Inanna Sarkis is an actress, director and writer who has successfully established herself as a digital entrepreneur. Inanna was recently featured as becoming one of Young Hollywood’s most sought after emerging talents by The Hollywood Reporter. She recently starred in thriller SÉANCE, opposite Suki Waterhouse, this past Spring 2021. Inanna can also be seen in a lead role in Anna Todd’s New York Times Best Selling series turned franchise, AFTER and AFTER We Collided, starring opposite Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes. Both films combined raked in over $120 million in the global box office. She can also be seen as a recurring guest star in the Netflix comedy BREWS BROTHERS, and a lead in the Amazon pilot from Jill Soloway & Channing Tatum, COLLEGE. She will also be seen in the upcoming Jamie Foxx film, ALL-STAR WEEKEND.
Inanna, you’re a very talented actress, director, writer and entrepreneur. Is your current career path something you’ve always envisioned for yourself?
To be honest no. I came from a traditional household where being a doctor or lawyer was expected. I knew deep down I wanted to do something else, something using my creative and artistic side. However every time my dad would ask what I wanted to pursue, I would always say “I don’t know, maybe a lawyer” since that’s what I knew he wanted to hear. I never wanted to admit to something that at the time seemed unrealistic. It wasn’t until I graduated from University that I finally got the courage to move to Los Angeles and pursue my passion for acting.
You’ve produced and will star in a 6 episode scripted podcast ‘Zaya’, which will release this winter. What can you share with us about the story behind ‘Zaya’ and how you chose your special guests?
Zaya has been in the works for a long time. The story behind Zaya came from a show concept I had years ago. I wanted to take things into my own hands and decided to make it into a scripted 6 episode podcast since it is something I can self-finance and produce. Even though I have a team, I am a perfectionist and have spent endless hours, writing and rewriting, re-recording, editing, and cannot wait for the time to finally share it with everyone. I feel very passionate about this project as it is telling a story with a Syrian protagonist. When it came to casting the characters, I already knew who I wanted because I actually reverse engineered and wrote them for specific people/friends in mind.
You’re also the founder of your own clothing brand Visus, which just launched its 3rd collection. Tell us more about your brand and the latest collection.
A clothing brand is something my brother and I were always destined to do, and I’m so proud to have achieved it. Growing up he would draw amazing sketches, some of which were of clothing and I always thought he was so talented in that aspect. I have a very close bond with my brother, so I wanted to create something we can do together, a family business. The literal translation for Visus is “the power of sight”. In turn we wanted the brand to be about having a vision for yourself and never giving up on that. Our latest collection are Genderless Waffle loungewear sets for toddlers and adults, which have been my favorite drop yet.
Today (6th December) your fitness/wellness app is launching. Why did you decide to create your own fitness app? Who is the target group you’re aiming to reach with the app? What is it that differentiates your fitness app from other apps that are already on the market?
I wanted to create my own fitness app to motivate women to feel good in their skin and be healthy. I always struggled with not meeting my goals physically and it wasn’t that I didn’t work for it or was lazy. I was just simply missguided and given advice from people who didn’t even know what my goals were. So with the help of my partner, I started researching and finding workouts that targeted exactly what I wanted, to lose unwanted fat but still keep my feminine curves. I created a google doc and wrote everything down each day. I did it for 4 weeks. And voila….”REVENGE BOD” was made.
How do you believe your mixed heritage shaped your upbringing and the person you are today?
My mother and father both come from a minority descent. I didn’t have anyone that I could look up to, but it also made me feel very unique that there is no one else like me and I will be my own trailblazer. I think it has definitely made me the strong and outspoken woman I am today and I have never felt so proud to have such a great heritage.
You are a woman with Middle Eastern descent. As a woman with a powerful social presence, how do you believe you can help empower women of minority races and descents?
There are other girls who felt the same way I did and I want to be that 1 person in their life who can push them to never give up and not be afraid or embarrassed to chase their dreams. If I had that, I feel like I would have pursued acting at a much younger age. But, everyone has their own journey and this is what mine was meant to be.
You have a huge following both on your YouTube channel and on your social media. Why did you decide to create your own YouTube channel and what is the main purpose behind it?
My sole purpose for creating my YouTube channel was to be able to create the roles I wanted. It was an outlet for me so that I didn’t lose my mind in the audition process. It was fun to bring all my ideas to life. It was empowering to be able to do it on my own and have a big audience who can watch and appreciate it too. I wanted to make short films and tell real stories that I felt passionate about while also making people laugh with sketches. YouTube gave me such a creative freedom to just be whatever I wanted to be and bring my imagination to life without having to wait for anyone.
What do you love to do in your free time, when you’re not working and besides spending it with your family?
I love reading, playing the piano, or making little DIY projects at home 🙂
Last year you became a mom to a little girl. What is the most important thing you want to teach her in life?
That she can achieve anything as long as she is always the hardest working person in the room.
How do you balance work, family and time for yourself, which is also very important to have?
With a very organized and color coded calendar. I mean, I begin my mornings pretty much the same and I think everyone needs some sort of routine but I don’t know where I would be without my Google calendar. I also try to keep early mornings before my workouts and evenings for family time.
You starred in Anna Todd’s book adaptations ‘After’ and ‘after We Collided’. Did you read the books before staring in the films? What is the biggest difference between the books and films in your opinion.
I actually did not, but once I began the audition process I dived right in. I think books are so important because they let you access your imagination in ways that films don’t. For example, I remember reading Divergent and imagining myself as Tris or The Giver and picturing how a world would be if it was Black and White. Books were always an escape for me and talking about it now, I think that is where my love for acting started.
What are your future plans for your career, where do you want to see yourself next?
Booking a lead action role for a DC or Marvel character. I also see my podcast getting picked up by a network and turned into a show.
Talent: Inanna Sarkis
Photographer: Marcus Cooper
Video: Adam Moody
Stylist: Yael Quint
Stylist Assistant: Karla Garcia
Make-up: Brooke Hill
Hair: Cesar DeLeon Ramirez
Production: Luke Simone
Agency: Elite NYC
Special thanks to Ducati & Janet Mandell
This interview was done for Numéro Netherlands by Jana Letonja.