stills and clips
At age 7, Anzu's love for acting was first ignited opposite Mako (Academy Award-nominated actor) in her first screen test playing his granddaughter, in an indie film. As a child, Anzu was so riveted by Al Pacino's performance after watching SCARFACE that she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life and has never looked back. On March 6th 2020, Anzu found herself on stage opposite her muse, Al Pacino, playing his Vietnamese hooker "Yen" in a revival staged reading of "The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel" benefiting Al's charity for War Veterans. This was the Broadway role that landed Al Pacino his Tony Award in 1977 on Broadway. https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Photo-Flash-Al-Pacino-Headlines-Staged-Reading-Of-THE-BASIC-TRAINING-OF-PAVLO-HUMMEL-20200311?utm_source=newsletterregional&utm_medium=email
She got her first break in America when she was cast in HBO's "American Yakuza", starring opposite Viggo Mortensen as his love interest by casting director Don Phillips. Don Phillips is known for giving such talents as Forest Whitaker, Sean Penn, Viggo Mortensen & Matthew McConaughey their first film roles. That film's director, Frank Cappello, commissioned her to write a song for his next movie "No Way Back" starring Russell Crowe and then cast her again, playing Christian Slater's neighbor in the indie Showtime movie, "He Was A Quiet Man" years later. They collaborated again in 2020 on Frank's new movie called "The Womb," currently in post production.
Anzu revels in playing many ethnically diverse roles from Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Latin, Native American & Chinese. She also loves the challenges that come with channeling different archetypes and creating characters that other people wouldn't normally cast her in.
Below is a still from "THE WOMB" where Anzu convinced the director Frank to trust her in creating a character against stereotype, a blue-eyed Estuary accented dystopian bomb maker.
Anzu is inspired by fearless chameleon-like character actors ala; Melissa Leo, Jonathan Tucker, Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto, Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Linney, Glenn Close, Riz Ahmed & Charlize Theron.
The Womb - Sophia (post production status)
No one says it better than Nicole Force of - The Examiner when she wrote:
"Anzu Lawson is a consummate and multi-talented performer who represents the new triple threat in Hollywood-singer, actress and stand-up comedian. Anzu Lawson is an entertainment force who consistently delivers, regardless of the genre.”
click on videos to see selected scenes
Frustrated with the lack of diverse leading female roles in Hollywood at the time, The seed for writing her own material had been planted, and Anzu received her certificate in screenwriting at UCLA in '09, where she optioned her first script, "The Seed Between the Stones" a coming-of-age story inspired by her conversations & time spent with Mick Jagger.
Her biggest creative endeavor has been her passion project currently called "OH YOKO!" This began in 2011 as a "picture exercise" in acting class to then collaborating with Cal State University Los Angeles's Theatre Department in April 2018 to launch the second live workshop of an all-original rock movie musical she penned called "Dear John, Why Yoko?" formerly known as "Rock and Roll's Greatest Lovers" in 2014.
This is a screenplay and musical she penned that was inspired by John Lennon's controversial and inspiring love for Yoko Ono, told for the first time through Yoko Ono's perspective. Anzu Lawson received her first Best Actress nomination in her portrayal as "Yoko Ono" in the 2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Anzu's One Woman Show called DEAR YOKO has been selling out every Los Angeles performance and has been an official selection at the 2019 BFF FESTIVAL and SOLOFEST 2020 Festival.
Anzu's production company HappyHapaFilms.com is focused on edgy screenplays that focus on challenging the stereotypes and bringing to light the untold stories of Asian American & diverse women throughout history.
DEAR YOKO is a highly charged, hilarious yet deeply revealing one-woman show
that interweaves the lives of actress/playwright Anzu Lawson
and her late tiger mother, Keiko
with the wisdom and legendary life of Yoko Ono…
as they navigate xenophobia, self-worth, and identity through multiple eras.
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