Introducing the Diabolik Dozen – a continuing series of 12 questions to celebrate people involved in the Home Video industry.
To commemorate the release of the WISHMASTER COLLECTION as part of the VESTRON VIDEO line, we had the opportunity to chat with the lovely and talented Holly Fields, who has had a long career in both TV and Film including two genre cult favorites WISHMASTER 2 and SEED PEOPLE. Along with on screen acting, Holly has done voice over work for video games and TV and has lately been featured as Nadia Grell in the STAR WARS Universe games.
Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies was directed by Jack Sholder who had a string of horror hits in the 80s with Alone in the Dark, Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and The Hidden? What are your memories of working with him?
Jack’s awesome and very intelligent. I remember that he wanted me to do only 1 or 2 takes and I was always begging him for more takes. He did the least amount of takes possible because he wanted Morgana to have this nervous, unrehearsed, unpolished kind of energy about her. We didn’t want her too cool or confident or over rehearsed and wanted to see that, deep down, she really was trying to be this strong, confident, cool girl. There’s a confidence that comes when you know that you have tons of takes to be able to nail the scene. I was nervous knowing I had 1 or 2 takes. Jack wanted me that way. He wanted someone that the audience wouldn’t be sure could take on the Djinn in the end and defeat him. He also wanted her to go from trying to be a badass to actually going through something where she really had to grow up and became a real badass. Ironically, the Djinn forced her to find her strength and become this strong person and get her life together.
Your character in Wishmaster 2, Morgana, undergoes a dramatic transformation over the span of the film, both spiritually and physically.How did you prepare for such a role?
Playing Morgana was so much fun because she was so complex. I got to play weak and strong in the same movie. I love characters with big arcs and I love interesting, off beat, strong female leads. I wanted this part from the second I read the script.
I usually prepare by listening to music. I’m a musician and singer, so music really has a big impact on me. A song can change my mood in seconds. So for the times Morgana was dark, I’d listen to dark music to get into a dark mood. I also prepared by watching Wishmaster 1. I love Tammy Lauren and I love the first Wishmaster.
Morgana’s look – especially at the beginning of the film – was very unique with the piercings and the bangs.We need to ask … wig or real hair?
Real! Ha! That was a challenge trying to figure out a hairstyle for her. That was us again trying to find a look that Morgana thought was cool but was really her trying to be cool. I used to see Whoopi Goldberg around at CBS years earlier because she filmed a TV series next door to a TV series I was doing. I loved her dreadlocks. She actually showed me how to make dreads one day. So I asked if Morgana could have dreadlocks or something like them. Jack Shoulder had originally wanted Morgana to be blond and I had died my hair black and cut it and then found out that I got the callback for the film, so Morgana became a brunette.
I loved the funky look and I love changing what I look like for roles. Jason Priestly had come to the set to visit Paul Johansson. Jason and I had done Quantum Leap together and knew each other well. I came over to him and we talked for a while and something felt weird. Then an hour later, he came over to me laughing. It ends up that he didn’t recognize me because I looked so different than usual.
Andrew Divoff made the Djinn a memorable horror icon and his presence was sorely missed in the later sequels.What was your experience working with him?
I LOVE Andrew! He’s so clam, kind, intelligent, relaxed and easy going. He speaks like 8 different languages fluently. He has a stillness and strength about him in real life. I’m goofy and all over the place and always joking in real life. He’s so calm and cool. Combined, we make a great team.
We read that Andrew Divoff suffered a severe eye infection due to the Djinn contact lenses and missed the final days of shooting.What do you remember about shooting the finale without him?
One day, the contacts that they had in his eyes were in too long and they became stuck to his eye balls. I could tell he was in pain. He finally said something. He ended up in the hospital. I found this out years later. He never complained about it once though. He actually called me to apologize for not being there during some of the scenes. He’s the ultimate professional.
He really brought the Djinn to life. He’s so talented. I don’t think anyone else could have played the Djinn and brought him to life as well as Andy. He’s a fantastic actor and a really wonderful person.
Since your character survived Wishmaster 2, were there any discussions for you to return in Part 3?
