Melissa Holder plays DJ Raven on "The Dead Hour".
What's your character on The Dead Hour, like in terms of personality?
I would say DJ Raven is very mysterious and mischievous. I think she's kind of a homebody in a sense, and I think there's just a lot of mystery that surrounds her.
What types of people would enjoy the show?
I would say anybody really, especially people who really enjoy the horror genre, or even types of sci-fi. If you were into Tales From the Crypt or the The Twilight Zone, I think this is something that's definitely up your alley.
Did you have any input into the show since you played the main character?
As far as like filming, not necessarily for like script writing or anything else, but I definitely met with the creative team before we started filming and kind of went over the character. They kind of gave me free rein with her. They had a direction that they would like her to go, but overall, they kind of just let me roll with it.
Do you like the horror genre, and what do you like about it?
You know, it's funny. I do like the horror genre, but I'm also kind of a chicken in the same sense. I like I like being scared, but I also don't like being scared. I've always kind of liked that genre since I was young. I used to kind of sneak and watch if my parents were watching a scary movie and try to catch glimpses of it. I've always enjoyed ghost stories and those kinds of things. But now, like, I really like The Walking Dead and zombie type flicks; I like those two, but then I like the slasher films as well. You know, Freddy Krueger and Jason and Michael Myers, those kinds of films. I love those two, so I kind of like them all, but I am a chicken at the same time.
What are some ways that you get into your character in The Dead Hour?
Some of the ways that I got into my character is I actually watched some Twilight Zone just to kind of get into that, because ours is an anthology series, and so is The Twilight Zone and so is Tales from the Crypt. I grew up with Tales From the Crypt and I love it. I always thought the Crypt Keeper, how he introduced each story, he really kind of like drew everybody into what he was about to show us, and he made it exciting. So, I wanted to bring that in to kind of entice the audience, to bring them into each story. So, I would say that those two shows are definitely inspirations for my character.
Was there a specific scene on The Dead Hour that you enjoyed filming the most?
Yeah, there is a episode called “Fright Fest” that we got to film in an older movie theater, and it's the one episode that DJ Raven doesn't start the whole show off. She's actually in the show. So, I got to film in a film projection booth, and we got to film either it was before the theater opened or overnight, and I really enjoyed not only just filming that scene, but the whole episode is probably one of my favorites.
Has there been a scene on The Dead Hour that was particularly challenging to film?
You know, not necessarily for my character, DJ Raven, because it is only me. When I film, I'm almost just filming this long monologue, so I don't film with anybody else. So, if there's any type of difficulty, it's because I'm not doing it right, or there has been times where I might get the giggles. There was this one time we were filming, and I just could not get it together. It was like a particular line, and the way that I said it made other people laugh, and then I couldn't stop laughing. So, I would say those would be maybe the difficult times, but overall, no; it was great.
Do you have any favorite horror films?
You know, when I was in high school, Scream came out, the first Scream, and I was obsessed with that movie. I don't know why. I loved all the characters and am a big Drew Barrymore fan. I really liked Neve Campbell in it, because I watched her and her show Party of Five. I don't know; there was something about that movie that I watched over and over and over, and not just at home, but when it was in the theater. I watched it repeatedly. I just really enjoyed that movie, but honestly, I kind of liked them all. I mean, not the gory. I don't really like really gory things, if it's too gory, but anything that's like ghost story, too, I like that, too.
Why did you get into acting?
I've been actually acting since I was really little. I am originally from California. I have an uncle who was an actor, and I remember when I was little telling him, “I want to do that.” And my brother and sister, we used to kind of put on little plays for family, like when they would come over for Thanksgiving or Christmas. My parents got me into community theater when I was young, and I really kind of got bitten by the acting bug. I really just loved it. I continued to do theater throughout high school, and I actually majored in theater in college; I have a bachelor's degree in theater. Then, after college, I kind of got more into filming for film and commercials and that kind of work. Now, I've kind of gone back to doing theater. So, it's something that honestly I don't have a memory of not wanting to act. It's been a really long time. I was very little. So, community theater is where I started.
