What’s up Maniacs! Here is yet another special edition for the Hell-idays, and this one is just as awesome! Leave it to your Secret Satan to bring you all the terror you need before you feed on happiness and love. So this next interview involves one of my favorite new shows and incidentally one of my favorite actresses on that show! So I cannot say that this actress is one of my childhood heroes, but she has become a huge part of the genre, and my viewing in the past few years.
I first remember seeing her in Silent Hill, one of the better video game offerings as the kickass police officer with a heart of gold, Cybill Bennett. And then I saw her in one of my favorite movies based on Stephen King’s novel, The Mist! And I have to tell ya, I absolutely loved the controversial ending which this actress was a part of. If you have not seen the ending I speak of. . the only word I can use to describe it is “bleak”.
And now, she is back with director Frank Darabont for the highly rated series based on the incredible comic series that is now in its fifth year, The Walking Dead! I have had a love affair with this series since it was released, and one of my favorite characters in the book incidentally was Andrea. Andrea went through one of the biggest emotional journeys in the story.
Losing her younger sister, Amy to the undead, struggling and coping with guilt, and finally becoming an absolute badass and highly important member of the survivor group! As you all know already I am speaking of the actress Laurie Holden, and her portrayal of the character on the series is just as guilt ridden, and becoming just as amazing! Laurie’s acting abilities are beyond perfect in the series, and she has a majority of the most memorable moments in the series belong to her. She has the ability to draw you in and incite you to feel her pain. . very powerful!
Laurie is of course getting ready to head back to the apocalypse to begin filming season two, but I am absolutely honored that I had a chance to speak to her before she heads off to the long, grueling shoot. So I spoke to Laurie about her love of acting, creating a true working relationship with director Frank Darabont, and of course The Walking Dead! So, what do you say? Why don’t we head back to the sticky hot death trap called Atlanta. . and some more horror business!
Delamorte: Laurie, thanks so much for talking to me tonight. I am really happy to talk to you.
Laurie: Oh no. Thank you. This will be alot of fun!
Delamorte: I sure hope so! (laughs)I’m kidding. So my first question involves your beginnings. Both of your parents were actors. But could you tell me. . even though you were raised among family in the profession, did you actually want to grow up and become an actress yourself?
Laurie: That’s a yes and no. First of all, my deceased father is Lawrence Holden so I don’t even know why he changed it. (Lawrence changed his actor name which was Glenn Corbett)I liked the arts and it was something I was exposed to, but there were other things that I wanted to do in my life. But I did some shows and stuff which honestly as a kid I just thought were great pocket money. (laughs)Actually, I really wanted to be an investment banker. (laughs again)I know that sounds pretty strange, huh? But I was always interested in numbers, and that’s truly what I wanted to do.
Delamorte: That is actually pretty awesome! That is very different! So after your mother remarried film director, Michael Anderson you traveled between Los Angeles and Toronto. So was this ever a tough transition for you. . that you can remember?
Laurie: Well, he married my mom when I was five or six, and my stepfather practically adopted me so I loved my step dad. And being a child of divorce and being moved around was. . well, I was really too young to remember. . for it to really affect me. But I guess it had to be a bit tough at times. I just loved being able to go many great places at an early age. I was always on set when my stepfather directed, we went all over the world. Not too many people can say that. . so that’s cool.
Delamorte: When you left McGill University’s Economic Program you transferred to UCLA and completed your B. A. in Theater Arts. So tell me, did you feel that the arts training you received continues to aid you in your craft even to this day?
Laurie: Umm. . well I stayed there for a few years! (laughs)I was a part of a four year program. But I really learned alot from being a part of the Larry Matt Studio Class. It was just such an incredible group of people that have been become very well known. Mariska Hargitay. Leonardo DiCaprio has worked with him. We just learned so much and it was all forms of acting. . not just drama. . not just one thing in particular. I just know I learned sooo much there and I absolutely loved it!
Delamorte: You of course played a government worker who becomes informant on the fourth season of the long running series, The X-Files. Since Marita played such a major part in the series, were there ever any plans to give the character her own show? And if so, why do you feel it never came to be? And why do you think some people think she was only a minor character?
Laurie: (laughs)I don’t think she was a minor character. . that’s obviously hateeers! (laughs again)I mean, look. She was in four seasons of the show!
Delamorte: And don’t forget the video game!
