Lyfe: I understand you had a recording contract. Tell us about that experience.
Kristina: I was 20 when Hollywood Records signed me. It was a three girl group and we spent most of that year recording an album and opening for Destiny’s Child on the MTV TRL Tour. It was a great experience that I will never forget, but after a while I really missed acting. I left the group to join the cast of General Hospital in 2002.
The Lyfe: What was your favorite movie/TV show that you performed in?
Kristina: Definitely True Blood. The cast and crew were so amazing, and it really felt like a family. It was such a pleasure going to work everyday. Getting to work with Alan Ball before he stepped down as showrunner was incredible. He is absolutely magical and brilliant.
The Lyfe: Who’s your biggest inspiration in acting?
Kristina: I’ve always loved Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly – watched so many of their films growing up. Loved the elegance and class they represented off screen as well as on.
The Lyfe: Where do you think the movie industry is headed?
Kristina: It is easier than ever to create great content on your own now, so I think we will see more and more incredible independent content. There are a lot of people who are very upset with where this country is at the moment. Politically. Economically. That sort of unrest seems to make for even better creation at times. This is just the sort of time when artists need to go to work.
The Lyfe: What actor would you like to be in a film with?
Kristina: I’d love to work with James Franco – he’s an incredible actor and I like that he has such a diverse array of projects and interests off screen as well.
The Lyfe: Do you have anything coming out soon?
Kristina: My latest film, Kuleana, which I also executive produced, will be in theaters on March 30th. It was filmed entirely in Hawaii. Moronai Kanekoa and Sonya Balmores are also in the film, along with a lot of incredible actors. There are some very strong performances in the piece and I’m really looking forward to everyone seeing them.
The Lyfe: What does Kuleana mean?
Kristina: Kuleana is Hawaiian for spiritual responsibility.
The Lyfe: What’s the movie about?
Kristina: It’s a story that focuses on a disabled Vietnam vet who has to rediscover the Hawaiian warrior within in order to protect his family, defend their land, and clear his father’s name.
The Lyfe: What do you want people to get out of this movie?
Kristina: I’d like people to walk away with an understanding of what Kuleana really is. As the protagonist, and many of the characters in the story discover on their respective journeys, Kuleana is a privilege, not a burden. Like the responsibility of raising a child, or nurturing any relationship. It’s a concept and a feeling that everyone can relate to and incorporate into their own lives in some way, and I think the message of the film just might inspire them to do a bit of that.
The Lyfe: What else are you working on?
Kristina: So many things – a lot of projects in development. Actually, one that was conceived during the filming of Kuleana! Sonya Balmores (Marvel’s Inhumans) and I were sharing a house on location and came up with a great project. I can’t give away any of the details yet, but it is a film, and is going to be a very inspiring piece.
The Lyfe: I also understand that you co-created a show that airs nationwide on DIRECTV. Tell us about that.
Kristina: Yes, I co-created and produce a show with award-winning host, John Kerwin called The John Kerwin Kid’s Show. It’s basically The Tonight Show for kids – we have all the stars from Disney, Nickelodeon, and more. Kids in the audience. It’s a lot of fun. We are currently airing nationwide, and about to expand to an even bigger platform than the one we are on. Follow us on Instagram at @johnkerwinkidsshow for all the latest updates!
The Lyfe: What do you do in your free time?
Kristina: I do a lot of reading, love to ski, travel, am trying to force myself to sit down and write more. I’ve done a lot of editorial writing, but would love to embark on a book. I love real estate. Starting to learn about stocks. So many things.
The Lyfe: What’s your favorite TV show?
Kristina: The Crown and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Lyfe: What’s the last movie that you’ve seen?
The Lyfe: What are some of your pet peeves?
Kristina: I’m pretty neat – I wouldn’t say I’m OCD, but people being messy or lazy are probably the traits that bother me the most.
The Lyfe: You said earlier that Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly are your inspirations. What legacy do you want to leave behind? What do you want the next generation of actors to say about you?
Kristina: Well, I don’t think I’ve begun to embark on whatever it is that will be my legacy yet. It won’t have anything to do with acting. I’ll keep you posted!
The Lyfe: What advice would give to up and coming actors/actresses?
Kristina: So much of this business is about luck – being in the right place at the right time – but you have be really prepared when that luck finds you. Artistically, mentally, physically. So do your work, hone your craft, but you have to be tenacious when it comes to courting luck.
Photography (Red/Orange dress) by Adi Ell-Ad of ADIWOOD Studios