Deneen Melody sagt über sich selbst: Actress. Dancer. Artist. Portrays the Goddess Hecate Freya in the fantasy web series Western X. No Elfin‘ Way geek girl podcast co-host. Loves Lord of the Rings & Unicorns. Always dreaming.
Unterstütze diesen Interviewpartner:
How did your passion for acting develop? Do you remember a particular moment in your life when you decided that you wanted to be an actor?
Growing up, I always wanted to be a ballet dancer. I knew from the age of 7 that I wanted to dance more than anything. Something just happens to me when I dance, I cannot explain it. I just love it so much. I didn’t even really think about acting, aside from doing theater at school, as something I would really pursue, because I always knew I wanted to be a ballerina. For years and years I trained and performed, working my way up…only to break my foot while I was dancing in Scotland, have two different surgeries on it, and never fully recover. It was at that point I had to step back and really look at my life and what I wanted to do.
Something stopped me from just being a ballet teacher, and now I know it is because I am a performer. Deep down, that is who I am. I love the art, I love bringing stories to life, and I love having the opportunity to be someone else. Ballet, in a lot of ways, is actually just acting…especially in the classics. It requires a lot of emotion and putting yourself out there for the audience to see, and I think once I started to consider film/tv, I was able to see that it was a great option for me. Now, after doing it for a few years, I love it just as much as ballet, and sometimes feel that it was what I was meant to do. Life has such a strange way of throwing things at you to get you on the right path.
In Germany, many actors start their careers at the theatre and proceed to work in television / the movies only later. Is it the same in the US? Where did you start your career?
I know a lot of actors that train in theater or take extensive classes before starting into movies/television, and I feel the actor gains a large advantage by doing so. Having a strong background in theater is extremely helpful and some of the best actors I know are theatrically trained. However, I don’t believe that is always the case. There are a few actors here and there that have gained their experience strictly through independent projects.
As for myself, I actually did not have formal training prior to becoming involved in film. As mentioned above, I trained professionally in ballet for most of my life and attended many schools and intensives, but when I broke my foot and had to step back from dance, I was sort of at a lost. A few friends pushed me into film by suggesting I just go to a television pilot audition, and after I ended up getting a role, that started it for me. I realized it really wasn’t so different than ballet. So, I fall more into the latter category by gaining experience on smaller projects and working up from there. That being said, now that I am in LA, I am taking classes and looking more into the technical aspects of being an actor. There is always something to learn!
„As Night Falls“ called in Germany „Die Nacht der Zombies – Night of the Zombies“ releases in Germany a few weeks ago on dvd. What do you remember when you think of the production?
This was such a fun project to be involved in! I am so happy that it received distribution in Germany. I have even had a few emails from fans in Germany stating how much they liked the movie. Admittedly, I have also read a few negative reviews and comments, and I’m a little sad by that, but I think a lot of it comes from misunderstanding what the film really is. It isn’t about zombies (which is why it is called As Night Falls, there are only a few zombies in the movie), and it really is just a fun, independent, multi-genre movie. It has horror, yes, but also plenty of action, comedy, and even a little drama. It is just such a fun story and Joe Davidson did a fantastic job bringing it to life.
As far as my experience, I had such a great time working with the cast and crew, and I am very proud of the film. It was my first bigger film, meaning that at the time, I had only done student films, and the only other feature I had worked on was III SLICES OF LIFE, which was shot in segments, so I was still learning a lot at the time. The days (or nights, really) were long, but we were all in good company. I also enjoyed the fact that I had a chance to do stunt work, since I had been taking fight classes and was itching to do my own stunts. (Which is a lot of fun, by the way! Very exhilarating!) The first time I watched it, I was with producer (and my co-star) Dwight Cenac, and it was a blast!! I knew the script and the characters, and I still laughed a lot. I also really enjoy the theme song, performed by Dirty Black Halo, and feels it gives the movie almost a cool 80’s vibe. I want to thank Germany for giving the film a chance and for all the wonderful comments! Be sure to tell your friends and help spread the word that the film is now available on DVD.
As an actor in a US-Movie, how much freedom do you have to interpret your character?
It really depends on the project and the director, but I have always had a lot of freedom on bringing my own take to the roles I have played. Of course, that includes working with the director and being open to a collaboration. The best characters I have played are the ones that I understand and relate to, but the director also offers a few suggestions and even a little insight to something I may have missed. I find it is very important to be open and willing to work with others in the entertainment industry to bring out the very best in a character.
What are your plans for the future? Where will we see you next?
Well, I just moved from Chicago to Los Angeles and have started training out here, so I hope to keep that up and continue to grow as an actress. There is always so much to learn, and I want to continue working hard and hopefully step up to that next level. It would be wonderful to work on a television show or a big budget film in the future, but, that requires patience, and I understand that. As far as where you can see me next, the contemporary fantasy film I created and act in, ROSE WHITE, is currently making the festival round and may even gain distribution in the next few months, which is very exciting. (We have submitted it to several German Film Festivals, too, so fingers crossed!) The film has been a favorite among review sites, so it will be interesting to see how it shall be received. I also recently wrapped a beautiful dramatic film called SEARCHING FOR VENICE that was shot in Chicago, and I know it’ll be a hit at festivals. I will also be playing the lead character in a new fairy tale film called TELLER OF TALES: THE HANDMAIDEN’S DEVILED EGG, and I’m really, really excited about it. It is a whimsical script and the character is just perfect for me. It’ll be fun to start on that one. Aside from that, I do have a few independent films in the works, too, including another project with ROSE WHITE collaborator, Daniel Kuhlman, but it is a bit too early to really speak about it. Of course, my Facebook page, Twitter, and website will have updates on all of these projects, so anyone interested may keep up with me there!
When you think about Germany, what’s your first thought?
Oh, I think of the beautiful countrysides and the scenery. It truly is just gorgeous and so different than what you may find in America. I’m a huge fan of fairy tales and the fantasy genre, and Germany just looks like it comes straight out of a storybook. I also love the castles.
Have you ever been in Germany?
I have not, but one of my sisters had lived there for several years. She would always send postcards and pictures when I was younger, which is why I always think of how beautiful the scenery and castles are. I would absolutely love to visit one of these days! Perhaps I may film something there in the future.
Do you want to say something special to the German fans?
Just thank you. Thank you all for the love and support! I receive more emails and messages from people in Germany than any other place, and it really means so much to me. You are all very loved and I appreciate it dearly!
With who would you not like to sit in a sauna?
Who would I NOT like to sit with in a sauna? Oh dear! Probably Jabba the Hutt. I feel like he would take up way too much room and smell awful. Not to mention he would probably try to eat me, and that is not cool!
© Daniel Pietrzik | nachgebloggt.de