Laurie: That’s riiight! And the video game! You know what? A show was never offered because it probably wouldn’t have worked. The character was so mysterious. If there was a show she would lose that, and that wouldn’t have worked.
Delamorte: You worked with Frank Darabont for the first time in the Jim Carrey movie, The Majestic. Did you ever think you would grow to have the working relationship you have with him?
Laurie: Yeah, I mean I never thought it would be something that would continue on through the years. But I loved working with him. . and I am really happy to continue doing so.
Myself and Jeffrey DeMunn have become like Frank’s Premiere Players. (laughs)Frank’s head of development saw me on stage. . and look at Jeffrey DeMunn. He has been in practically everything that Frank has ever put on film! He definitely respects and loves our work. . and of course we feel the same way about him.
Delamorte: Well, I am very happy that you have had the relationship that you do. So you played the kickass cop in Silent Hill, Cybil Bennett. Do you have any idea why they killed her off, I mean there was so much potential for that character. . she was awesome!
Laurie: Ummm. . I have no idea! That’s how she was written in the script. So I didn’t mind that she perished the way that she did. I mean, sacrificing yourself to save a little girl. . I think that’s a pretty noble way to leave this world, don’t you? She was definitely alot of fun to play though. . and incidentally, she looked great in those pants. (laughs)
Delamorte: (laughs hard)Yes. . yes she did! You of course played a major part in one of my favorite films ever, The Mist. So did you know about the controversial ending beforehand, and how did you feel about it in the beginning?
Laurie: I absolutely loved it! When I read the way that she dies the way that she did. . I thought it was bleak, it was edgy, it was kinda indie. . wouldn’t you say? I loved the Stephen King novella and I definitely loved working on the film. And I have absolutely no issue with the ending. . and we all knew it would probably be controversial.
Delamorte: I loved it also. . awesome choice! So now let’s get to the series I cannot wait to ask you about. . of course your role in my favorite new show, The Walking Dead! So the first thing I wanted to ask you involved the decision for you to play the character. Were you given the part immediately or did you have to audition?
Laurie: I did get the part immediately! When Frank was looking for someone to play the character, he thought of me immediately, and I’m so happy that he did. I read the first Walking Dead Compendium. . and I absolutely fell in love with the project. I think it’s great drama. . an incredible story. . and I love my character’s journey. We have really only scratched the surface of Andrea. I cannot wait to see where it all goes.
Delamorte: Andrea is definitely one of my favorite characters on the show. . and incidentally the books. So could you tell me if you feel Andrea is similar to you in any way?
Laurie: Oh yeah. . absolutely! Well, I work overseas. . doing many things for human rights and we decided to make her work for the rights for humanity as an attorney. I never had any sisters so I definitely do not know anything about that, but I had created an incredible bond with Emma during the shooting. . she became my little sis in real life as well. But yeah! Andrea is a caring individual who cares for people, and I definitely do. . so we are similar in many ways.
Delamorte: I recall in The Walking Dead comics that Amy and Andrea are three years apart. In the series, they are twelve years apart. Could you tell me if you had anything to do with that decision at all?
Laurie: Well yeah. I did. Frank made the decision to make her a bit older because it adds more emotion to their dynamic. Andrea was always out of Amy’s life. . going to law school for many years. . creating a life for herself. But at the same time, she was never truly there for her sister and she feels horribly about that. Then we are forced into this zombie apocalypse, and she wants nothing more but to be Amy’s protector. . to be there for her. . and of course she fails. But it is definitely a more dramatic and emotional situation to have Andrea be so much older than her sister in age.
Delamorte: I absolutely agree with that! So you finally appear in the second episode “GUTS”, which honestly had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. During the filming of such a fast paced episode do you ever become so lost in the moment where you almost feel like what is happening is truly real?
Laurie: Oh yeah! All the time! That’s what we strive for. It’s a very visceral job working as an actor. It was pretty organic, like the scene where the women were washing clothes in the quarry and Ed manhandles Carol. It became quite real to all of us. There were tons of scenes that felt quite real. . too real at times.
Delamorte: The sisterly chemistry between yourself and Emma Bell is extremely intense and somewhat real. Did you both spend alot of time together when the camera was not rolling or off the set to keep that as genuine as it looked onscreen?
