Stepping into a role someone else originated is no easy feat. It happens often, with transitions from animation to live action, and even in the midst of a show’s run. Most recently it was announced that Liam Hemsworth would be taking over Henry Cavill’s role in Netflix’s The Witcher for the show’s fourth season and social media reacted. Passionately.
For Annaka Fourneret, she says she wasn’t as worried about filling the shoes of the actors that came before her when she was cast as Lynn Loud for The Really Loud House. “I was really just more focused on making sure that I did the best I could in making Lynn my own character,” she says. While she holds a respect for the work of those before her, she says, “I made a choice to make her different than how other people have played her in the past.”
It makes sense that a new iteration of The Loud House brings about slightly new interpretations of the characters.
Annaka shares that she was familiar with The Loud House before being cast as she’d seen some episodes on TV, though not the entire series at the time. “Now, however, I pretty much have [watched every episode] and it’s such a great show. It makes sense that the franchise has expanded so much because it’s so well done,” she says.
Having already spawned an animated film, a holiday special, numerous graphic novels, and podcasts, a live-action series based on the popular animated show is an obvious next step.
“The live-action movie and the series, The Really Loud House, are more inspired by the cartoon, and they’re not meant to be a direct copy of the original Loud House,” Annaka says.
The young actress laughs as she admits she was nervous when first joining the cast, but that faded quickly. “Everyone was super welcoming and made sure that I didn’t feel like an outsider at all. They’re just really amazing people and that really brought us all closer as a family.”
Similar to her character, Annaka shares that she is very loyal too. “Lynn treats everyone like they’re a part of her team, and especially with her family, she’s always there for them. I take my friends very seriously and I’m also game for anything. I will do anything.”
She gives a short laugh as she admits that she’s a lot girlier in real life than Lynn is, and while they’re both athletes, Annaka is used to participating in solo sports. “I actually didn’t grow up playing any team sports,” she says. “I consider myself an athlete because I grew up surfing, skiing, and competitive dancing, but I tried soccer when I was like five and I didn’t like how much running it was.” She laughs as she confesses, “So I stopped very quickly.”
Given both her and Lynn’s competitive natures, one challenge she would like to see her character face in the future is defeat. “I’d really like for Lynn to lose a game and to have to learn to be okay with not winning all of the time. There’s more to life than being number one, and I think that’s something that Lynn hasn’t encountered yet,” she says.
“I don’t think she would [cope] very well,” Annaka admits, laughing. “I think, probably, it’d be a very new experience for her because, at the end of the day, she always wants to help her family, and it’s more about the team winning. I think that that would be really hard but I think that it would also help her in the end, and I think that it’s something that she needs to experience in order to help her grow and become a better person.”
In season one of The Really Loud House, there is no overarching storyline, according to Annaka. “It’s more like each episode is a complete story in and of itself. You can watch the episodes out of order and it would still make sense and it would still be really funny,” she says. “So, so far Lynn doesn’t really have an overarching [storyline] but she’s just growing as a young teenage girl and navigating struggles of teenage life and communicating with her family.”
Teenage life does include crushes, right? “You’ll just have to watch and find out,” Annaka teases.
The actress, however, knows exactly how Lynn would react if she got a crush.
“I think [Lynn’s] thing, which, actually, I think I kind of do in real life as well, is playful challenges,” she says. “I don’t think that she would be the type of girl to get super giddy and super friendly. I think that she’d probably actually be a little bit mean to her crush and challenge them to different things, whether that’s in sports or other aspects of life. I think that she’d be kind of playfully antagonistic towards them.”
It perfectly exemplifies what Lynn’s love language, whether with family, friends or a crush, is. “She’s very enthusiastic, but underneath it all, she’s always very loving. She just shows her excitement and her love for people in a more physical way.” Annaka says, “Some people express it through words and some people express it through acts of service. I think that Lynn just uses her physicality as a way of showing how she’s feeling.”
I think that it’s something that she needs to experience in order to help her grow and become a better person.
Annaka has been able to tap into her own athletic background in her role as Lynn considering how physical her character gets.
