Who here read the book Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume when they were younger? It was an amazing book, just like the rest of Judy Blume’s books, which were all must-reads when I was growing up. Well, the movie for Tiger Eyes is actually coming out today, June 7, in select theaters, on iTunes, On Demand and DirecTv. Not only did I get to see the movie, but I also got the chance to interview the star, Willa Holland.
So, first of all, the movie was so great. I cried, I laughed, I felt emotions… overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I recommend everyone see it. Second of all, talking to Willa Holland was awesome. Willa is down-to-earth, funny and feels like she could be your hilarious BFF. In case you’re not familiar with her, Willa has also starred in The OC as Marisa’s little sister and she’s in the TV show Arrow.
Willa spilled on her most embarrassing moment (which is SO funny), how she got bullied when she was younger and some Tiger Eyes and Arrow secrets. Check out the interview:
First, I asked you guys on Instagram to send over some questions for Willa. Here are the three reader questions I asked:
Do you have any weird obsessions?
Everyone says it’s a weird obsession of mine, but I don’t think it’s that weird. I really like bacon a lot. I love to cook and bacon is kind of usually my main ingredient in most of my recipes.
Do you have any embarrassing stories from high school or from when you were younger?
Oh, I definitely do. There was this thing called The Flying Fox, I don’t know why we called it that, but that’s what we did… and it was this little kind of pulley lever that you could slide across one end of the jungle gym to the other. Like, you would hang on it and if you got pushed, you could slide across. So one of my friends, or so I thought she was my friend, was pushing me to the other side of the jungle gym and on the other side was this boy I had a major crush on. And then whilst pushing me, she also decided to pull a major prank on me and pull my pants down, so I go sliding across the thing to the other side of the jungle gym with my pants down to my ankles. It was the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened in my entire life.
Is brown your original hair color and if so, do you ever think about dying your hair?
Brown is my original hair color, I have never dyed my hair. My mother is actually allergic to hair dye. She’s a very lovely looking women and has yet to go gray and she’s never dyed her hair, so I feel like I probably wouldn’t. I kind of like the color of it and I kind of like the fact that my mom hasn’t, so I don’t think I would.
Now, onto questions about Tiger Eyes and Arrow:
Did you read this book when you were younger?
I did, I read Tiger Eyes when I was a kid. It’s definitely one of those things, you can’t grow up in the ’90s without coming across that.
Your character in the movie dealt with obviously a lot of really tough situations. Have you ever had to deal with anything tough when you were in high school or when you were younger?
I definitely did deal with a lot of difficult things when I was in school. I ended up leaving high school for multiple reasons: because I ended up getting a job when I was about 14-years-old, so I only went for about six weeks of high school. But I also left because school, for me, never really went too smoothly. I got bullied a lot. I was never a popular kid. But I never went through anything as difficult as Davie did, that’s for sure, when I was her age. Thankfully, I’ve never lost a parent or a family member that close to me, or even a friend that close to me. So I mean, to imagine that, to put myself in those shoes, was very difficult and my heart goes out to anyone who has gone through something that traumatic.
Do you have any advice for any girls who are going through something similar to that?
Try to keep your head above water, which is a really difficult thing to do. But my best advice to anybody is to try to keep your head above water and to realize that you’re not alone in situations, try to seek out people that have gone through similar things as you. Honestly, seeking the company of others who have gone through similar situations, as lame as it sometimes sounds, is actually probably the best thing to do in these scenarios because you don’t want to ever feel like you’re alone.
When you say you were bullied, how did you deal with that as a high school student?
Well, I left. Probably not the best course of action, I just ran away from it and then did something else with my life. But I definitely changed my life around and I wanted to prove to everybody that I wasn’t the person that they thought I was because nobody believed in me. When I was in school, I always said that I was going to be an actor and I would dream these things and I was always going on about auditions and I was modeling and doing stuff… and yeah, there would be plenty of days when I was not there, but it wasn’t like I was on a big screen anywhere, it wasn’t like anybody was believing me. And I was like, just you wait, one day I’ll be doing something with my life and one day I’ll be writing movies, and I’ll be behind the big screen, I’ll be behind all the stuff you guys pay attention to. And then I walked out of that school and did exactly that. I realized that the best thing you can do is surround yourself with people who are positive for you and influence you in good ways as well as believe in you.
And it sounds like you really believed in yourself the whole time too, which is great.
Yeah, I just had an idea of where I wanted to be and I saw myself somewhere and I’m continuously pushing myself to get there.
So, how was your experience filming Tiger Eyes?
It was amazing. It was the only project I’ve ever been on where I was number one on the call sheet, especially for that length of time. We were filming for, I want to say about five weeks, and I was shooting in… I mean, there’s not a frame I’m not in, really. I was literally shooting 12-18 hour days five days a week and then also doing prepping all weekend, so it wasn’t really like I got weekends off. And at first when I was staring at the schedule, I was kind of a little dismayed and a little shocked at the amount of work that was ahead of me and the short amount of time I had to do it all. But then the crew that I had and the place I was in… Santa Fe really is a magical place, I have to say. Just the people I was surrounded by and the scenery I had around me just kind of changed everything and made everything go by so smoothly. It was kind of almost like a dream, it was one of the best things I ever worked on.
Any funny behind-the-scenes stories?
I like to think I’m a happy, cheery person and I don’t like to be the downer, even if it is written for the day that we’re filming those scenes and it is going to be one of those downer days, I always try to list people’s spirits up between takes, so I would always be like cracking jokes between tears running down my cheeks. We had so much fun to the point where there wasn’t really a sad moment.
There was just so many funny things that happened. The one scene where I was running after I see my father, while we were filming that scene, I accidentally tripped. But it was the most hilarious trip and fall I’ve ever done in my entire life to the point where I watched it on playback like 20 times. it was amazing. I had tears streaming down my face and I just fell in the most arms flailing everywhere kind of way, it was hilarious.
I know you’re on the show Arrow, can you tell us anything about what’s coming up?
Season two is going to be insane from what I hear. I mean, the writers and producers love to keep us just as much in the dark as they like to keep the fans. So we have no idea what’s going to happen until we get the script in front of us. we’re only like 3 weeks ahead of the fans. I’m quite excited for what’s going to happen.
Check out this clip from the movie:
What did you think of Willa’s interview? Are you going to see Tiger Eyes? What’s your most embarrassing moment? Tell me in the comments!