I attended Chiller Theatre in Parsippany, New Jersey for the 4th time in October of 2016, and as with the previous times I attended, I met a lot of wonderful people, both celebrity and convention-goer alike. Falling into the former category is my next interview subject. Holly Fields has been active in the entertainment industry since she was a child, appearing on TV shows like It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and Quantum Leap and in movies like Communion and Wishmaster 2. More recently, she’s developed a second career in voice-over, where she’s active as Cameron Diaz’s vocal match and a starring presence in the Star Wars: The Old Republic computer games. I met Ms. Fields at Chiller and befriended her on Facebook shortly afterward. We spoke on Monday, April 17th, and I hope you all enjoy getting to know this versatile talent.
Say hello to Holly Fields!
Johnny: Hi, Holly.
Holly: Hi. How are you?
Johnny: I’m doing good. Thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to speak to me.
Holly: I’m looking forward to it.
Johnny: Alright. Like several of my previous interview subjects, you started as a child actress. Was acting something you knew you wanted to do from a young age?
Holly: Oh, yeah. I knew from the day I was born possibly. I remember being in 2nd grade and I was writing scripts in script format. I was writing songs. I begged my parents to let me act. I think the first time I knew, I was 5 years old.
Johnny: Alright. One of your first acting credits, according to the IMDB, was playing Lisa Kirk in the infamous ABC After School Special The Day My Kid Went Punk. What do you recall the most about that project?
Holly: Oh, I was excited because I was working with Jay Underwood. He was in the movie The Boy Who Could Fly, and I also got to work with Bernie Kopell who starred on The Love Boat. He was Doc on that show. It was my second job in L.A and I was so excited to be working with them. I had to learn to play the violin for the job. I had, like, 3 lessons. That was so much fun.
Johnny: Yeah. I see the vintage advertisement for it circulating a lot on Facebook, as people tend to make fun of how they think it was an inaccurate portrayal of the punk scene. How do you react to that?
Holly: (Laughing) I’ve never seen that, but…God, this was so long ago. I think the punk scene wasn’t really developed back then, but I think if they redid it nowadays, it would’ve gone in a different direction. Back then, I think punk was kind of new to the world. I mean, it wasn’t so established as it is now.
Johnny: Alright. In 1988 you played Madeline in the It’s Garry Shandling’s Show episode “What’s Happening To Me?”. What’s your favorite memory of working with the late Mr. Shandling?
Holly: He was fantastic. It was actually down between me and Fergie, Stacey Ferguson, for the part, and my friend Scott starred as Grant Schumaker. He knew both of us, and he was the one who got to decide at the end, and he chose me. From the minute I met Garry Shandling, he was the nicest guy, and I’m not just saying that because he passed away. He really was the nicest guy. I would visit the show for tapings afterwards, and he would always come over and say hi. He’d wave to me in the audience. He was so funny. He was one of those people that didn’t have to have a script to be funny. He could just talk to you and think of things off the top of his head, and you would laugh so hard. It was hard not to laugh when we were filming, because he was so clever. He would just come up with stuff in the middle of the scene so we always had to be on our toes to keep up with him.
Johnny: Yeah. Even though I was too young to watch the show in its’ original incarnation, I did hear the theme song and it made me dance around, even though it was intended as a spoof of 80s sitcom theme songs.
Holly: Yeah. The guy that wrote the song along with Garry Shandling actually offered me a record deal when I was doing that show. I said no because I didn’t want to do a solo deal and I didn’t want to sing. I was a singer, but I wanted to focus on acting because my grandfather said, “you have to choose between one or the other and do it well”, so I chose acting. I ended up doing a record deal with him and that came about thanks to Garry Shandling.
Johnny: Cool. While it’s not uncommon for older actors to play younger, it’s less common for younger actors to play older, but you did so when you played Jill in the Quantum Leap episode “Camikazi Kid”. How did you land that role, and what did you like best about working on that show?
Holly: That was a weird one because I had just tested for Chris Carter’s show called Brand New Life with Barbara Eden. Chris and I are friends, and he was trying to make that work. I didn’t get the part and he was furious because I had played a hooker on MacGyver, and NBC was thinking, “Oh, no. She can’t play the nice girl”. I am the nice girl, and playing the hooker was actually the hard part. Jennie Garth ended up getting the part, and I was supposed to go to this audition afterward called Quantum Leap. I’d never heard of it or heard of Scott Bakula, and I thought there were all these typos in the script because one minute he was Sam and the next? I thought, “what is this?”. My agent begged me to, so I said alright. I went over to Universal Studios and I met with Don Bellisario and the writers. They were so fantastic, and I got the part on the spot.
