RAMONA WORKSHOPS: PERIOD WITCHES

WOMEN WE LOVE: Holland Roden

Writing by Haylee Penfold

As a young woman in this modern day, I am heavily influenced by what I see in media. Whether it be film or television series, actresses in roles that convey powerful and admirable women can create role models for viewers, like myself. Personally, I hold such high praise for women who break the stereotypical role given to females in film, who are either sexualised or lack admirable values. The person who I holds my utmost adoration in the way she promotes and empowers women, is Holland Roden, and I had the greatest pleasure to meet her.

Holland’s role as Lydia Martin in MTV’s Teen Wolf was what really inspired me to love her, she conveys such a strong female main who equals to her male co-stars in capability and influence. Her character development from the popular girl in high school role everyone had seen before, to an influential young girl who Holland said “grew emotionally” to provide such valuable lessons throughout the show’s seasons.

In the Q&A held, I asked what it was like to play such a powerful female main and to hold such heavy influence on a young audience. She responded perfectly, saying that she wished she had a character like Lydia when she was sixteen, to assure her that being different was okay and there is no right or wrong way to be – which she said, is what the show aims to promote. While answering another question Holland mentioned that Lydia’s character was originally meant to be a model from Milan, but she didn’t quite fit the tall, Italian figure they had planned for the character. Roden continued to explain that when she first started acting, young women would be put into two different “archetypes” when being casted – “to directors you either looked like you were put together or broken down” and she mostly fit the latter. She said Lydia’s character was so far from what she could relate to that she had to make a suggestion to writer Jeff Davis to make Lydia intelligent, which later become Lydia’s most prominent characteristics.

I also asked what advice she would have for her younger self, and she responded by saying the best advice she’d ever received was “learn a language, a sport and an instrument. Those things will give you so much in life and are such a great foundation to have”. Holland continued to explain that when she first started acting that she was so frightened and intimidated by the industry but quickly learnt that “life’s not quite as scary as it seems” she says and advises to become “an experience junkie” to gain something out of everything you do. Holland also adds that “the people that are intimidating, it’s usually a facade – there’s a reason for the intimidation, so don’t let it affect you”. By giving this small amount of advice, I learnt so much from the woman that had already provided me with so many life lessons in the role she had played.

To have my time with Holland and to tell her my story of being a writer at eighteen and joining a team like Ramona who aim to empower young women was a truly touching experience that I will hold close to my heart forever. Also, to have her tell me that what I do inspires her is something that I will use as motivation to continue my journey of writing and creating to one day hopefully inspire people they way she inspires me.

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Haylee Penfold

Haylee Penfold is a bubbly eighteen year old from beachside Newcastle, Australia. She’s a passionate bookworm, blogger, and pursuing writer who strongly enjoys the taste of pizza and the sight of kittens– also a strong believer in chicken wraps over thigh gaps. Follow Haylee on Instagram and her blog.

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