This Moscow-born beauty was meant for the arts. She started out as a model in Russia and quickly found her way to show biz after moving to California. Now she fights zombies in SyFy's hit series "Z Nation." Known for her lead role in NBC/Discovery Kids series "Scouts Safari," she can boast guest roles on "Sons of Anarchy," the revival of "90210," "Malcom in the Middle," "7th Heaven," "Drake and Josh," "Joan of Arcadia," and the cult hit "Veronica Mars." She is soon to be seen in the upcoming 2017 film "Welcome to Willits." 

Starring role on "Z Nation"

Colleen Bement: "Z Nation" is a hugely popular show and you play a starring role as Addy.

How has this show changed your life?

Anastasia Baranova: In so many ways! For one, I’ve spent around six months of the year over the last three years in Spokane, WA, at "Zombie Summer Camp." That’s a big change. I’ve also gotten to connect with more people than ever before. Going to conventions all over the country and promoting the show I’ve met so many wonderful people. It’s really special because an interaction that could be really quick and seemingly insignificant can actually be an opportunity to really make someone happy. 

CB: Your upcoming film "Welcome to Willits" looks intense. What are you allowed to share about it?

AB: It is! It’s an alien slasher/thriller flick, written and directed by two brothers, both longtime friends of mine.

I play a small town girl who comes back after being away at school to discover that her aunt and uncle have gotten into some dark things and have possibly gone off the deep end, though she’s not sure. The whole time you’re questioning what’s real and what isn’t. I think audiences will like it not only for the visuals and the story but because it’s one of those things where you’re rooting for who might be the bad guy -- you just don’t know really until the end.

We have a really terrific cast; I think people will definitely get a kick out of seeing familiar faces.

On the set of "Sons of Anarchy"

CB: I read that you had a guest spot on "Sons of Anarchy". What was it like being on the set?

AB: SO COOL! I was a big fan of the show so for me it was just two days of getting to hang with those dudes.

Those guys are all pros, getting to talk shop about the craft and the industry with veterans is always a gift. It was great to watch Katey Sagal navigate the set- she has a tremendous work ethic and doesn’t compromise her power.

CB: You starred in the TV series "Scouts Safari" and lived on location in South Africa. What an amazing experience that must have been. Tell you fans all about it.

AB: That was truly one of the most magical times in my life. I got to spend a total ofsix months in Africa over two years. It was my first real gig -- everything from what a mark was to how to carry a show, I learned on the day on that job. Getting to live and create relationships with people from a totally different part of the worlds is invaluable.

South Africa is one of the most diverse and beautiful places I’ve been to; rich in culture, tradition, history, art, beauty, and of course, most human of all, pain. My understanding of the world expanded massively and rapidly seeing Soweto. (Google it) 

Anastasia started out on "Lizzie McGuire"

CB: I love it that you were on an episode of Disney's "Lizzie McGuire". It was a favorite show to watch with my daughter. Was that your first role? How did you get your start in show biz?

AB: That was! I started modeling in Russia when I was a kid, and continued to in Minnesota. We moved to LA in 2000, and I started working pretty soon after. I read for a big part and didn’t get it, but the casting director was really kind and gave me another role. After Lizzie it was straight to Scout!