Yes. I remember my agent bringing up Wishmaster 3 and 4. I thought it was happening for sure. Andrew had brought it up to me on set when we were filming. I was really excited about it but then I was told by my agent that it wasn’t happening and I didn’t know why for years until talking with Andrew about it a few weeks ago. I know Andrew was going to write and direct them but the budget wasn’t enough for what he needed to really make them the way he wanted them to be. Special effects are so expensive and to really make the story he wanted to tell and do it right, he definitely needed the special effects. I really wish that could have happened because I love the cast and crew and playing Morgana. Maybe we can do a Wishmaster 5. I’d love that. I get asked all the time if there’s going to be a Wishmaster 5. I think there’s definitely an audience for it.
On IMDB, it is mentioned that you turned down the lead role in Halloween III: Season of the Witch. We’re pretty sure that’s incorrect though since that was filmed in 1982 when you were a child. Care to clear up that misinformation?
Never believe what you read or see on the internet. There are many things on the internet about me and other actors that definitely aren’t true. They can take a photo or clip from a film and make it look like something it’s not very easily. It’s frustrating that they do this to people.
I didn’t pass on Halloween 3 but I passed on being written onto starring in Stargate, 90210, General Hospital and other great shows that I wish my agent didn’t have me pass on. I was bumped from starring as Piper on the series Charmed when Shannon Doherty wanted her best friend to play the role. That was a huge heartbreak for me. They then tried to have me play the younger sister, Phoebe, but then Alyssa Milano decided that she wanted to play the part. That happens a lot in this business. I was going to replace Six on Blossom after she shot the pilot because her other pilot was picked up and then her other show was cancelled and she came back to Blossom. They later put me on Blossom as Joey Lawrence’s girlfriend and the show got cancelled 5 days after I joined it. I was cast in the remake of V after working with the creator of V on JAG but then ABC bought the rights from him and re cast the show. I was asked to do the MacGyver remake years ago but then it got shelved for years. I had the Pump Up The Volume TV series and that also ended up not getting made. You have to learn to just go with the flow in this business and what’s meant to be will be.
The announcement of the Vestron Blu-ray release of the Wishmaster Collection was met with lots of excitement in the horror community. What do you think it is about this series of films (and especially the underrated Wishmaster 2) that keeps it so popular today?
I love it! Wishmaster has increasingly awesome fans. People have come up to me and they know the lines from the films. I’ve met people with increasing tattoos of the Djinn on them! It makes me so happy that people love the films and enough to make them into box series. Now a new generation gets to see them.
I think it’s popular because it’s different than other horror films. People always tell me that they really like how the Wishmaster films aren’t about the typical scared girl running through the forest at night who’s being chased. The films are clever and different than most horror films. People tell me that they like that they’re not too gruesome or too bloody. (Except for the scene with the lawyer and the one where the prisoner goes through the prison bars.) People love that scene. Fans are always telling me what they would have wished for if they had the chance. They’ve come up with some very clever wishes!!
I like that it has a strong female lead which is rare in horror films. Morgana doesn’t run away. She faces her fears and grows as a person and out smarts the Djinn. It’s a horror film with a good message. Face your fears and outsmart the bad guy. But don’t cut your finger off!!!
It also has a strong, clever bad guy with special powers who grants wishes in a twisted, evil way and a magical gem stone. I don’t know if any other horror film has a magical, scary Djinn.
You’ve been involved in acting and theater since you were a child. What was your initial break into the business?
I was born into a show business family. My great uncle produced and directed Gentlemen Prefer Blonds, His Girl Friday, To Have Or Have Not, the original Scar Face, etc. He discovered Lauren Bacall. They were old school Hollywood. My great aunt was best friends with Truman Capote, Clark Gable and Earnest Hemingway. She was on the cover of Vogue a few times. My mom knew what came with this business from being on sets with them as a kid and so my parents didn’t want me in this business at all but I was a really driven kid. I knew ever since I can remember that I wanted to act and when I was 8, I still had it in my head that I needed to be in L.A. and acting, so my parents let me do some modeling, commercials, an album and theater thinking that I would get it out of my system and change my mind but I loved it even more. It was all I talked about and thought about. I love being on sets. Its like a big happy family.
