Anthony A. Anderson interview: ‘Anacostia’
“It’s freeing,” reveals actor Anthony A. Anderson about being an independent content creator with “Anacostia.” For our recent webchat he explains, “I can tell the stories that I want to tell. Growing up the representation of people who look like me weren’t really on TV. Now I have an opportunity to present that to the world. It’s limiting in the budget. Everything always comes down to the budget. We would like to do this, but we don’t have the budget, so we have to do that instead.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.
Anderson created “Anacostia,” which first premiered back in 2009 with 60 episodes over six seasons. Anderson has written and directed every episode of the web-series which streams on YouTube. He admits, “I make a joke with the cast that I can’t even watch the first season. It was kind of primitive. I really didn’t know what I was doing. We shot it on mini DV if anyone remembers what that is. But, I feel like what has always grounded us has been our great storylines. The most important thing is telling a honest story. When you do that, it doesn’t matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter who you are. Doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, gay or straight.”
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The soap opera explores the lives and drama of the residents in the DC neighborhood of the show’s name. Anderson also stars in the series as Sean, which has him nominated at the Emmys Short Form Actor. In 2017, Anderson received a nomination at the Daytime Emmys for Actor in a Digital Daytime Drama Series, where “Anacostia” previously competed. It gives this performance the distinction of being recognized by the Daytime and Primetime Emmys.
In the sixth season of the show, Sean has to copes with a best friends confessing her affair with his late partner. This is the episode Anderson has submitted for Emmy consideration. He explains, “There’s a history with these characters. We’ve been playing them for 13 years, and we’re really good friends in real life. We put ourselves in those roles. What would this feel like? That was probably the one I look at, and I smile. Fortunately I got the nomination.” He later reflects, “It would be great to win. It would send a great message to the independent artists.”