Holly: I didn’t know what I was getting, and it was probably my favorite job in the whole wide world to date. I’ve never worked with a nicer person than Scott Bakula, and Dean Stockwell was amazing. I had the best time doing that show. I was playing older, and that was kind of a problem because I had to kiss him, but I was emancipated. I went in there saying I was 18 because I was actually a lot younger, but when you’re 14 in this town, there’s this thing called emancipation. Have you heard of it?
Holly: Back then, no one had really heard of it, but a few of us got emancipated because we were losing jobs to 18-year-olds who looked younger. I got emancipated, and I went in saying I was 18 because if you say, “I’m 14 but I can work legally as an adult”, they don’t want to believe it. They thought I was older, and when they found out my real age, they were freaking out, but Scott was so cool about it. I had that kissing scene and they were so worried about it, but they had to keep changing my hair to make me look a little older as I originally had braids. They were concerned about my age, but it wasn’t a big thing on that show.
Holly: I ended up getting the next episode, too. Don Bellisario and I really got along great, and they couldn’t find an actress for the next episode. I had just done an episode, but this was back in the day when you could do 2 different episodes as 2 different characters. We did that back then. I came to the set. They said, “come hang out at Universal. We’re going to have the audition, and if we cast it, cool. If not, you’re going to go right into wardrobe”. They cast my friend Ami Foster and she did a great job, but I wanted to do the show so badly. Don Bellisario, Scott Bakula, and I are all still friends to this day. I love those guys.
Johnny: Cool. Also in 1989, you played the role of a Praying Mantis Girl in Communion. That movie was definitely an unusual piece. What’s your favorite memory of that project?
Holly: Well, I’m obsessed with UFOs. I love anything about UFOs. I went in there. I was just a little kid, and I had moved to L.A, and I was obsessed with Christopher Walken. I didn’t know he was in it. I didn’t even know his name. I just saw him in Biloxi Blues and I said to my agent, “I want to work with that guy”. I didn’t know I was going to get to work with him, and it was just the two of us in the scene together. We got to know each other really well, which was the coolest thing ever. Christopher Walken was, and is, one of the best. I went into the audition, and I was probably the only kid who had read the book about aliens, and they asked me what I knew about aliens. I kind of told them way too much, and I got hired on the spot. They gave me the part then and there, and I loved it. I got to talk with Whitley Strieber, the writer of it, at lunch for, like, two hours all about UFOs. It was my dream come true to work with Christopher Walken and talk about aliens. I was in Heaven.
Johnny: Very cool. You were in Madonna’s infamous Pepsi commercial.
Johnny: As I’m sure you were listening to her music as a kid, what was it like to actually work with her?
Holly: She was great. I was afraid of her. I was very afraid of her, actually. I had heard things. We were told not to talk with her at all, and she picked me for the spot. She got to hand-pick us, so she comes over and we’re on the set of a 60s diner. There was candy on the set and she opened one up. We were told, “don’t touch the candy”, and she goes, “do you want one?”. I’m thinking, “here I am, not supposed to talk to her, not to eat the candy. They’re going to throw me off the set”. I didn’t know what to do, and I was like, “no, no. It’s good”. She kept trying to talk to me. She was so nice, and we worked for, I think, two days in a row on that one. She came to visit me on the set of Quantum Leap because she was filming Dick Tracy next door with Warren Beatty. They came over during the kissing scene, which was so embarrassing. I’m on an apple box kissing Scott Bakula, and they had to reshoot it. They broke for lunch, and Madonna walked over. She said, “I remember you”. She’s a really great person. She told me she has to come across that way because you don’t get respect unless people are afraid of you. I never took the advice, but it’s fantastic advice.
Johnny: Alright. You also did another Pepsi ad years later with Michael J. Fox. Did the marketing people at Pepsi remember you from the Like A Prayer ad?
Holly: Yes. I got that spot because they felt bad that the one with Madonna only aired once because of the controversy. You can still see it, but it wasn’t what they thought it was going to be, so they felt bad. They had me come in and meet with Michael J. Fox. I didn’t think I got it, and then I ended up getting it. They gave me that. That was really cool, and Michael J. Fox? I love him so much. He was giving me a back massage because I was so nervous about meeting him. He was like, “you’re so tense”, and everybody on the set was laughing. It was so funny. He’s such a nice guy.
Johnny: Cool. 1990 was a very experimental year for television drama, and that included the idea of the musical drama, evidenced by your work as Michelle on the show Hull High. What is it about high school that inspires people to make musicals, whether for stage, screen or television, about that subject?
Holly: I don’t know. That’s a good question. You know the movie High School Musical?
