From Hilo To Hollywood — And Lovin’ It

Local girl Kristina Anapau has made a name for herself starring in Hollywood movies and portraying Maurella on the HBO hit series ‘True Blood’

Actress Kristina Anapau spent her 33rd birthday (Oct. 30) working, including this interview with MidWeek. With lead roles in two films (BlackJacks and Sighting) due out early next year, and filming for True Blood season 6 to begin in January, she’s busy, and she loves it.


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Kristina Anapau is living her dream in Hollywood, but still calls Hawaii home. Photo by Angela Marklew, hair and makeup by Teal Druda

“I’m obsessed with working,” says the Hilo-born star as she drives through Los Angeles in her Audi A3 Turbo Diesel, which she proudly notes was the 2010 green car of the year. “I feel really good when I’m being productive.”

While Hollywood knows her as Kristina Anapau, her last name is really Roper.

“Growing up I didn’t like my last name, so when I started acting at 16, I started using my middle name,” she explains. “Now I like my real last name, but once you kind of establish yourself with one name in this industry, it’s hard to switch it up.”

Shortly after she was born, parents Richard and Gloria brought their little girl to Oahu for about five years before moving back to Hilo, where they still reside in Pepeekeo.

Anapau spent most of her childhood dancing ballet, and at 15 she graduated high school and started taking classes at University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Then, a year later, she got booked for her first acting job, the movie Escape from Atlantis filmed on Oahu, and from that point on knew she wanted to be an actress.

“I fell in love with acting and moved to L.A. right after the movie,” she recalls. “I absolutely still call Hawaii home. But I do feel like L.A. is my home, too. My whole adult life has been in L.A. for the most part.”

Anapau has made appearances in countless TV shows, with her most-recent being a recurring role as a fairy named Maurella on HBO’s hit series True Blood.

Next on her growing list of movie roles is the horror film Sighting, which is written and directed by Tedi Sarafian (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines). In the film, she plays Theresa, a director/producer who travels to a haunted winery with a team of ghost hunters.

“It will definitely keep audiences at the edge of their seats,” says Anapau. “It’s more than paranormal activity; there are all sorts of developments in there that are pretty unexpected to the audience.

“We filmed at this winery (in Sonoma) that was really haunted. There were some real things that happened, but it wasn’t scary. It was really interesting and I felt so privileged to be able to be a part of it.”

She also recently made an appearance on the TV series Grimm, and in 2010 played little swan Galina in the blockbuster Black Swan.

“I definitely didn’t decide that I was going to do all these thrillers and sort of supernatural thrillers. It sort of happened by chance,” says Anapau. “But I do like supernatural things, and I think that genre is very interesting, and obviously the rest of the world really likes it as well. It never gets boring, that’s for sure.”

Listed in Stuff Magazine as one of the Sexiest Women in the World in 2003 and Hollywood’s Most Wanted-50 Hottest Women To Watch, Anapau says in real life, she’s pretty conservative.

“I don’t feel like I walk around being very sexy,” she says. “I’m sort of East Coast conservative. I dress very properly.”

Anapau describes herself as a healthy eater, and names her favorite places to eat in Hawaii as Ocean Sushi in Downtown Hilo and Roy’s.

When she’s not working, she enjoys dancing, whether it’s going to a ballet class or a dance class at the gym. Her latest hobby is writing, and she has had some articles published in StatusLA Magazine.

She says her pet peeve is lateness, noting that in L.A. people are late a lot because of the traffic. She also likes things neat, clean and organized; is addicted to news; and is obsessed with the TV show Downton Abbey.

Despite her busy schedule, she also tries to come back to Hawaii three or four times a year. “Maybe when I’m older (I’ll move back),” says Anapau, who is single. “Right now, I just feel like there is so much I want to do, and L.A. and New York are definitely the places where a lot of that is available to me.”