“Lynn has a lot of stunts, which has been really fun because I’ve never done stunts before and I really love it. Some of them are very intricately planned.” She gives an example, saying, “I’ll come down from the stairs and then tackle someone. Being a dancer means that I have control over my body and I have really great muscle memory, so I can repeat a stunt over and over and do it in the exact same way so that it reads the same on camera. But also this season I’ve had to take a lot of different lessons for a lot of different sports. I’m actually surprisingly pretty good at all of them, and I think my dance background plays a big part of that.”
At the time of the interview, Annaka shared that she had been taking golf lessons for the past week, something she really enjoyed. “It’s a lot harder than I thought it was. I always knew that it was hard, but it’s really difficult.” She continues, “You have to be really good at the strategy of the game, but also just hitting the ball makes my arms so sore the next day.” She laughs as she adds her hips to the list too. “It was so painful, but I really like it.”
Outside of acting, Annaka also has a passion for fashion.
“My style, I’d say, changes from day to day, depending on my mood. But I always feel like it has a little bit of an edge,” she says. “I try and go for a sophisticated, sweet look with a bit of an edgy feel to it.”
Part of her love for fashion comes from the fact it is a way to express who one is and how one feels, according to the actress. “Fashion is like acting,” she begins. “You can put on a character for a day and play it, but it should never define you or limit you.”
Getting into character as Lynn Loud includes finding the right clothing. “Whenever I’m in my Annaka clothing, I can play Lynn but it becomes so much easier once I have an outfit that feels like Lynn.”
She explains that she approaches acting and fashion in similar manners. “I think it’s just all about exploring different sides of your personality and having fun with it. They definitely work [hand] in hand. Like costume design brings you into the world of a movie or TV show and it can solidify character development – you can actually see how a character evolves throughout a story based on how their wardrobe evolves.”
Fashion, like acting, has several misconceptions attributed to it, further influenced by entertainment and social media. However, there’s more to the fabric than just the tag attached.
“I think that a lot of people would be surprised to learn that you can have style without having to spend a lot of money on an outfit. You can have just as good of an outfit as if you shop at some designer store than if you get [it] at a thrift store.”
Acting has been a part of Annaka’s life as long as fashion has. When discussing her start in the entertainment industry, the actress finds it hard to remember the first time she became interested in acting. “I started really young,” she explains. “I was definitely always a performer. I was that kid, that at family functions, I’d stop everything in the middle of dinner to give a singing or dancing performance to some [made-up] song,” she says with a laugh.
Her continued interest in the art form, and what really heightens her love for it, comes from being on set every day. “I’ve become so close with everyone on set, from the PAs to the ADs and to our director and writers and executive producers – and everyone is just so lovely. I have so much fun on set every day. Our DP is amazing as well.” She continues, “Being on set, you really feel like you have another family and I think it’s a really special experience that I would never want to lose.”
In celebration of the Halloween season, TEENPLICITY asked Annaka Fourneret a few themed questions!
TEENPLICITY: What is your favorite Halloween candy?
Annaka: Snickers! But you have to take them home and freeze them.
TEENPLICITY: Favorite Halloween costume?
Annaka: I’ve done Batgirl when I was two. I think I’ve actually done the Cheshire Cat like three times at this point. [laughs]
TEENPLICITY: Favorite Halloween movie?
Annaka: I’d say Nightmare Before Christmas because that was always my favorite one growing up. Or Scream – but it has to be the OG Scream.
TEENPLICITY: Favorite fall/Halloween activity?
Annaka: Oh, probably like going to a pumpkin patch and then coming home and eating the salted maple ice cream from Trader Joe’s. It’s so good. And then watching scary movies.
[On the ice cream] Oh my gosh – it’s new. It’s actually amazing. It’s going to sound so funny, but I’ve literally told every single person on set that they have to get it, and suddenly it’s missing. [laughs] I told our line producer about it and she was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to go to Trader Joe’s and find it!’ She went to three different locations and it wasn’t there. But it’s the best ice cream I’ve ever had. If you can find it, it’s worth eating.
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