I was always that kid in those commercials until I did a film called The Dirt Bike Kid with Peter Billingsley in Dallas Texas where I was living as a kid. That was my first film. It’s not on my IMDB because my other last name is on it. I had to change my last name when I joined SAG because another person had the same name in SAG. The little boy in The Dirt Bike Kid film’s mom and Molly Ringwald’s Dad had told my parents to get me to L.A.. After that film, my parents finally allowed me to come to L.A. for 2 weeks but only if I paid for it myself and if I was taken by someone else. So I was allowed to go to L.A. with this little boy and his mom for pilot season. I got to L.A. and got really lucky. The first week I auditioned and tested for Christina Applegate’s part in Married With Children. The writers and producers of the show weren’t sure if they wanted to go with a younger daughter at first and an older brother, so I was the young choice that was more like a cheerleader type and the other choice was sexy and older. They ended up going the other way. The producers were so nice though and they ended up writing me a part on the pilot and then they gave me the lead in another series that they wrote called Sunday Funnies with Jennifer Aniston and Kirsten Dunst for NBC. The series was sold and it was fantastic but the head of NBC left NBC soon after we shot the pilot and so our show was dropped when he left. That happens. It was such a funny show too with an amazing cast! It was centered on different skits from the Sunday paper. It started out on a cartoon in the Sunday paper and then the cartoon came to life. We all played different characters on the show. We think it would have been a really popular show. I had another series for NBC called Hull High that was also sold for a season and then still dropped. Many years later they tried the show again and it was re made into High School Musical and that became one of the biggest hits ever. There’s so much more that goes on behind the scenes with films and TV shows.
You’ve done a ton of voice-work recently, including notable roles in Star Wars: The Old Republic and the Shrek franchise. Are there any unique challenges that come along with this line of work?
Voice overs have been a huge blessing. I got into voice overs because I got sick from Lyme disease 12 years ago and had to stop on camera acting. I started getting scary symptoms after getting bit by a tick in Connecticut. I had this huge big bullseye rash on my thigh days later when I was back in L.A. but my doctor in L.A. didn’t know how bad Lyme disease was back then, so he said not to worry about it and he said that I didn’t need antibiotics. A few months later, I was filming The O.C. and I couldn’t remember my lines no matter how much I studied them. I started getting lost in places I knew well, was losing my balance sometimes when I’d stand up. Tons of odd symptoms. It got worse over the years. My doctor finally had me do a spinal tap at UCLA and they discovered that I had brain swelling from Lyme disease. Brain swelling is what was causing the memory loss, losing my balance and getting lost. Everything finally made sense thankfully. I’m now seeing the top Lyme doctor in California and on the right antibiotics and finally better. So I couldn’t do on camera acting for years because of these symptoms but thankfully with voice overs, the scripts are right in front of me. There’s not much physical work, so I never got tired.
The hard part with voice over, is that you’re auditioning against every age and every look, because it’s all about your voice only. So there’s way more competition than on camera. Film and TV actors do voice overs now, so I’ve been up against my favorite older and younger film actresses and never thought in a million years that I would be auditioning along side them. You also go up against men too sometimes for the same part. I auditioned against so many people that I respect and admire for my part in Star Wars The Old Republic. I was shocked when I got the job.
I love that you don’t have to worry about what you look like and you get to just focus in only on your voice. That’s also the hard part about it. You can only use your voice and not your body and facial expressions to convey what you character is feeling. You use only your voice to create a character. So it’s harder and easier at the same time. I love the challenge.
Shrek and Star Wars are my dream jobs come true. I love Cameron Diaz and looked up to her so much as a kid and still do, so getting to voice her in the Shrek projects, is the biggest honor. I’ve done lots of singing for Princess Fiona, the video games, dolls, toys, commercials for Shrek products, rides, pre vocals for the films, etc. I had no idea how many cool products Shrek has around the world!
