In my quest to broaden my knowledge within the horror genre, I had the absolute pleasure to ask the up and coming British scream queen Melanie Denholme, some questions regarding her early career in the genre and giving you guys a taste of what she brings to the table. Lets just say, Melanie, is absolutely stunning and talented to boot, and I am very pleased to bring her to your attention, and hopefully you will keep an eye out for her upcoming and past projects.
Even though Melanie has only been working within the genre for the past several years, she has already carved a name for herself and proving why she is a force to be reckoned with. So, without further-ado, head on down below for the interview.
Horror-Movies: First and foremost Melanie, I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for me. What got you into the horror film business?
Melanie Denholme: It was my second role as an actress for the trailer of Paranormal Haunting – The Curse of the Blue Moon inn that was the very beginning of my journey into the horror genre. Originally it was only the trailer I was supposed to appear in but for some crazy reason the director was a little bit impressed and re wrote the script to include me in the whole film, to say I was chuffed to bits is an understatement. What followed was the lead and only role in the film Lady of the Dark- Genesis of the Serpent Vampire.
Melanie: I remember when I was well under the age of 18 being obsessed with trying to get my hands on a copy of ‘IT’ I just had to watch it, my parents being responsible and correct of course wasn’t having any of it but of course being the rebel I was that wasn’t about to stop me so when I did finally get the chance to watch it I managed 10 minutes and couldn’t watch any more for being to scared, (I was very young) but what it did was give me a challenge because even then I hated feeling weak I may have failed to watch it but I wasn’t about to do it again and so there it started.
H-M: Women have always had a presence in horror, but over the past decade or so, women have really been making an impact in the genre, what advice would you give to budding female filmmakers/actresses?
Melanie: Be brave, fearless, and prepared to stand out, don’t be prude and don’t hold back, know what you want and focus 100% on your goal. I’ve taken a lot of criticism from a lot of people including friends and family but I’ve never faltered. Its my life I’m living not someone else’s, I say this because I know how people close to you can hold you back so it does take a very strong character to overcome that and females especially are subject to judgement due to the content of many horror films basically you’ve got to just not give a shit.
Melanie: Firstly thank you, but goodness that’s almost impossible to answer as every film I have done has been extremely demanding one way or another, each and every one has pushed a boundary or 5 more so in the sense that the stunts needed, naked in freezing weather is enough to test anyone’s strength of character. But its probably the simplest of things that I found most demanding and difficult and that was Dark Satanic Magik because the whole film is narrated there is no dialogue at all so finding my character with no spoken words for me was very difficult.
Acting is reacting and a few of my films has been a case of acting and reacting to a Camera and its a lot harder to connect and find chemistry with a camera than it is to act opposite another human so I will let the audience decide if I’m able to pull it off or not if I have and can then bring on the green screen and cgi.
H-M: You recently co-directed and co-written, Anna: Scream Queen Killer. How was the transition from actress to filmmaker?
Melanie: Yes this was a joint effort and such a simple idea that so many people in the industry will relate to it. It really felt great creating the story and character and I feel very proud to have contributed to such an original piece and I actually feel that it’s my best acting role so far too. It didn’t feel like much of a transition though as I’ve always been lucky enough to have a lot of freedom with the characters I’ve played and most of my films have required an awful lot of improv.
Melanie: Philip Gardiner without a doubt, the man talks complete sense, says it how it is and encourages you to use your own imagination and to push yourself, I am where I am today because of him and his influence.
H-M: If you could star in any horror movie, past, present or future, which would it be and why?
Melanie: A Hitchcock film called The Birds I would like to have played Tippi Hedren’s character Melanie. The film to me a classic and full of suspense yet such a simple idea and I hope this doesn’t sound big headed but even though Tippi played her beautifully there are just a couple of moments that felt just a little wooden, I’m sure millions would disagree but its just my opinion, definitely a character in a great film that I would love to have played. So if any one is up for a remake hint hint!!
H-M: I believe you’re filming your latest project, Dark Satanic Magick, what can you tell us about the film and your role?
Melanie: In the words of Aquinas, “Magick is spellbinding, magick is myth, magick is reality, magick is. What is magick? To probe, to learn, to discover, to enter, to control, to imagine, to create, to visualize, to change. That is dark satanic magick.” My role without giving too much away is of a young lady who has been taken against her will and is used and abused for ritual purposes but somehow she gains knowledge and control. This role was pretty mute other than the narrative but it tells a powerful story. Filming has finished so I can’t wait to see the finished result.
Melanie: Alien, The Others, An American werewolf in London, The Shining, Misery
H-M: What does the future hold for you? Any new horror projects on the horizon?
Melanie: There will always be horrors on the Horizon for me, plain Jane characters aren’t half as much fun. My next film is however a Sci Fi but soon after that there will be an award ceremony where I will receive my first Oscar, my ultimate goal is success at the highest level, I have no interest in fame just recognition for any skill I may or may not have, it would be lovely to feel that all the years of hard work and perseverance have finally paid off.
H-M: Thank you so much for your time, Melanie. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Melanie: The pleasure really is all mine.