Which actors inspire you?
Oh, goodness. I have a lot. I would have to say, like I said before, Drew Barrymore. I've loved watching her career. She is a child actor who had a very rough upbringing. I actually read a lot of books. She had an autobiography that I read, and she's just a really interesting actress. I have really enjoyed watching her career, because it's just been so across the board. She's played people in loves stories, or she's played Cinderella, or she's done horror. She's just kind of like an actor of our time, and I really enjoy her. There’re a lot of them. I'm put on the spot, but she's one of my favorites. I like Johnny Depp. I really enjoy Johnny Depp. He's another actor who he’s just very interesting. He plays interesting characters, and he's really fun to watch. So, I would say that those two are some of my top, but I have a ton. I could probably talk about that all day long.
What has been your favorite film role to play?
That's tough. Honestly, and this could probably sound cheesy, but it is DJ Raven. I think the reason why is because I have spent so long playing that character. When you film a movie, it usually takes a couple of weeks up to a month or that kind of thing, and then it's over. With DJ Raven, we filmed a handful of episodes, and then we’d wait six months to about a year, and we would film more, so it was like this gradual arc with her, and just spending that time being that character, it has probably been one of my favorites. Also the family that we've kind of created with it. We call it A Dead Hour family, because each episode has different actors in it. So, we have all these new people coming in for each episode, and you just have these experiences with each other. It is kind of like a little family. So, I would have to say DJ Raven has probably been my favorite role when I've done film. Theater is a different story. I have a couple of favorite roles I've done for theater, but yeah, I would say DJ Raven for film.
If you could create any movie that you would star in what would be the plot?
Oh my goodness. That is is a really, really, really hard one. You know, it probably wouldn't be a horror film. I would have to say maybe a coming of age story, maybe just following a character from their early life and kind of just showing their arc. Sometimes I feel like my life is a movie. I've had just some really interesting things that happened to me in my life and some really bizarre things that have happened to my life. So, I don't know. I think something that is a movie that follows somebody over a long period of time would be interesting, probably not horror though.
If you could play any role from past TV shows and movies, what role would you have liked to play?
Past TV shows…okay, I got one. I would love to have been Penny Lane from the movie Almost Famous. I love that movie. That's probably one of my favorite movies. I was very into the band scene, I would say, in high school, and I followed, like, had a bunch of friends and local bands. We would go to this place called The Ranch Bowl. It was a music venue. I just loved her in that movie. If you're not familiar, she's kind of like a groupie. She's a groupie, and she follows this band around as they travel and they tour, and it’s back in the 70s I believe is the era. But that is probably one role that I would have really liked to play. It was one of my favorite movies. It's just such a neat role.
What has been the biggest challenge in your career?
I would say maybe the inconsistency of work. I live in Omaha, Nebraska, and that, shockingly, has a lot of film work, and it has a lot of theater work as well, but you want to do things that are going to be meaningful to you. So, finding those projects that have some meaning to you that you want to spend your time on, it can be difficult at times. I would say that our area has a lot of really neat projects that are going on, but it's not very consistent. So, I would say probably consistency with the availability of roles.
As an actress, do you have a favorite genre to perform?
You know, I like drama. I like the seriousness of drama, but I really like comedy. Comedies are lot of fun. Actually, even though this isn't film, I just got done doing a play, and it was a comedy. There's just something about making people laugh that is so much fun. I really enjoy that, but I do love playing those serious roles too. So, I'm not really like a romantic comedy or a romantic type movie person. I either like it really like the serious or the funny ones. I do like making people laugh.
Where can people follow you?
I am on Instagram at melissaholder7237, and then I'm also on Facebook just with Melissa Holder. I'm on Twitter, but I don't really use Twitter that much. I'm not very good at it, but I believe, I think my handle is _Melissa_Holder_. I'm mostly on Instagram at melissaholder7237 or on Facebook under just Melissa Holder.
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