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Shadow and Bone Star Anna Leong Brophy Shares Swimsuit Photo of "Beautiful People"

What she loves about playing Tamar.

Shadow and Bone star Anna Leong genuinely loves her co-stars from the Netflix show. Leong, who plays Tamar Kir-Bataar, shared pictures of herself having fun with her cast members, including a snap of her relaxing in a pool with Jessie Mei Li. "Haha, that's right, your fave ADHD chica found a roll of film and actually DEVELOPED it?! I'm no @freddycarter1 but at least I've got that sweet element of surprise and inconsistency that keep you extremely patient @shadowandbone fans on your extremely patient toes ❤️‍🔥 I miss these beautiful people!" she captioned the post. Here's what Leong feels about her role as Tamar, and what she's planning to do next.


Relating To Tamar

Leong draws on her own life experiences when playing the role of Tamar. "When I auditioned for the role, I really wanted to bring myself to it," she says. "So she is, as I play her, very close to myself. I am definitely a bit of a hothead – or have been in the past – and I really relate with this feeling of not quite fitting in. You know, with the white side of the family, Asian side of the family – where do you fit? I think you can grow a little bit of a husk of defensiveness or wit around that."


Physical Role

Leong physically prepares herself to play Tamar with a combination of shadow boxing and jumping. "I like to energize myself, because sometimes you can be sitting around a lot between takes," she says. "And I had this amazing costume – the wardrobe department is incredible – with axes and stuff like that. Early on, when there was going to be a big fight scene, I was thinking, 'OK, come on, got to bring your A game. Energize. Bring it back into your body, 'and I was jumping up and down and shaking myself. And then all of my belts – all my axes, everything – fell off! Like a game of Buckaroo, just things clanging on the floor. Everyone's like, 'What? Hold the roll! What's that?' So that was a bit embarrassing… But normally, I would try and do some shadow boxing or jumping up and down. Tamar lives on her wits and she's very front footed, so you've got to be in the body."


Stunts on Set

Leong loved the stunts on Shadow and Bone. "All of the battle scenes at the end were very challenging," she says. "There were huge setups, boiling heat, and a lot of racing around, but there was a really fun stunt that I got to do where I basically fly backwards through the air horizontally and dig my axis into the ground to slow myself down. So, in the middle of an extremely busy shoot day, I got to strap into a fun harness and slide around like I was on a roller coaster. I was like, 'Let's do one more take…one more take of that.' That was really fun. It made me laugh when I came on screen."


Her Bucket List

Leong is excited for what's next, career-wise. "There's always something left on the bucket list," she says. "Tamar was such a gift to relieve my childhood fantasy. My playground fantasies of good versus evil and kicking [butt]. That's the stuff you grow up on. I suppose the next thing would be nice to counterbalance that with something quiet, introspective, and emotion-driven and maybe more in the naturalistic, realistic side, and maybe not quite so many explosions. Although, I do love an explosion."


Real-World Family and Friends


Leong is careful to make time for her loved ones. "I think maintaining close relationships with family and friends, even if you're away for long periods of time – shooting in other countries or on tour or things like that – is really important, because you can end up in a bubble," she says. "The people who are able to make a successful go of it long term and still maintain their own actual lives, they have a healthy detachment from the bubble. Otherwise, you're in this very intense, amazing scenario with people that you're having very intense on screen bonding experiences – and off screen, too; often they're your only people on the ground – but it isn't real life."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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