Creatures of the Night: Holland Roden Q&A Recap

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Teen Wolf’s Holland Roden (Lydia Martin) was awash in wonderful contradictions in her Q&A at Culture Shock Event’s Creatures of the Night convention in Sydney last Sunday. She wanted to be an astronaut, she was pre-med in college, and she’s the most inconsistent bowler ever. She also talked about growing up with girls, being one of the only girls in a predominately male cast and the hazards of banshee-screaming on camera.

While I thoroughly enjoyed Holland’s Q&A, I have to agree with her when she described herself as a chatty Cathy, going through my notes and quotes was hard because she said so much. Don’t get me wrong, she had a lot of interesting things to say. I particularly enjoyed her insights into being one of the only girls in a boys club. “It’s different,” she said of working with her predominately male cast mates. “I went to an all girls school for eleven years… And an all girls summer camp too. My parents did not want me to meet boys… so for me to be on an all boys show almost, or predominantly boys show. It’s different.” While she hasn’t had much experience on sets with more female cast-members she has “had friends who have who say it can get very sticky, which makes me sad because I’m a girl’s girl and I grew up in an all girls school where I mostly had girlfriends. In this business it’s harder sometimes to find good girlfriends.”

That said, Holland also mentioned that she is relieved when she has scenes with her female cast-mates: “You’re sort of the annoying one. If you have to touch ups. Some of the guys are very gentle about that and they don’t have a problem with it and some of the boys, they’re slightly annoyed by the touch ups. It’s like guys, I have a pimple on my face, I’m sorry… I love being in a scene with Crystal because it was like Oh thank god, someone else who gets touch ups. So whenever I’m a scene with Shelley or Arden I’m like oh thank god, we get touch ups and we don’t get yelled at by the boys. That’s the only downside of working with the boys. Because it’s just so easy for them, they hardly have to go through hair and make-up. We have special effects time for hair and make-up for just normal make up.”

Well I think it’s safe to say that patriarchy is alive an kicking in the entertainment industry. Shocking, I know.

Holland did gush about what a wonderful set Teen Wolf is to work on. Of her cast-mates she said: “They’re all my really good friends. It’s one of those stars-aligning moments where I don’t see that happening again on anything else I do in the future.” She pointed to Tyler Posey and Dylan O’Brien as responsible for the on set environment: “They always say that one and two on the call sheet set the tone of the show and Tyler and Dylan are one and two on the call sheet so it’s always been a very laid back and fun set. We’re known in town as one of the most fun – actually I think the most fun set to be on. I think Revenge is pretty fun and then we’re supposed to be pretty fun. It’s because of Dylan and Tyler, they keep it really light and just fun. It’s just little things here and there that make it fun.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 7.31.14 AMThere was some shipping talk of course, but she wasn’t giving much away. The crowd were pretty excited about both Stiles/Lydia and Lydia/Parrish, but Holland wouldn’t really pick a side. For her favourite ship she went with “Stydia just because of the friendship they have. I would say a platonic ship of Stydia.” She went onto say, in regards to Stiles and Lydia’s relationship that “Jeff has said they are organically building a friendship because it doesn’t like it when – the girl didn’t know who the boy was and the next season they’re getting married. There’s an organic friendship kind of thing happening. They’re really great as this crime solving duo and he said as far as anything else, just stay tuned. I don’t know if that means we’ll get together or not, maybe it will happen in season four, maybe not I don’t know.” So take from that what you will.

In other news Holland admitted that her dog Fievel – who is currently living on a farm where her best friend is a horse named Coda – has just a Nickelodeon show. She has a girl crush on Susan Walters (Lydia’s mother). She wants to keep the Lydia fan art that is featured in the Post-Production teams gallery (she’d love a bearskin head). And here’s the rest…

On screaming on Camera: 

“I do scream on camera, I mean for the first 3 Seasons up until 3B I did all of the screaming on the day in the scene. Some of the takes they’d say save your voice till the last 2 or 3 takes. Usually it was at least 3 to 5 screams. Sometimes they would get it wild, which is where you hold the microphone in a boom and then you’ll just random [scream] and they’ll give you certain directions for certain types of screams and then sometimes you just know what the scene is and you instinctively know what kind of scream is directed for that scene… 3B before we started I was having a lot of problems with my voice. I used to be – not a singer, proper singer, but I could carry a tune and was good enough to audition with and I started noticing I wasn’t able to audition with the singing anymore. I was horrible, I couldn’t carry a note, nothing. So I went to the doctor and I had stripped my vocal chords pretty severally. So I asked Jeff, can we stop screaming because you have so many of screams? And Jeff’s like, yeah we have like 75 of your screams, you’re fine…. so they have a scream bank where they pick from and all of my screams since season 1 and all of the takes for my screams. So they’ve pretty much got the range of screams that they need so since 3B I now mouth it. I still have a raspiness to my voice that has never gone away but we’re working with a vocal guy to try and heal it.”

