As much as I badmouthed the VH1 series Scream Queens, I've gone on record on different sites to express my love for the contestant, Sierra Holmes. I felt early on that Sierra was the only contestant with any sort of love for the genre she was trying to break out in, and I was very heartbroken to see her go. Now that the season has come to a close and a new Scream Queen has been crowned, I was lucky enough to nab an interview with my favorite contestant. So I present to you, Sierra Holmes as this week's WotW.
Sierra Holmes was born September 27, 1987 and just turned 23. A native of Suffern, NY, her whole life was spent in a small town about 30 minutes from the city. She's mostly Italian and has a very big family. She says she is very close to her older brother, Matt, her younger sister, Capri and her mom and dad, without them she says that she would be nothing. Growing up, she was not the most popular girl in school, and says she was actually picked on all the time. She was book smart and loved cheerleading, track, the plays, and musicals. She was actually exceptional in track, and even broke some records. She was offered a scholarship for college, however she turned it down because acting was her main passion. She performed in every single one of the plays and musicals in school growing up, as well as all over the community. Her favorite part, she says would have to be playing Val, in A Chorus Line and Corie in Barefoot in the Park She graduated highschool and received a scholarship to the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in Hollywood.
1) When did you know you wanted to act?
When I was little, I always loved being in the spotlight and loved attention. When I was 7 years old, my mom put me in the musical theatre production of Beauty and the Beast. I absolutely loved being on stage and in front of an audience. From that moment on, I knew acting was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I continued acting in tons of musical theatre productions where I became quite skilled as well in singing and dancing. Every opportunity I had that had to do with acting, I took it! I started taking acting, singing, dancing and improv classes weekly. I auditioned and qualified to attend the IMTA convention (International Music and Talent Agent) in NYC, where I performed in front of many important people and got offered Agent and Manager representation. I knew since I was little when I graduated highschool, I was packing my bags for California going for my dream!
2) From Beauty and the Beast and now Scream Queens! What draws you to horror films?
Ever since I was a little girl, I would always have my dad take me to Blockbuster and beg him to rent me scary movies.When little girls my age were watching Disney movies, I was watching blood and guts! There was something about horror movies that always kept me on my toes in suspension. I liked being scared and not knowing what was going to happen next. I remember my very first scary movie which was Gremlins. I snuck down to the living room one night and it was on TV. I was so little and they were so creepy and scared me so much, I still have nightmares about them today! Whenever I would start to get really scared in a movie, I would just root for the "bad guy" and that would calm me down. Horror movies are still my favorite type of movies to watch and my collection of them at home take up an entire bookcase!
3) Good thing Gizmo didn't have a cameo this season. When did you find out you were going to be on the show?
I went to an open casting call in August 2009 and auditioned in front of a panel of people. Two weeks later, I got called in for another audition, where I had to memorize a scene and perform in in front of a camera. After that second call back, it became a very long process. I had about 8 more callbacks after that including one where it just happened to be my 22 birthday. I had to go to a hotel and get blood and psychiatric tests done all day. Then in the beginning of November, I was told I was going to be on the show and to have all my bags packed because a car was coming to pick me up and bring me to a hotel the next week. I was placed in my hotel room and was not allowed to have a key or leave the room unless someone escorted me. I was there for about 3 days still doing some more tests, photos, and on camera interviews. Then on my last night at the hotel, I was told that 11 other girls were at the hotel also and they had to cut two! All along I thought I was already on the show, but the day before we started filming, they still had to get rid of two more girls, I was so scared! That night, I received a phone call in my hotel room that I would be getting escorted down to a conference room in the hotel where they would be announcing the final 10! I got to the room and I saw 10 chairs sitting in a circle and one by one the girls were arriving to the room but we weren't allowed to talk to each other. Then the producers arrived and announced congratulations we were the final 10! I felt like I was in a dream and I cant even explain how happy I was!
4) How nerve-wracking! First that and then you had to deal with celebrities! How was working with Tim Sullivan?
Tim Sullivan is an amazing director! He really knows what hes talking about and how to get what he wants from an actor/actress. Every critique he gave me was extremely helpful and helped me improve so much as an actress. Not only is he an incredible director, but hes such a sweetheart! He would always give us hugs and crack jokes with us off set. He's such a nice, kind hearted person and I still keep in touch with him today and am proud to call him one of my good friends! I hope to work with him again someday soon.
5) He seems like such a cool guy, you're extremely lucky. Did you ever get any "fangirl" feelings on set surrounded by so many big names?
I was so consumed with the competition and stressed out that I didnt have time to have "fangirl" feelings! Of course, it definitely was an amazing opportunity getting to work with the judges and I was always wanting to do my very best and impress them but I didnt let myself get side tracked that they were famous. I had to keep my head in the competition and focus on that. John Homa, Jaime King, and Tim Sullivan are just like the rest of us being very down to earth, funny and nice. I developed a friendship with all of them and consider them my friends rather than a celebrity.
6) What do you think makes a horror actress?
To be a Scream Queen, I definitely feel you have to be able to play the girl next door but at the same time play a vicious killer. Horror movies run on the believability of the actress/actor, otherwise it just comes off as comedy. They have to be able to tap in and out of their emotions very quickly. You have to be able to be vulnerable and crying and then in a split second consume yourself with rage to attack your killer! I know being able to tap into my emotions quickly is one of my strengths, but as an actress there’s always room to work and perfect everything.
7) As an acting student, I feel you that horror acting is extremely difficult. What do you think was the hardest part of the show?
The hardest part about being on the show was definitely having to do your absolute best each and every time on the first try. Theres so much pressure and competition, its really easy to screw up. Knowing I was so close to my dream was unbelievable to me so I really pushed myself hard. I wanted to win so badly! The other girls on the show were so talented that there was no room to mess up. I always had to make sure I was focused and had my head in the game. It was also very difficult having to compete against some of my good friends. I became very close with most of the girls in the house so I had to know where to draw the line and remember that it was still a competition but still wanting to stay close with them!
8) So you sadly missed the opportunity of being in Saw 3-D (which is overrated if you ask me ;]) so I have to ask, if you could star in any horror movie ever made, what would you star in?
I would love to star as Emily Rose in The Exorcist of Emily Rose. I love that movie and movies about demons and possession like Paranormal Activity because that scares me most of all. Acting possessed isn't as easy as it looks and can come off very comical if you don't do it right, in my opinion. That role would definitely push me as an actress. I can also wiggle my eyes, contort my fingers and twist my arms over my head which might be cool to do when that character being possessed!
9) Final Question: Who's your favorite Scream Queen?
My favorite Scream Queen is the cast of VH1 Scream Queens 2! Lana, Rosanna, Karlie, Allison, Sarah, Tai, Christine, Jessica, Gabby and myself! We all worked so hard and improved so much as horror actresses and I am so proud of all of them! All of us combined make a pretty darn kick ass Scream Queen!