Personality Complex is a regular feature of Complex's Pop Culture channel, where you'll be introduced to rising stars of film and television. Check back in next Wednesday for the next installment with The Bling Ring star Israel Broussard.
As told to Tara Aquino (@t_akino)
Serinda Swan arrives early for her portrait shoot at Complex at 5:30 on a Friday evening. Upon meeting her in the lobby, it's a shock to see her standing alone, sans publicist or beauty team, unlike most Hollywood-types who visit the office. She's leaning against the glass wall, fiddling with her phone, when she perks up to introduce herself. The 27-year-old Canadian actress is gracious and kind, her smile drawing from ear to ear, the kind that puts you at ease.
"Thanks for meeting with me! I did this radio interview this morning in full make-up because I knew I was going to do this shoot today. I hope they don't think I'm a diva," she says, laughing.
For the record, she's not. When she gets in front of the camera, she asks Liz, the photographer, what she's looking for. "Just be yourself," Liz says.
"Easy enough," Serinda replies. She jokes as she strikes poses like a natural and laughs the whole way through, complying with every request the photographer makes. It's done in no time.
As she gets situated on a decorative couch, which looks straight out of The Jetsons (it's less comfortable than it looks), she mentions meeting her friend for sushi after the interview. But she makes sure to reaffirm that she's in no rush.
When asked about her peculiar name, she explains that her parents named her after an ancient Tibetan musical instrument. "I was probably named in between bong hits," Serinda jokes.
Soon, her name starts to make sense. Sitting with her is like listening to someone narrate a Lonely Planet travel book from cover to cover. Immediately, all typical questions about life in L.A. are scrapped in favor of hearing her stories about hopping everywhere from the garden island of Kauai to the capital of Cambodia. Being in her presence when she lights up about her passions—from acting to her non-profit organization Friends to Mankind to traveling for the sake living her life— makes you feel like you're re-experiencing those moments with her. It's almost exhausting, not in the way where you're tired of hearing it, but in the sense that you feel like you just flew thousands of miles across the world with her.
And yet she's right in front of you, promoting her new USA show Graceland. It's a wonder that she's here at all.