RULE BREAKER. Through her various roles across different mediums, Rachel Skarsten is constantly redefining herself as an actress. She lets DA MAN into her world

Studious, adventurous, irrepressible, radiant. These are just some of the adjectives one might employ when describing Rachel Skarsten. After cutting her teeth in a number of energetic roles, the Canadian beauty has now arrived on the big screen with one of the most highly anticipated films of the decade, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Her character Andrea is a suitably feisty individual. If you’re thinking of taking on Rachel Skarsten, you had better bring your A-game.

DA MAN: Rachel, we’re excited to see you in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Tell us a bit about your character Andrea.
Rachel Skarsten: Andrea is Christian Grey’s assistant. She’s smart and capable. She’s also blonde and, therefore, not his physical type, which frees her to have a strictly professional and platonic relationship with him unlike most of the other female characters. This means she has an interesting female role in the novel and movie.

DA MAN: Why do you think “Fifty Shades of Grey” has become such a worldwide phenomenon?
Rachel Skarsten: Knowing your audience is very important, so starting as “Twilight” fan fiction gave it a base before it was even published. To be honest, while I was aware of the story, I hadn’t read any of the books prior to being cast in the role.

DA MAN: Just how heavy has the weight of expectation been?
Rachel Skarsten: We shot the movie over a year ago and I had to keep my casting a total secret. I couldn’t even tell my friends, so it hasn’t seemed real up until now. When the trailer came out, I think that’s when the magnitude of it hit me because my face was seen by over 200 million people in one day! Having said that, you can’t get too caught up in the hype or you run the risk of being swept away. I’ve learned that the entertainment business is a moving target, and I just try to keep focused on the moment I’m in.

DA MAN: Jamie Dornan plays the irresistible Christian Grey. What makes him the right man for the job?
Rachel Skarsten: Aside from his considerable skill as an actor—watch TV drama “The Fall” and tell me you aren’t impressed—have you seen him? Yup. Next question! [Laughs]