Flipping through Lindsay Hollister’s expansive resume is almost like reading an issue of TV Guide, as she’s one of the most prolific actresses working in television today. Among the many shows she’s made appearances in over the years, which include hits CSI, My Name Is Earl, Nip/Tuck, Scrubs, and even Desperate Housewives, and that’s just for starters. But it’s her recent work in film that’s brought her to our attention today, as she’s managed to snag a starring role in the upcoming superhero action/comedy spoofy, Blubberella, which reteams her with Postal director and scourge of the internet, the infamous Uwe Boll.
While the film may tease the character will “kick major ass with her major ass” while spoofing several of Boll’s most favorite subjects, including Nazis, guns, and even his own Bloodrayne franchise, it’s clear there’s more to Lindsay than just serving as the butt – no pun intended – of Boll’s shameless schlock, and she was kind enough to sit down with us to help set the record straight. We talk about working with the world’s worst director, kicking ass and looking sexy, and even what it’s like to be one of the most famous overweight actresses working in an industry that usually shames them to second-class roles and parody.
First a role in Postal, and now Blubberella, openly mocking Bloodrayne – are you a fan of director Uwe Boll or the games that inspired these movies at all? Speaking of which, do you consider yourself a gamer?
I am not a gamer and had only seen House of the Dead before I met Uwe on Postal. I knew he had quite a reputation, but they had made a nice offer so I took it. I had little interaction with Uwe before he mentioned his desire to do a BloodRayne movie with me as Rayne. I thought it was a fantastic idea that hadn’t been done before. What character woman wouldn’t want the opportunity to play an action hero like that?
Isn’t it refreshing to be able to put a more comical slant on a character archetype that is almost always viewed as “sexy” and all about appealing to men? Or did you find the fact that being placed in a “funny” role is a step backward for overweight actresses in lead roles?
I’m not sure how overweight actresses could even take a step backward. For a woman of my size, we are at the bottom of the barrel. The roles are not out there and when they are, they are going to “curvy” actresses who are only slightly overweight and considered acceptable for film/tv. This was an opportunity to play a lead and have free reign to make a spoof movie. We set out to mock everything and everyone. And I think I got to look sexy. I do get to kick some ass and get it on with the leading man.
You’ve had considerable success portraying light-hearted characters and even darker personalities. Which do you really prefer playing?
Comedy. It’s been in my bones since I was a kid. I love to make people laugh. Playing a deep, dark character can also be fun and cathartic. If I had to pick, I’d do comedy for the rest of my career.
The margins for what is acceptable for larger women in prominent roles in television and films are constantly becoming thinner, with shows like ABC Family’s “Huge” being yanked before it could explore some truly poignant issues, and sitcom Mike and Molly a disaster that relies on sex alone to “sell” its overweight, titular characters. How do you view the future for actors and actresses who do not conform to one particular body type?
I’d have to be honest and say the future is not bright. I’ve been doing this for ten years. While I’ve been extremely lucky to play some amazing characters, I’ve watched the roles dry up. And I’ve been shut out of even auditioning for many character roles because I’m too large. I don’t get it. Why can’t there just be one supporting series regular or film character that happens to be overweight and their size isn’t discussed? It can’t be that difficult, but producers/directors/writers just refuse to do it. Mike & Molly is one fat joke after another.
That’s why I hope people understand why this movie had to have fat jokes. It’s the only way this stuff can get done right now with a large lead character.
Blubberella does little, from what I’ve seen, to combat negative stereotypes that are attached to larger women, such as constantly eating or placing a desire for food before anything else. This seems more like typical “ha ha, fat person” humor rather than empowering to overweight moviegoers or even simply women.
Is that fair to say from one viewing of the trailer? “I brought snacks!” really doesn’t drive the point home that Blubberella is anything more than a glutton in a corset.
It’s fair to say that from viewing the trailer. I told Uwe it’s none of the funny stuff and just all of the food stuff. Listen, I fought tooth and nail to keep the super offensive stuff out of the movie. But I had signed on to do a spoof of BloodRayne. As an overweight woman. I knew there would be fat jokes. I wrote some of them. I felt like I was empowered in a sense if it came from me, not from some skinny writer guy.
Most of all, I thought our job was to make fun of BloodRayne 3. The characters, the script, the genre in general. This movie would have been done with or without me. It would have been a lot more offensive if I hadn’t done it. But I didn’t win the war about the title. I hate the title.
Does Blubberella have any supernatural powers, or does she simply let blades and guns do the talking?
Blades and guns. Did I mention we filmed along side BR 3, almost scene for scene? I maybe got one take, two if I was lucky, to shoot my movie. One effects driven film is difficult to make in 30 days, let alone two. There wasn’t enough time or resources to do anything effects wise.
The general consensus that I’ve gleaned from reviewers around the net seem to find that you are placed in a “comically small” corset, which I couldn’t find further from the truth. Upon viewing the trailer for Blubberella, I thought your costume was rather tasteful in comparison to the actual outfits used in Bloodrayne, and that it fit you quite well.
While I do see fat joke after fat joke on the horizon, the fact that you’re not stuffed like a sausage into a too-small costume does speak for Boll and the larger implications of this movie. Was this a move on your part or were there any ideas floating around to get you to shimmy into a revealing costume usually reserved for the “skinny women?”
That corset was made to my measurements and fit me like a glove. You don’t see any fat hanging out, how is too small?
You’ve worked alongside some very influential names in the biz and on an impressive number of popular programs – what were some of your favorite moments over the years?
Boston Public will always be special because it was my first job in Hollywood. Nip/Tuck was just an incredible dramatic character to play and most people recognize me from that one episode. Shooting Get Smart was incredible. I couldn’t ask for more dancing along side Steve Carell and Annie Hathaway. Nicest people ever.
I can understand the challenges and implications of being an overweight female in any business, even one where appearances should not matter. What kind of hurdles have you had to overcome? Lost roles? Being passed over? And have you ever contemplated “conforming”, i.e. attempting to lose weight in order to be more successful in a world that demands physical perfection that simply doesn’t exist?
I could spend all day telling you what I’ve lost out on. I used to think I was working enough and I wanted to be that person on TV who didn’t conform. I’ve received emails from around the world thanking me for being on tv because people could relate to me. But at the end of the day, I’m an actor. Right now I just have such little opportunity to make a living. I’d like to change that.
Thanks for taking the time, Lindsay, and best of luck in the future. On that note, what’s next after Blubberella?
Probably lots of hate mail.
Blubberella, directed by Uwe Boll and starring Lindsay Hollister and Michael Paré, is scheduled to be released sometime in 2011. For more info on Lindsay don’t forget to check out her official website right HERE!