Rana McAnear: Face of Samara and Morinth


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The beautiful model Rana McAnear is the real Samara from Mass Effect games. Face of Morinth, daughter of Samara, as well, Rana gave us a chance to get an interview out of her for Italian fans, where she talks about her character and experience with Mass Effect, and much more!

MEL: Hi Rana, welcome aboard! Before starting the interview, could you tell us a little bit about you?
Rana McAnear: Hi! Thanks for having me!
Well, I wrote this bio about myself recently and I think it sums me up pretty well:
Rana McAnear spent her formative years in San Diego, California. She has an older brother and two younger sisters. Her parents are Michael and Marlowe McAnear.
Rana has been active in theater since she was in kindergarten so it was only a matter of time before she made her move to Los Angeles. She has been in LA since 2002 trying her hand at different facets of the film industry until finally settling on costume design. She was greatly influenced by her Grandmother, Mom and Aunt’s love of fashion and costumes. She is a FIDM graduate as of June 2012.
Rana was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at age 16. She was treated at Rady’s Children’s Hospital for 2 years. Her cancer has been in complete remission since 1996. She is an active member of the American Cancer Society, acting as a youth counselor for both CR4TS and SIBS camp.
MEL: How did you feel when you found out that you had been chosen to become the face of Samara? How did it happen? Did you already know the mass effect series?
Rana McAnear: I was sooooo excited! It’s the biggest gig I’ve ever had. I got the role through a website called Model Mayhem – they put up a casting notice looking for someone with strong features and I submitted. Shortly after I was picked! I didn’t know about Mass Effect before – but I quickly learned how awesome it was to be apart of such an epic game!
MEL: Can you explain to us how the face-modeling job works? How did the staff make your face become Samara’s, and her daughter, in-game?
Rana McAnear: They did a 3D scan on my face and took some pictures of the range of motion in my face and then created the character off of that. I don’t really know too much about the technical side of it all.
MEL: How does it feel seeing yourself in the game? We know you’ve actually played Mass Effect 2, have you played Mass Effect 3 too? Are you satisfied with the final appearance of your two characters?
Rana McAnear: It feels really surreal. Especially since it’s not my voice. When playing Samara sometimes gets in the way! I have not played ME3 yet but I have it! It’s on my to do list! I have watched my friend play it! Yes, I am satisfied with the appearances – they look amazing!
MEL: What did you like the most of your Mass Effect experience? Are there any of your colleagues you liked most to work with?
Rana McAnear: So far I love the conventions and meeting all the amazing fans. I’ve gained some great friends through the whole experience and traveled so much.
Mark Meer was such a sweetheart and all around good guy. He sort of took me under his wing during the con.
It was fun tagging along with someone as famous as him 🙂 I consider him an A list celebrity when it comes to video games 🙂
Dragon Con was so fun because of it.
There are so many others to mention The Mad Masker, Soulfire Photography, Jane Justice, David Carpenter, just to name a few!
MEL: Are you glad to be an icon for Mass Effect fans? They definitely love you! Which is your relation with them? You are one of those vg’s icons who like cosplay her own character frequently on events, Samara’s special to you, isn’t she?
Rana McAnear: I love being an icon for such a great game. Fun fact: I am not credited as the face model in the game (models typically are not) I went on the forums and introduced myself 🙂
I don’t know if I would have done that if I wasn’t proud to be a part of it!
I try to be as active as possible in the fan community. I try to respond to questions and say hello.
Samara is quite special to me, because of the kind of character she is. She has a great back story, as sad as it is, it motivates her and that is a powerful thing.
MEL: We also know you’re a gamer, a “female” gamer! What does it mean to you?
Rana McAnear: Being a female gamer is fun! It’s empowering! And I love it 😀
MEL: What do you think about the video games industry? Which video game do you like most as well as Mass Effect?
Rana McAnear: The video game industry is amazing – the things they come up with is out of this world so often! I haven’t played anything in a long time but I did really like BioShock! (p.s. I know that I use ! a lot.. I’m an excited person)
MEL: Let’s talk about your career! Can you tell us your next projects? How about speaking of your participation on Mass Effect CAST Initiative?
Rana McAnear: Morinth cosplay is in the works right now with Taylor Bennett. The Mad Masker and WM Amory are working on a few small improvements to my original Samara costume.
As far as the my participation in the MECC we haven’t really set anything in stone yet but I would love to do the black version of Samara’s costume!

MEL: Could you greet your Italian fans?
Rana McAnear: Hello to all my Italian fans! 😀 <3 ————————————–
Rana McAnear has an official web site and, as facemodel of Samara and Morinth, a facebook fan page, check them out for more infos about this amazing woman!
= Le interviste al CAST italiano ed inglese di Mass Effect sono il frutto di un lavoro congiunto dell’intero staff di MELegion ed è pertanto severamente vietato riprodurre altrove tali contenuti al di fuori del sito. Se siete interessati a condividerla, prego utilizzate i bottoni sottostanti appositi per lo sharing dei più importanti social network.