On Lydia’s character development: 

“I feel like from Season 1 they went so different with me being hired as Lydia vs. what originally was scripted, which was this Milan Italian-esque model to play Lydia. and so I auditioned in a very particular way sort of over acting everything and having a huge facade in front of me… so she was just very disconnected and kind of bitchy. I actually like that we’ve gotten to peel back my layers and I’m genuinely friends with these people now. So, even my voice is lower on the show now or she’s not quite as put on. It’s more relaxed… because she really trusts these people now. But as soon as a new person comes in like when Kira first appeared on screen at the picnic table and I’m like what, what do you want? It becomes very persnickety again. It’s fun to sort of revisit that occasionally again but personally it was fun for… a season and a half but I liked it when I got to calm down a little bit and be more relaxed in my scenes. Even my wardrobe calmed down, just slightly. Not being so much pushed up boobs and tight belts and such, which for Holland’s amazing. I get to wear things where I get to do things like eat pizza or normal human things. The perfectionism of Lydia and the perfectionism of Holland is on, like, 2 different planets, which is hard when you’re playing Lydia and you’re the catalyst to Lydia. You’re like, crap well that sucks, can’t have pizza today. But it’s been fun for the character development and I like that she is much more comfortable in her skin now and just has a pop of snakiness occasionally.”

On the similarities between herself and her character: 

“I liked school but I didn’t like school as much as when I was in school. I like it more now… I did care about my grades quite a bit growing up but not to the extent that Lydia does. I did not succeed as much as Lydia does. No, she’s very put together, we have a nickname for me called haggard Holland because I’m always tripping over everything, there’s always food on my face. I’m just not that girl. Believe me, I wish I was, I’m not. It sucks, it’s just not how that cookie crumbled… I like flat footwear. I would say probably not, I’m a little more rough around the edges unfortunately. I wish I was like Lydia. I want to be type A. She actually is type A.”

On the turning point in Lydia and Allison’s friendship: Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 7.11.55 PM

“I think the turning point would be probably towards the end of season 1 where she was here to stay and she was an interesting person and Lydia – if she can’t be the best she’ll be next to the best. Like physically sitting next to the best. So I think that’s why she and Allison had that first real connection because Lydia was looking for that friendship towards the end of Season 1 and then it became a real friendship.”

On the first day of filming: 

“I remember it was cold. It was really really really cold… and I had mini skirts on. I had to wear them because that’s Lydia’s outfit and we supposed to be in northern California but it was in Atlanta in the winter and that was freezing. I remember being really really really cold. But I was also really excited because we all just a had a weird feeling. We read the pilot and we read a lot of scripts as actor – of things you don’t book, of things you wanted to book, things that are just god awful and you hope you don’t book, things you don’t even go out for to begin with, we read Teen Wolf and we knew there was something there… it was cold but we knew that we had something. So we were really excited for the future and MTV wasn’t doing scripted at the time so that was weird for MTV all our actor friends were like, you’re going out for MTV, why? I don’t know. Because it’s a good show. And sure enough all of our friends had gone out for like 6 other shows that didn’t make it and here Teen Wolf is. We all knew there was something to that script. We loved it and we had a feeling. Everyone hated us – like Teen Wolf you suck, we hate you, Micheal J Fox is the best – and that’s all we got. So, we’re like cool, we like it and so it took a while. Once it finally aired it had been over a year and half since we were hired so it had been a long road, but that first day I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life. It was a very magical day even though we were freezing.”

On bowling: 

“I’m the most inconsistent bowler you’ll ever meet. I am a pro bowler sometimes and I am – well you might as well just not have me bowl. We love bowling in general. Bowling is something that I don’t understand why it’s not as popular as it used to be in the 80s. It should be just as popular now… we bowl a lot… we love bowling. Colton’s got his own bowling ball and his own gloves. Colton’s really intense about his bowling. Like, really intense. Actually the few times Colton’s been in town – because he’s been travelling a lot – we all meet at the bowling ally and so Jeff wrote that in because we begged him to write something in that we do in real life. So he wrote in the bowling scene. It was fun. It’s funny, you think anything you like to do in real life, I want to do that in a movie or a project, I do. Not as fun… you’re never actually bowling it just looks like you’re bowling in the final take… so it’s not as fun shooting it but for, like, a memory.  You know Jeff put it in because it’s fun for us to look back and be like aww it looks like we’re bowling, we love bowling. So it was fun for the memory.”

And that’s about all we have time for but I’ll leave you with my favorite quote of the event (seriously I want to have it framed – can we get this blasted around the fandom?) about Lydia’s Season 4 arch.

“Lydia’s main goal is solve crimes. She couldn’t help out last season, she felt like she fell short by not being able to save Allison and Aiden. She just didn’t get to the ball quick enough. So I think this season she’s trying to make up for that and that’s why she’s so focused on the topic at hand.”

Author: Undie Girl

Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.

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