With an impressive resume spanning television and film, Jacqui Holland has hit the ground running in Hollywood, and shows no signs of slowing down. She’s already acted in a romantic comedy with Kate Hudson in My Best Friend’s Girl, been in a Charles Band production with Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver, and has starred in a plethora of indie horror, comedy, and horror-comedy films.
We were able to chat with Jacqui about her new film, Silent But Deadly, (hitting select theaters, DVD, and Video On Demand in February) and learned that behind the beauty, blood, and belly-laughs is a down-to-earth woman who’s getting it done.
Patrick Emmel: So I recently saw your film, Silent But Deadly, which you co-wrote, produced, and acted in. How did the idea of unleashing a serial killer in a retirement home come about?
Jacqui Holland: It actually came about while the director, Jason Lockhart and I were at dinner with his mother. We were talking about how both Jason’s Grandfather and my Grandmother were in a retirement home. His mother said someone should really make a movie about that. Within days we were off to the races and started writing a comedy horror in a retirement home.
Patrick: The movie reminded me a bit of the 80s horror spoof classic, Student Bodies. Obviously the geriatric version of Student Bodies, but it had that same theme of satirical horror. Did Student Bodies, or any other films, help inspire Silent But Deadly?
Jacqui: We were inspired by Mel Brooks a bit. We watched Young Frankenstein, Clue, and Head of The Class with Brad Pitt. Personally, I’m a big John Waters fan, I love the colorful worlds he creates. So I wanted this one to have a colorful world as well.
Jacqui: I’m pretty sure we were thinking of the stupidest thing we could think of to kill someone with. The joke of it is that they’re old and a hard pillow can be deadly.
Patrick: And the cat mask? I know that hockey masks weren’t exactly horrifying until Jason Voorhees slid one on in Friday the 13th: Part 3, but where did the cat mask come from?
Jacqui: Donnie Darko is one of my favorite movies of all time, love the bunny costume in that one. A creepy cat mask just seemed appropriate for this one. Also we wanted my character Kitty to be the red herring so that was part of it.
Patrick: Is it a bit easier to focus on your character when you’re not dealing with the behind the scenes circus that can come with being a producer?
Jacqui: It definitely is easier to focus as an actress when you’re not producing. But, luckily in the films I have both produced and acted in I’ve had a really great team by my side that allowed me to not have worry when I was on set and just focus on my acting.
Patrick: The cast of old people you gathered is legendary: Bruce Vilanch, who would probably slap me for calling him old; Rip Taylor, complete with moustache tug; the original film Catwoman Lee Merriwether; King Cobra of the Cobra Kai Martin Kove; soap opera star Jerry Douglas. It’s like an arthritic all-star team. Who was on the casting wish-list when you finished writing the movie?
Jacqui: We couldn’t be happier with the cast, it was so amazing to have them reading our words. Between myself, Jason and Michael J. Roth (one of the producers) we pretty much casted it ourselves. We originally wanted Estelle Harris (Seinfeld), Jerry Stiller (Seinfeld), and Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond), but we didn’t exactly have the budget for that.
Patrick: I’d like to address the giant, sweaty elephant in the room, if I may. Fans spanning indie horror films to major romantic comedies have seen you topless. Has there been an increase of unblinking, mumbling, possibly drooling fans at film festivals and conventions as a result?
Jacqui: Honestly being topless goes with the territory. If you’re an actor you have to be open to really expose yourself, in my opinion. I was watching The Change-Up last night which was a big budget studio film and even Leslie Mann who is a huge actress that I admire was topless in it, or had a body double, not sure… I’ll be honest here, my first horror films that I did were not my finest moments running through the woods topless. But, you have to start somewhere. I am now at a point in my career where I only do leading roles in indie films. Unfortunately for my fans who like to see me naked I won’t be topless in any of my upcoming films in 2014, but I do have some scandalous wardrobe for sure.
Look out for Jacqui Holland in Silent But Deadly (February 2014), God Of Thunder (March 2014), Dead Ringer (Sept. 2014), and Two Faced (October 2014).