Leslie-Anne Huff recently made a bloody splash as the obsessed vampire killer Rayna Cruz on the CW show The Vampire Diaries. Acting since the age of five, Leslie-Anne has that dangerous combination of beauty and brains, having graduated from UC Berkeley with honors. Leslie-Anne took time out of her busy schedule to “talk nerdy with us” about her character Rayna and her life hunting vampires.
First off, you started acting at a very young age. Did you always want to continue acting, or did you ever plan on a different career?
“I’ve always loved acting and performing. I did take a break in college and thought I might go into broadcast journalism. Then, my final semester, I took a theater class and the bug bit me all over again!”
This isn’t your first time playing a character named Rayna/Raina—coincidence?
“Pure coincidence! I believe it means “queen” so I think it’s just a really interesting name for certain characters. I kind of love it. (laughs). It certainly feels pretty applicable for Rayna!”
How did you learn about the role of Rayna Cruz?
“I came upon the role the same way many actors do: the good old-fashioned audition! I went through the audition process and I’m so glad I was cast to play her!”
Once you got the role, was it difficult to get into the head of a person with multiple lifetimes under her belt? How did you manage to do it so well?
“(laughs). Well, thank you! It is crazy to wrap your head around the idea of playing someone who has lived multiple lifetimes. I thought a lot about the power that might give someone. When you’ve lived that long, you know more than most people you encounter. In addition, Rayna has super strength and fighting ability, which made her the strongest person in any room. That was super fun to embody as an actress.”
In “Kill ‘Em All,” Rayna apparently dies … but as we all know, on The Vampire Diaries dead isn’t always permanent. Will we see Rayna again?
“We shall see!”
What new projects do you have planned?
“I am currently a member of the Sunday Company at The Groundings theater, a renowned sketch and improv comedy theater in Los Angeles. We mount a new show with new material every week!”
And since we’re talking nerdy, what nerdy things interest you? What kinds of things get you so excited that you totally nerd out?
“I’m a total nerd about yoga! I love to read articles about how each pose works on your body and what the history or the origins of certain poses are. I’m such a physical person so I love knowing which poses and breathing exercises can help you think clearer, sleep better, or just feel better!”