When Anastasia Bampos was growing up in Sydney’s inner west in the 2000s, Hilary Duff was the epitome of cool. “I definitely aspired to be like [Duff’s character] Lizzie McGuire,” says Bampos, idolising the butterfly clips, crimped hair and tie-dye tops indicative of the time. Now 19, Bampos is about to become the coolest kid on the block, with a starring role in the new Aussie film GO! The up-and-coming actress plays Mandy, an aspiring engineer in the competitive world of go-kart racing. Instead of Lizzie’s butterfly clips, Mandy’s signature look is a grease-covered boilersuit, trucker cap, and mirrored sunglasses. “Mandy is strong, intelligent and fearless,” says Bampos. “She breaks gender stereotypes and teaches young girls to follow their dreams.”
Bampos is living proof of that. She was standing out the front of her local chicken shop in Dulwich Hill waiting for an order of hot chips when she got the call telling her she’d landed the role of Mandy. “I shed a little tear in front of the chicken shop,” she recalls. “Then I called my parents straightaway to tell them. I don’t think they believed me.”
GO! is just the beginning for Bampos, who has her sights set on a diverse acting career. “I want to tell stories that need to be heard,” she says. First things first: the Lizzie McGuire reboot.
GO! is in cinemas now. This article originally appeared in the February issue of marie claire.