Voice matching is one of my favorite things to do but a lot of times I don’t get credit for the jobs and films that I re voice for people because voice matching was kind of a secret until recently. I did a lot of Drew Barrymore’s voice for a cartoon when she couldn’t come into redo the lines herself that the studio wanted redone. Drew and I went to high school together, so I knew her voice well. That was a really fun job to do. Brittany Murphy was a good friend too and I re did tons of her voice for Across The Hall, so she was easy to match. It’s easier when you know them and know their energy along with their voice. You have to match their energy and essence along with their voice. Then you also have to match their lips and facial expressions. It’s hard.
I’ve done re voicing in films for Leslie Mann, Kate Bosworth, Brittany Murphy, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Paula Abdul, Gwen Stefani and a bunch of others but Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz are my favorite voices to do.
The Shrek film series is one of my all time favorite movies, so getting to work for Dreamworks and getting to voice Princess Fiona, is up at the top of the coolest jobs of my life. I’m still doing jobs for Shrek. I just did something for a new Shrek game in China last week and a new Shrek ride in Dubai.
Star Wars The Old Republic is my other all time favorite voice jobs because I’m a huge Star Wars and George Lucas fan. I grew up watching Star Wars and playing Star Wars with my brother and sister. I love my character, Nadia Grell, so much because she’s a lot like a female Luke Skywalker. She starts out good and has a super cool arch and knows how to use the Force. I didn’t realize my character would get to be in all of the Star Wars The Old Republics and I didn’t realize how popular it is now! They have huge fan pages for our characters and the fans are petitioning for us to make an animated film out of it! Getting asked to speak at Comicon by Lucas Arts alongside the writers was a highlight of my life.
What can you tell us about your work outside of the entertainment industry as a Lyme activist?
I wasn’t going to ever talk about it but I don’t want what happened to me to happen to others. It’s not really like the CDC claims. I thought I’d get all better with 3 weeks on antibiotics. Because I had Lyme bacteria undiagnosed in my system for so long, I had to be on antibiotics for months to finally get better. Many people have to take antibiotics for years. The bacteria can also hide in the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, bone, muscles, etc. It’s actually very smart. It can give scary symptoms from head to toe when the Lyme is attacking the body. It’s an epidemic around the whole world now.
Most regular doctors are not good at diagnosing or treating Lyme the correct way. If I had been treated right away with doxycycline, I never would’ve gotten sick. Instead it ended up taking over my whole body because my doctors didn’t know enough about it. I was also told I had lupus for 2 years. So many times lyme is misdiagnosed. Many people have this and they don’t know it.
Kelly Osborn just did Stem Cells to get better from Lyme disease. So many well known people have it like Daryl Hall from Hall and Oats, Ashley Olsen, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Alex Baldwin, Michael J. Fox, etc. Daryl Hall is a huge advocate for Lyme disease and him talking about it on YouTube is what helped me figure out what was going on with me and where to go to finally get better. I remember listening to him talk about his symptoms and thinking, I definitely have this. This was before I knew that the bullseye rash definitely meant Lyme. Education is key, so I’m trying to educate people so that others don’t have to suffer with this and can get the right treatment early.
You can get Lyme disease from ticks, mosquitos, horseflies, fleas, etc. Not everyone gets the bullseye rash.
I now eat super healthy and really take great care of my body. I’ve learned all about health due to this. It’s been a blessing because I’m healthier than I’ve ever been thanks to this. I never take a second for granted and have been happier than ever. I used to take feeling good for granted. I now realize how lucky I am to feel good and be healthy and am so thankful.
Finally, we like to do something here at Diabolik DVD where we feature a selection of our guest’s special picks on the website.What are some of your favorite horror films that we can highlight?
There are so many that I love. My Mom got me into horror films. She loves them too. All of the Nightmare on Elm Streets. The Omen, The Shinning, The Changling, IT, Something Wicked This Way Comes, all the Saw movies. I just bought all of those last week. Amityville Horror. Scream. People always are shocked when they see my shelfs of movies. I’m definitely a huge horror film fan.
Thank you again for this opportunity! We all really appreciate it!
Thank you so much for having me!