'The Act' Star AnnaSophia Robb on Working With "Insanely Talented" Patricia Arquette

The actress opens up to The Hollywood Reporter about sharing screen time with the Oscar winner on Hulu's true-crime series and stepping behind the camera to try her hand at directing.

When AnnaSophia Robb signed on to join Hulu's true-crime series The Act — which tells the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard and the murder of her mother, Dee Dee — the actress never imagined that she'd share screen time with one of her idols: Patricia Arquette.

"Patricia Arquette is just solid as a rock," Robb said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter In Studio, ahead of Wednesday's series finale. "She's so insanely talented and kind and down to earth."

Arquette plays Dee Dee, who successfully deceived not only her daughter, Gypsy (Joey King), but also her family, friends and medical professionals into believing her child was ill and confined to a wheelchair. Robb shines in the role of Lacey, a friend and neighbor of the mother-daughter duo who witnesses the demise of their relationship as Gypsy attempts to assert her independence.

In one episode, Arquette's Dee Dee verbally confronts Lacey about her candid discussions with Gypsy involving boys and online dating. Because Robb's scenes with Arquette are sparse throughout the eight-episode series, that particular day of filming in Savannah, Ga., still stands out in the 25-year-old star's mind.

"I remember that day very clearly. I was like, 'Holy shit. This is happening.' It's fun! You're becoming a character," Robb explained of exchanging lines with the Oscar winner. "At that point, I'm friends with Patricia, so you're not thinking, 'This is Patricia Arquette' — who I respect so much. It's, like, 'I've got to be on my A-game because she's on her A-game.'"

As viewers will recall, Dee Dee and Lacey's heated conversation was cut short when Arquette's character fainted to the ground. "And then I was really concerned. She faints in the scene and I was like, 'Oh, shit! Oh, no! Are you going to fall?'" Robb recounts of watching Arquette fall in character. "And she's all out of it and loopy and I thought, 'Wow. That was a good faint. I need to work on my fainting.'"

Along with Arquette, Robb said she "learned so much" from working with Chloe Sevigny, who portrays Lacey's straight shooter of a mom, Mel. Plus, as she told THR, they had a lot of fun on set despite the heavy subject matter of the show. "Chloe just cracks me up. She's so great," said Robb. "I had a blast working with her."

While Robb enjoyed playing Lacey — a fictional character whom she described as a "composite" of Gypsy and Dee Dee's real-life neighbors — she also reveled in shadowing director Laure de Clermont on several episodes of The Act that she didn't appear in. Additionally, Robb received lessons in what it takes to prep an episode and how to edit it in postproduction from directors Hannah Fidell and Steven Piet, respectively.

"When I signed on and went down to Savannah, I asked Nick Antosca, one of our showrunners, if it was OK if I shadowed. Because there are a couple episodes I'm not in, I was like, 'Perfect. I'll have this time off. I can just sort of be there.' He was so supportive, as were all of our directors. But Laure, who did episodes one, two and six, she was like, 'Yes, of course.' I loved working with her as an actor and I liked her process a lot, so I was able to shadow her," Robb said. "I was able to see a lot of different little segments of it. It was so interesting and so much fun. I really realized I love being on sets."

Added the NYU graduate: "It's post-grad, so I'm like, 'Do I really love this?' And I do."

The Act is available to stream now on Hulu. For more from Robb — including her favorite scene to film with co-star King and her future acting plans — watch the video above.