Anna Khaja is the 2011 winner of the Ovation Award for Lead Actress in a Play for her performance in Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto (also nominated for Best Production of the Year) which is now playing at Culture Project until April 1st. She has performed regionally and on both coasts receiving two LA Weekly Awards, as well as an Ovation Award nomination for Lead Actress. She recurred last season on “True Blood” and will appear on the upcoming season of “The Newsroom,” along with many other television and film appearances. Find out her current obsession when we get her On The Couch!
What do you consider to be your best asset?
My supportive husband, family, teachers and friends.
What was your proudest moment?
Can’t choose –
1) Finishing my first draft of Shaheed.
2) Working alongside actors I have always admired.
3) Finishing the first 75 pages of my magical realist novel
4) Being cast as “The Stage manager” in my high school production of Our Town. Our drama teacher said she would under no circumstances cast this role as a female, but I killed it at the audition and she was forced to cast me.
What is your favorite drink?
Anything sweet and alcoholic
What is your favorite food?
Curry! It has addictive properties.
What is your favorite condiment?
The homemade pickles my aunties make in Pakistan
What is your current obsession?
If you could give up one of your vices, what would it be?
My ego . It makes me feel good. It makes me feel bad. It takes me away from every thing that really matters to me. I keep returning to it…like an abusive boyfriend.
What is the one professional accomplishment you long for most?
A Tony Award.
What is the one thing you waste too much money on?
Meals. If my husband and I were worried about making our rent, we’d sort out the problem over an expensive meal.
What is the one activity you waste too much time doing?
Sitting down to work and then not working
What do you consider to be the single greatest threat to your health?
What is the single best trait you inherited or learned from your parents?
What is the single worst trait you inherited or learned from your parents?
A constant sense that I have something to hide. Even though, I almost never do.
What in the world most thrills you?
Travel. Immersing myself in another culture.
What current trend in popular culture most irritates you?
Abbreviated texting. “C U after da show deres gonna be a gud crowd 2nite luv”
What was the single most embarrassing moment you've ever experienced on the job?
Sharing the stage for an hour with the biggest roach I have ever seen. The seating was raked above the stage. The questions the audience was forced to contemplate that night had nothing to do with the play, but were: would he crawl into my next costume piece? Would he climb on me as I kneeled down? After the show, he was all anyone could talk about. We named him Gus the Theatre Roach. Why hadn’t I just stepped on him and killed him? I guess, in the moment, I thought it would take every one out of the play. But of course, he already had. I hope I see him again, because this time, he’s going down.
What is your favorite place in the world?
1. On the couch, drinking wine, eating pasta with my husband.
2. With my family in Pakistan
What is the most important trait you seek in a romantic partner?
They must challenge me to be my very best self.
Do you prefer the company of dogs or cats?
That’s a tough one. But I have 3 cats, so I’ll go with that.
What would have to happen to make today the best day of your life?
I would have to take a very deep breath, look around and see just how lucky I am…Let’s see if that happens.
What is your personal motto?
Start where you are.