Did Agnes Bruckner ever meet Anna Nicole Smith before Smith died?
—Henry Mercer, Salisbury, Md.
Even though Bruckner, 27, began acting on “The Bold and the Beautiful” when she was only 12 years old in 1997, and Smith didn’t die until February 2007, the two careers never crossed paths. Bruckner says she hadn’t paid a great deal of attention to Smith prior to landing the title role in “Anna Nicole,” Lifetime’s June biopic of the of the late celebrity.
But once she was cast—auditioning in the best pushup bra she could find—she began in earnest to research, watching all the interviews and footage she could find, although she admits she didn’t speak to anyone who knew Smith.
“Usually when I play a role, I end up using a lot of my own experiences or drawing from my own life,” says the Hollywood, Calif.-born Bruckner. “The funny thing about this project is, I learned so much about Anna after doing research on her and her relationships with her family about her lack of a support system and how she was surrounded by enablers all of the time. It made me realize how lucky I am to have family, friends and people in my career who care, not only about my career, but also about me as a person and my health and happiness.”
In order to play Smith, Bruckner, who had previously starred in “The Craigslist Killer,” another of Lifetime’s ripped-from-the-headlines movies, had to undergo a great many physical transformations that she says required a team of people to achieve. The makeup and effects included prosthetics for her breasts, cheeks and neck, a fat suit and lots of blonde wigs, and Bruckner bleached her hair for the role.
“We probably changed my looks three or four times a day on set, which was really, really crazy,” she says.
Even with all the negatives that Bruckner learned about Smith’s life, she still found something to admire. “What inspired me so much about her was her ability to make people smile. She was so full of life and always smiling and laughing. She loved life. There was this light inside of her. It was beautiful.”