THE FAKE LIFE OF SPANISH ACTRESS ANNA ALLEN (GERONA, 1977), UNVEILED.
2001. “Cuéntame cómo pasó” has just aired and it is on its way of becoming one of the most succesful TV series in Spain. The series boasts a strong cast of renowned actors (lead by Imanol Arias and Ana Duato) and also new and promising actors to play the young roles. It is in the latter where we find Anna Allen, remaining her role in “Cuéntame…” as hers most remembered by the audience.
Her character, Marta Alcántara, managed to stay in the series for nine seasons (2001-2008). Since then, what ever happened to Anna Allen?
Alright, let’s be honest. She has a decent career on Spanish TV for an actress only known by her secondary role in “Cuéntame…”. She was on “Acusados” (Telecinco, 2009-2010), and also starred telefilmes as “El Ángel de Budapest” (TVE, 2011).
“Homicidos” (2011), Telecinco’s failed attempt of police procedural series, was her last appearance on Spanish TV.
In February 2015, Anna Allen was said to be the only Spanish actress, along with Elena Anaya, to attend to the Oscars. She had already been there the previous year, as seen in a picture of her in the red carpet posted on her Instagram. The attendance of Allen to the most important awards show of the industry was due to her latest and prestigious roles on American and European television. Those included series as “The Big Bang Theory”, “White Collar”, or the recently aired “Versailles”. This stratospheric jump to Hollywood is attributed to the huge success of “Exit”, the play she wrote and directed in 2013; and the play that is going to have its own American remake, starring Tina Fey, Paul Rudd and Rupert Grint.
It would be remarkable for a Spanish TV secondary actress to have a career like that. It would be so if only the whole last paragraph were not a lie. Or a bunch of lies, one after another, still missing some ones that will be depicted later. Anna Allen invented a life of glamour, success and appreciation that any actress would want for herself. Through fake accounts in Twitter and fake images digitally retouched by Photoshop in her Instagram, she managed to maintain a huge lie for almost two years: attendance to the Oscars, pictures with the cast of “The Big Bang Theory” and with Matt Bomer (from “White Collar”)… and even “stolen” pictures from Sophie Bush’s Instagram profile, making them look as hers by only zooming the pictures.
When the lie was unveiled, all the media attention focused on her and, apart from the lie itself, this case brings out some interesting matters regarding media and the celebrity status. First of all, how did she manage to make everyone believe her? Why scriptwriters of “Pasapalabra”, producers of Cadena SER or journalists from ¡Hola!, El Mundo or 20 minutes believed her without doubting for a moment, therefore publishing and spreading the lies? The article of El Mundo stating her attendance to the Oscars is still available, as well as the one from 20 minutos and videos of her appearances in “Pasapalabra” (links below).
How did anyone checked the impossible and rocambolesque manipulations on her Instagram before? Anna Allen’s tremendous lie ended up being succesful and unsuccesful at the same time: succesful because the world believed her for a moment, and unsuccesful because, although all eyes were on her, she actually became famous because of her lies, and not because of the truth. Anna Allen’s name is buried to the ground, in words of her acting career. But if we think it for a moment, we realize that Spain, and the world itself, as odd, surrealist and morbid as it is sometimes, might have “used” Anna Allen. There were rumours about her upcoming participation in the popular reality show “Supervivientes”, and, if she would have wanted to, a prolific career on Telecinco and its gossip shows was waiting for her. Who knows if, starting from there, camp or bizarre film directors would have wanted her to star in a film.
This gives us an idea of how twisted and unethical the media and our society can be. Anna Allen is, probably, mentally ill, but a part of us wants to know more about her: a part of us wants to see her on screen, talking about her lies, or simply carrying them further. Anna Allen’s story will remain as an unbelievable and disquieting case of fake, not because of the fake itself –that, by the way, did not made the information seem quit true, as we see in the crop-and-paste Photoshop pictures and the level of her English in the “interviews” below-, but because it leaves us naked as what we really are: attention seekers, “social animals” that need to have a focus on them at least once.
History is and will be crowded by impostors: David Hampton, Barry Bremen, Lauren Rose Wilson… Each case is different, and Anna Allen’s story reflects some sad, embarrassing aspects of our society and, as the actor Pablo Rivero (boyfriend of Anna’s character in “Cuéntame…”) said when the scandal was on its hottest point: “I haven’t seen Anna for years. I am just going to say that this is a very cruel profession.”
And it is. Allen’s dreams of becoming an international star are more far from being real than ever. Voices were raised for and against her: some claimed all to be a marketing strategy, others tried to “justify” her, after all, harmless lies by a possible psychological disorder.
Nowadays no one seems to know where Anna is. Lately someone reported seeing her on Italy, what might lead to think that she is trying to start from scratch.
To date, she has never said anything about her fake life. Not a word, not a lie.