The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to get into show business?
Pilar Holland: As a child, I didn’t know how to express myself. I had a huge emotional well and no outlet. I was very shy and couldn’t connect with people on a deeper level. I wanted the chance to learn how to do that. In college, when I realized that it was something I could actually do well, that’s when I knew it was my aspiration to explore life and all the different experiences that can be had and share those experiences with audiences.
TDQ: Who was your favorite actress growing up?
PH: My favorite actress growing up was Shannen Doherty. There’s going to be a theme here. I was a HUGE fan of “Beverly Hills, 90210” and the movie “Heathers.”
TDQ: What was your favorite TV show growing up?
PH: And here it is!! (drumroll) My favorite TV show growing up was “Beverly Hills, 90210.” I wanted to live in their world and that’s really what first piqued my interest in becoming an actress. I dreamt about living on that campus and wished I could create an alternate life and do so.
TDQ: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
PH: The best advice I have received was from my acting teacher Stuart Rogers—who taught me the distinction between being what we think a casting director wants, and what a casting director really needs. We must present our rawest, most honest selves, and let them take it or leave it.
TDQ: What is the worst advice you have ever gotten?
PH: One thing I remember a girlfriend telling me once was that if you don’t make it by the time you’re 22, you’re not going to make it at all. And that simply isn’t true. I always tell people you don’t become a doctor overnight. So, why should a career in the arts be any different? It takes time to build a career. You need training and experience.TDQ: Who are your influences?
PH: I’ve always admired Cate Blanchett and over the past few years I’ve become a huge fan of Brie Larson’s career. Some of the projects they choose have so much weight in social relevance and they have been able to create such empathic characters in their process.
TDQ: Tell us about working with ultra creator and show runner Shonda Rhimes on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal.”
PH: I actually haven’t had the opportunity to officially meet the woman behind it all. She does have final say on everything. So, I know she’s seen my work and continually hires me. Linda Lowy casts all of Shonda’s shows and they regularly bring me to audition for her projects. Once you’ve become a part of the Shonda Rhimes family, they really do bring you into the fold. One of my favorite acting moments thus far was working with director Tom Verica on the set of “Scandal.” He is one of my favorite directors I’ve worked with and I hope I get to do it again soon.
TDQ: You’ve also appeared on half hour sitcoms like “Young and Hungry” and “Happy Endings.” What’s the biggest difference between working on those and full hour-long dramas?
PH: Well, there’s a huge difference between multi-camera sitcoms and dramas. Those two shows you mentioned were actually single camera sitcoms and not that different from working on dramas, besides the content of course. On a multi-cam set you rehearse the show for four days prior to filming. The script is constantly being altered as the writers are seeing how jokes land and play out during the rehearsal process. Then when we do film, there are multiple cameras filming different angles at the same time versus on a single camera sitcom and drama, they only use one camera for filming.
TDQ: What project(s) are you working on next?
PH: I’m starring in a play “A Feminine Ending” right now. It’s my theater debut! I’m very excited to share my art and the story with audiences. The subject is very timely and relevant. It’s about gender norms and the societal rules we are boxed and categorized into, and learning how to navigate outside of those boxes. We run through December 2nd, Friday and Saturday nights 8pm at Stuart Rogers Studios. We’ve already gotten a few rave reviews.
TDQ: Where do you see yourself and your career in five years?
PH: In five years, I see myself as the lead on my own television series. Hopefully with the opportunity to film indie movies in between seasons. That’s the game plan!
Be sure and follow Pilar on Twitter and and like her Facebook page.