Laurie: Yeah, we were inseparable! We genuinely love each other as people. I have kinda adopted her as my lil’ sis. I never really had one so it was definitely nice to have that dynamic with Emma. We started doing everything together. She became my bestie! Seriously, we roller bladed together, went out to dinner, and stuff like that all the time. It’s sad to know that she’s not going to be there when we start shooting. We had a ritual on the show where we would have a huge dinner for the people who left the show. . I remember when she left. . it was difficult. It was like we lost her for real.
Delamorte: At the end of the episode VATOS, the character of your sister Amy dies due to a zombie attack on the camp. When you look upon Emma, you honestly give a performance that really hit me in a place in my soul I did not even know existed, it was that powerful! So I wanted to know in a scene such as that. . what do you do or where do you go in your mind to get to “that point”?
Laurie: Mmm. . god! God! Really? Wow. . I don’t even know what to say to that statement. Well, (clears throat like she was a bit choked up) I’m an actor that uses my imagination. We created this sisterly relationship. . we really got to know each other as sisters. So, especially the night I had to act like Emma was dead. . it wasn’t hard to get in the moment. All I had to do was look at this beautiful girl with this kind heart. . and see her dying and putting her hand up to touch my face. And I thought to myself, “I let this beautiful girl down! Maybe I should have followed her to go to the camper so she could use the bathroom! I failed her! “But. . that was a really tough day at the office. . it really was.
Delamorte: It couldn’t have worked better. . one of my favorite moments in all of season one. Alright, so in the season finale entitled TS-19, you are practically coerced by Dale to not kill yourself in the blast. When you get back to the RV, you give him a look. Was that a look of “Wow, I have someone in my life. “Or was it a look of “I’ll never forgive you for this? “
Laurie: No. It was a look of I hate you. . I love you. I am surprised that I have someone in my life. . but I don’t want it! When Dale sat down and said that he was going to stay, he really gave me no choice. She feels more like she couldn’t allow him to do that to himself. It was more of I hate you for loving me! But if you chip away at her hatred toward herself, she really is an individual that cares about life. . and that she is a survivor.
Delamorte: If the comics are any indication. . that goes without saying! So in that vain of question, Andrea becomes a badass survivor and an expert shot. I know through my research that you yourself are great with a weapon. So do you know if they are going to add that element to your character in the second season?
Laurie: I have no idea what they have in store. I cannot wait to go on expeditions with the boys, and I know that Andrea turns into a badass, and that really excites me! I want to shoot, and I want be able to fight! (laughs)It will definitely be alot of fun to do all that.
Delamorte: Sooo. . are there any secrets from the second season that you can let myself and my readers in on?
Laurie: Are you out of your mind? ! ? ! (laughs hard)They wouldn’t allow that and I am not saying anything! (laughs again)All I can say is that I am soon on my way back to Atlanta to begin shooting season two.
Delamorte: (laughs hard again)Well. . I figured as much. . I tried! So I wanted to ask you what style you prefer to act in. . is it horror or is it science fiction?
Laurie: I don’t have a preference really. I am just a fan of great storytelling. I feel that alot of stuff I’ve been in has that one element. If you do not have a great story then you truly have nothing. . story is extremely important.
Delamorte: Well you’re awesome in both. . so please continue to play in everything. So do you have any other projects in the works?
Laurie: Well, I’m going back to The Walking Dead! (laughs)That’s all I have in my acting future. Until then I’m just going to chill out for a bit. But I can’t wait to see everyone again. And it’s going to be alot of fun to build on the story of these people. I can’t wait to get started. But, it will be hard to not have Emma there this year. . ahh well. . maybe they’ll have flashbacks. . who knows.
Elaborate: Laurie, thank you so much for speaking with me. . and I cannot tell how excited I am to see where the story continues! God, I can’t wait!
Laurie: Well, thank you this was fun. You’re a good interview! And I also cannot wait to see where it goes. . and I’m on it! (laughs)But thank you for the love of the show and my character. . I won’t let you down.
There you have it! An interview with a super cool and highly talented actress. You can catch Laurie on the second season of The Walking Dead next year! And you can relive the beginnings of her survival by pre-ordering The Walking Dead’s first season available in March.
Be sure to check out my continuing hi jinks at Delamorte’s Dungeon Of Deadly Delights on FACEBOOK and also the radio show of the same name on BLOGTALKRADIO.com Also, be sure to be there for my return from the grave with my very own column right here at my family of Horrornews! Gory greetings to you all! And remember, the only thing that can impale your dreams is your own negativity. . scare ya later!
Interview: Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead)