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An Interview with Jacqui Holland, Star, Co-Writer and Producer of Silent But Deadly

by Mike Haberfelner

April 2014

Jacqui Holland on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Silent But Deadly - in a few words, what is it about? And what can you tell us about your character in it?


Silent But Deadly is a quirky comedy/horror that all takes place in a retirement home. I play Kitty, the activities director. Kitty is the type of girl that loves attention and tight dresses.


As an actress, what has drawn you to the production side of things in the first place, and why have you chosen Silent But Deadly to be your first feature as a producer?


As an actress Iíve worked on a lot of features with both larger and smaller budgets. After being on a good amount of sets I started picking things up. I started producing sketch comedies and iphone apps about 4 years ago. I had so much fun having my hands in something from start to finish that I couldnít wait to produce a feature. The two genres that I had the most experience in was comedy and horror, so Silent But Deadly was a perfect fit for my first feature as a producer.


You have co-written Silent But Deadly with Jason Lockhart - so what was your collaboration like, what were your inspirations when writing the thing, and how did the project come together in the first place?


Jason and I actually locked ourselves in his apartment with all our favourite snacks while writing the movie. We watched some Mel Brooks movies for inspiration along with Clue. Silent But Deadly was actually Jasonís mother idea. Both his Grandpa and my Grandma had just moved into a retirement home. His mother was talking about all the funny stories and wondered why werenít more movies taking place in a retirement home. Within days Jason and I were writing a comedy/horror in a retirement home.


Do talk about Silent But Deadly specific brand of humour for a bit?


Silent But Deadly has a very quirky sense of humor, the characters are very broad and colorful. Itís also a bit offbeat.


Have you written your character Kitty with yourself in mind, and what did you draw upon to bring her to life? And how much of Jacqui Holland can we find in Kitty?


Jason and I did write Kitty with me in mind. I had always wanted to be an activities director on a cruise ship when I was young, I dreamt of calling out Bingo numbers. I used my experience of going to work with my mom as a kindergarten teacher on all those Bring Your Daughter To Work Days to build Kitty. Kitty treats all the senior citizens like their small children. In truth I am nothing like Kitty, except I do enjoy singing stupid songs a lot!...


What can you tell us about the rest of your cast, what was it like working with them - and as a producer, how big was your influence when it came to casting?


I can tell you the whole cast was absolutely amazing!!! It was such an honor to get to work with all these amazing names as a producer. I definitely had a vote as a producer in the casting process. Truthfully, we all agreed on most of our casting decisions.


What can you tell us about your collaboration with your director Jason Lockhart during the shoot?


Jason and I spent a lot of time together working on the shoot. During pre-production we were at the office at 8am every morning. Once we went in Production I fully trusted Jason to direct the film.


Do talk about the shoot as such for a bit, and the on-set atmosphere?


We shot at an actual active retirement home so there was a lot of residents playing extras being a part of the movie. As I said before, the cast was absolutely amazing. I was such a joy to be around all these amazing actors and no one had any sort of attitude. Also our crew was fantastic as well, the whole experience was a little surreal.


What can you tell us about critical and audience reception of Silent But Deadly?


Silent But Deadly did well at The Hoboken International Film Festival, we ended up winning two awards there and were nominated for a handful. An audience thatís in the mood for a funny comedy/horror will really appreciate that film.


You have since Silent But Deadly produced, written and starred in the webseries High Heels, Low Standards - you just have to talk about that one for a bit!


High Heels, Low Standards is a webseries about two bumbling bikini dancers, Penelope Cheruby aka Spinner and Ashley Starling aka Soxs. It follows their misadventures as they run amuck through the magical land of Hollywood.


What can you tell us about your upcoming movie Two Faced?


Two Faced is a much darker film than Silent But Deadly. My character is a true anti-hero. It still has comedic undertones but its much more of a horror.


A few words about the upcoming God of Thunder, and what was it like to be the action heroine for a change?


God of Thunder was a lot of fun. I got to do a lot of running, jumping and driving large trucks.


Any other future projects of yours you'd like to share?


I will be heading to Fl. this May to shoot The Ritual where Iíll be playing Detective Amanda Jenkins. Super stoked to play a Detective.


What got you into acting in the first place, and what can you tell us about your education on the subject?


As a child I was ridiculously shy so my escape would be doing plays, being on stage really broke me out of my shell. Iíve studied acting and taken all sorts of classes from Meisner to Chekov, but Iíd say the best class in acting has been being on set and actually becoming that character.


Can you still remember your first time in front of a movie camera, and what was that experience like?


The first feature film I ever acted in was called Each Time I Kill, it was directed by Doris Wishman. It was her last film before she passed away. It was such an amazing experience I just wanted to do it over and over again.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Silent But Deadly?


Prior to Silent But Deadly I had done some smaller roles in bigger budget movies and TV shows like My Best Friendís Girl, How I Met Your Mother and Desperate Housewives. I was also acting in some independent films as well like Hollywood Sex Wars and Gingerdead Man 3.


Besides movies, you have also done quite a few sitcoms - so how does working on a movie set compare to working on a sitcom?


Sitcoms get a lot more coverage than films seem to get. Sitcoms usually have, you do a pretty lengthy rehearsal then set up lights and then shoot the scene a pretty good amount times. Films dependent on the budget usually donít get as much coverage. Thereís lots of factors with independent films like making your day, losing light and in my case washing blood outta your hair ;)



How would you describe yourself as an actress, and what are some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?


As an actress Iíd say Iím pretty real even when Iím playing broader characters. I like to keep everything grounded in some truth. I like escape and become the character.


Actresses (or indeed actors) who inspire you?


Barbara Stanwyck, absolutely love film noir. Reese Witherspoon because sheís amazing. And Jessica Lange because Iím a huge fan of American Horror Story and sheís fabulous.


Your favourite movies?


The two movies that really shaped me growing up were The Craft and Clueless. My all time favorites being Baby Face, Fight Club and Donnie Darko.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


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I was very mad at Vanilla Sky, I love psychological thrillers and I wanted to like it so much but I didnítÖ I also felt that way about Inception.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else? and

instagram: JacquiHollandxo


Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Thank you :)


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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from the post-apocalyptic
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD