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– by Nancy Tapia

Light of My Life takes place in a dark and disturbed world. In such a world, Casey Affleck’s character travels a post-apocalyptic landscape following a pandemic — a pandemic that wiped out half of the population. At his side is his child named Rag. but Rag is different. She’s a girl, and for some reason or another, she’s the only one she knows.

As such, she is forced to pretend to be a boy in order to survive.

LRM Online had a chance to speak with Rag herself, Anna Pniowski, a relatively new actor who got to act alongside Affleck, the star, writer, and director.

The film hits theaters, digital, and On Demand today!

LRM Online: I really enjoyed Rag. I mean I think you pretty much… Rag pretty much took the lead in this film with that admirable maturity at such a young age and situation placed in.

Pniowsky: Thank you.

LRM Online: Tell us about Rag.

Pniowsky: Rag, I’d say that she’s mature for her age, for sure. And I mean one aspect about her, I don’t know if you realize that she really does love books, and for me, when I kind of got that part of my character, I’d say that maybe that is because I believe she would want some sort of escape for her normal life, if that makes any sense. The tough life she’s living in, it’s hard to… It’s all really hard to find out who you are. And I think it’s especially hard when you can’t and you have to pretend to be a boy in order to even survive. So I can’t even imagine how difficult that would be.

LRM Online: Yeah. I mean, in this situation, do you think if you had been the dad, the parent, do you think you would have taken the same course to protect your child and going away, getting lost in the forest? Or do you think you would have led the course of maybe a cooperating with authorities in this case of what needed to be done?

Pniowsky: I’d say so. I think I, myself, I’m a trusting person, I think. But I think in this situation I would feel the need to not trust anyone. I think I would have to go out into the forest not be in civilization because you can’t really trust anyone and people talk on rotten and they’re bad now. So I think if, especially if I had a child, I would’ve taken the same route because I can imagine you love your child very much as an a mother or father. So I think I would do, the best that I can to protect Rag or my child or whatever.

LRM Online: Mm hmm (affirmative). And what was it like working with Casey Afleck, not just as the actor that played your dad, but also being a writer? I mean as being the writer of the film and as a director.

Pniowsky: It was amazing working with him. I don’t know how to put into words how grateful I am to be able to work with such an amazing talented actor and he’s not here right now so I can talk about him and like he’s not here, becuase he would stop me because, very modest. I really, I really look up to him because he is a good person and a great actor and obviously a great director and writer and I think the fact that he was a director, too, and the writer made it easier for me to ask with him because I think he already had a vision of what he wanted. So if this makes any sense it was, it was easier for me cause he already knew what he wanted.

LRM Online: Gotcha. Okay. So as for the film, I mean, there were several scenes, you were outdoors you had snow, you had just plain forest, dark home. What were some of the challenging scenes that you had?

Pniowsky: Some of the challenging scenes? I mean on my first day there was a huge blizzard and we were up in the mountains in BC, a little tiny town. So we were just up in the mountains basically no civilization. And there was a million feet of snow. It was insane. And we had to like trudge and walk through it with backpacks on and that was a bit difficult. But I guess that made it realistic, difficult in real life too. Sometimes it’d be difficult to put myself in a situation where I have thoughts going on in my head as I’m acting. I don’t know if this makes sense to you, I don’t know how to describe it, but where I try to put thoughts as the character in my head, even if I’m not saying them out loud while saying my lines to make it more believable and to kind of put myself as the character.

LRM Online: And you did great. You were talking about a blizzard. So where was this filmed? Where was this filmed?

Pniowsky: Yeah, in Vancouver and there’s some little tiny town, I forget. It was in BC in Canada. British Columbia.

LRM Online: Oh yes, yes. There’s so much snow out there. I’ve seen it myself. I imagine you did have to cut your hair really, really short for this film. How was that experience of having to cut it so short? I mean, having to play a boy.

Pniowsky: Yeah, that was really hard for me because I had really long hair. It was down to my waist. That was hard for me because it was also my first year of middle school and as it also was not so easy, especially when you have a terrible haircut and you come in halfway through the year. So that was difficult but so worth it. I can’t respond how worth it. I would do it a million times again if I had to and I’m just so grateful.

LRM Online: Do you think that also helped you get into character? Just like, you know, I’ve obviously you’re prepping and you have your short hair, like that really placed you in?

Pniowsky: Yeah, I’d say for sure. It makes you really feel like the character and some people ask me, Oh, why don’t you just like get a ball cap and put some, put a wig on top. But then I don’t think it would feel the same that I wouldn’t have the freedom to mess my hair around and things like that. So yeah, it did really help me become Rag.

LRM Online: Okay, thank you. Well what that said, that says that you are, you’re very professional. A final question to finalize. Is there anything you can share about any upcoming projects? I understand you have Judy Small.

Pniowsky: Yeah, there’s a Judy Small. I’m not sure when that is going to come out. I’m doing the second season of Pen15. Hot Zone just came out. Pen15 I’m talking on our TV show, I’m sorry. I’m acting like you know what we tape. But yeah, I’m kind of just going with the flow and seeing what life throws that me.

LRM Online: Well, great. Congratulations on everything. I wish you a lot of success for all your upcoming projects and not to mention for Light Of My Life.

Pniowsky: Thank you.

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