Teen Wolf Season 3 may not have a UK broadcaster, but the show’s cult following brought us into contact with Lost and The Event survivor Holland Roden, who plays not-at-all supernatural high school monarch Lydia Martin. Roden spoke exclusively to SciFiNow about being nothing like Cordelia Chase or Twilight, but quite a bit like The Evil Dead…
For people new to Teen Wolf, could you give a quick introduction to your character?
I play Lydia Marten on Teen Wolf. From Season 1 I’d say she’s the archetypal popular girl turned on its head. She’s really smart and over the top, so there’s overacting on my part.
It’s fun in the way that it’s a bit like the Reese Witherspoon character from Election. She’s progressed though, and she grows up. The love of her life is gone. It forces her to break her walls down and make connections elsewhere.
She’s a bit like the Cordelia character?
Yeah, she’s not quite as bitchy though, she has a much better heart. There isn’t a true antagonist in the school, I’d be the closest thing to it. But, she’s misunderstood.
The third series has a bigger body count and is more action by all accounts, to you get your action chops on at all get stuck in?
Well I’m the least action orientated character I guess. I finally got to meet the stunt co-ordinator though, but I do get to kick some ass compared to in the other seasons. Or arse. It’s arse in Britain isn’t it? Yes, arse!
Easy question, werewolves or vampires?
Oh god I have to go werewolves! Loyalty! I’m a dog person too as well, so it’s appropriate, I have Yorkie poodle called Fievel, with a bit of dachshund. She’s vertically challenged. She’s quite feisty. Thing is I think genre stuff is beginning to move away from werewolves and vampires. At the end of the day though, Teen Wolf is about relatable human issues, told through supernatural means.
Can you be more expressive about human issues through genre fiction?
Absolutely yeah, 100 percent. It’s like a hyperbole of what humans actually deal with. All these metaphors for growing pains, acceptance issues, hair and transforming bone structure. Good old puberty.
Do you know if Michael J Fox is a fan of the new series?
I don’t know about him, but I know Jason Bateman [star of the second film, Teen Wolf Too] is a huge fan. I also know the guy from Jay And Silent Bob is a huge fan, Jay Smith?
Oh, Kevin Smith?
Oh yeah Kevin Smith! I’ve been on his radio show podcast thing, his daughter’s a huge fan and that’s how he got involved. You know, he gets it. He gets when there’s good writing and when there’s something good going on at its core. I commend him, because he’s given us a platform with his demographic. He always has a hockey jersey on too. It was a big moment for me too though, as I’m a big Mallrats fan, I went to his house and it’s so weird.
Was Teen Wolf the first show you were on that caught on?
Yeah this is the second series regular I’ve had. The first show I was on was with Lily Tomlin and Gary Cole, huge comedic actress. She’s had a 40 year career. I was a sponge on that show, learning from her, it was an HBO show called 12 Miles Of Bad Road. It was a good experience. We didn’t go forward with it unfortunately, it only got one season.
It must be quite hard to maintain a show in the US given all the factors that could affect it?
Oh yeah definitely. There are a lot of channels and a lot of shows, just vying for pilot positions, and then like, only 10 percent of shows get picked up. It’s also annoying when you start getting into a show and it gets cancelled, that happened with me and The Event. The first show I worked on, it was a good experience to get the peak and valley experiences of working on a show, so when I got the Teen Wolf gig, I was just praying that it’d see the light of day!
I thought the first show I was on should have been huge, it was a hugely black comedy, and seeing that it didn’t get its day was so frustrating. I knew I was lucky enough to work on something I like, because there are a lot of actors that are not on good shows and know it, and they have to pretend they are. With Teen Wolf it’s pure luck I ended up on something else I liked, and people have latched onto this a lot more. It’s become the little engine that could really.
Do you think coming out of the shadow of Twilight helped?
Maybe, but people are surprised with this, because they’re saying ‘Oh man the writing’s actually good!’ Not that I’m saying Twilight’s isn’t, and I’ve not seen it. At the end of the day I prefer indie stuff I guess, because I’m an actor at heart. I like two people talking in a room with no special effects, but the thing is I think Teen Wolf has that spirit amidst all the effects, glitz and glamour.
How are the effects done, is there a lot of practical stuff or is it computer/green screen mostly?
A lot of its old school actually, which people aren’t used to, so people think it’s low budget. People are used to seeing all computer so they think ‘oh my god that looks so fake and cheap.’ When you have practical effects it’s a bit more Evil Dead style. You see it there. It looks different. I’d say 98 percent of the show is practical effects due to budget stuff.
Do you not think though that Teen Wolf will age less as a result of using more practical stuff? CGI has a tendency to age very badly.
Well, there’s an 80s thing in Teen Wolf, so the practical stuff works as kind of a throwback to that stuff too. There’s an 80s thread that carries through, it’s kinda romantic and old school, and a nice homage to 80s horror. I’d say we’ve been ahead of the curve, not that all these remakes are coming out haha.
How was working with Russell Mulcahy?
MORE BLOOD MORE BLOOD MORE MORE MORE! There’s a Twitter account called Russell MulCrazy, and its transcripts of his actual quotes that was run by his assistant. He’s great, he’s a big teddy bear. We’d go over and kiss him every day.
So he wasn’t bad tempered like some director types have a reputation for being?
Oh God no.
Have you ever worked for anyone like that?
It’s OK, you don’t have to say anything that’ll get you in trouble!
It’s fine. To be honest I’ve been lucky. The jobs I’ve worked on have been adequate. He’s hard on the camera people because he knows the shots he wants, but he’s very diplomatic about it. He’s a bizarre man. He’ll sit outside content, eating a sandwich in pouring rain, perfectly content. He’s very humble, he finds beauty in everything. We all have a crushes on him. He’s a Russell. He’s great at cutting stuff together.
Any other directors on your list to work with?
Oh man, I’d love to work with Sam Mendes! Eli Roth too, I’m a big fan of him. I think he’s real talented, especially what he’s doing with The Green Inferno. He’s got two films coming out that I’m really excited to see. He’s at the forefront of new horror stuff I think.
Teen Wolf Season 3 is airing now on MTV in the US. Teen Wolf Season 2 is out now from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, pick it up DVD for £15.97 from Amazon.co.uk.