Holly: Hull High was the original High School Musical. We did that first. We were sold for 13 over at Disney and NBC, and what happened was I was a guest star on the pilot. That was it, and then they liked my character. They decided to make her recurring, but I was in every episode because they didn’t have to pay me more. They just could keep paying me a little bit and keep me around, and then I got MacGyver again. I was supposed to go back up and do MacGyver, and NBC got mad. They said, “if you leave, you’re off the show”. I’m like, “okay, fine. I don’t have a contract. I’m leaving”, and then they said, “oh, no. We’ll put you under contract. Don’t leave”. I was already on the next episode and the whole show was about my character, so they were kind of bluffing. They made me a series regular and I didn’t get to do MacGyver. I didn’t get to go back and do the final episode of MacGyver that Richard Dean Anderson wrote for me, which was really exciting, so I was really devastated about that. I stayed on Hull High, and we got cancelled days later. We were sold for 14 and they still cancelled us because we were the most expensive show at the time. They remade it years later as High School Musical. It became a huge hit, and I know we would’ve been a huge hit if they had just given us a chance. This was before TiVO, so we were always preempted for football games. They would change our day all the time. There was never a set date for us, so we didn’t get a fan base. It was hard for us.
Johnny: Sorry to hear that. I can recall reading about it in a Disney magazine in the 90s, and it seemed like an interesting project. I’m just sorry it wasn’t more successful.
Holly: Me, too. I was devastated. It was such a fun show, and I got to play my own age finally (laughing).
Johnny: You’re credited on IMDB for a 1993 pilot called Sunday Funnies, which co-starred Jennifer Aniston and the late Christine Cavanaugh. What was that project about, what network was it intended for, and what was it like to work with Aniston and Cavanaugh?
Holly: That was pretty cool. At the time, Jennifer Aniston and I were testing together a lot. I knew who she was and I really respected her. She knew who I was and respected me. We were sitting at the audition and telling each other that. We had just tested together for another series. This time, though, we were told, “you have the part for sure. We just have three different characters to cast, and you’re each going to get one of them”. She was a lot older and they gave her the main character. We all had good characters, but she was able to handle it more because I was a little kid at the time. It was the Sunday Funnies. It was kind of a Sunday Night Live, where we started on the Sunday paper and then it came to life. It was very clever. Each time you’d see a Sunday paper of a certain scene, it would come to life, and ours’ was a high school scene about a girl who’s a witch. They were other scenes with other Sunday papers that were all about different scenarios. We played different kinds of characters. We were sold for 13 for THAT show, and then Brandon Tartikoff left NBC and they took it away. We were supposed to be the new hit because it was from the writers of Married…With Children, and I had done the pilot of Married…With Children. I was up for the daughter. They bought me on the show as a favor. They were either going to go slutty-ish or cheerleader-ish for the daughter on Married…With Children. I was the cheerleader choice, but they went with the slutty choice which they thought was funnier. They actually hired another girl, and then they fired her and replaced her with Christina Applegate. They wrote me onto Married…With Children in a small part, and then they gave me a regular gig on Sunday Funnies soon after, so that was pretty cool. In this town, if you’re a good person, you get hired again and again by the same people.
Johnny: Okay. In 1995, you played Gwen in Mr. Payback: An Interactive Movie, a project that Siskel and Ebert gave two thumbs down in their initial review, and later named as one of the worst films of 1995. As you worked hard on that project, how did you feel when you saw that review?
Holly: I was so sad. (Sigh) Well, yeah, it was heartbreaking. It was kind of weird. In this weird way, I’ve always had a connection with Back To The Future. I worked with everyone from it, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Bob Gale, who wrote it. I was always working with people from Back To The Future. I don’t know, but I had the best time filming. I love Christopher Lloyd. I gave him mealworms as a present, because he likes different stuff. He usually never gets excited, but he was so excited. He’s the nicest guy. I love him, and I love Bob Gale. He’s a genius.
Johnny: Yeah. I guess the question is: Do you think Mr. Payback would’ve worked better as a computer game than in a movie theater?
Holly: Yeah, it would’ve. That’s smart. I never even thought about that. It was before its’ time. I thought it was a cool idea because people like to think fast. Kids nowadays look at the older movies, and they’re so much slower than movies nowadays that are full of fast action and kind of give me a headache sometimes (laughing). My great uncle was a director. He directed Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and His Girl Friday, and those movies nowadays? I don’t think they would be hits for the kids nowadays because they’re so slow. People expect things to be happening. Their brains are just going too fast, so that’s why we thought Mr. Payback was going to do well. You could be involved in the game, but it didn’t do well, unfortunately.
Johnny: I see. In 1999, you played Morgana in Wishmaster II: Evil Never Dies. That project is one that’s spotlighted whenever you do conventions, which I’ll be asking about later. What made that project stand out for you?
Holly: Okay, so here’s what happened. I was up for Wishmaster, and I went to the audition. I got there. I was sitting in my car, learning my lines. I’d worked the whole weekend on it. Whenever I had an audition, I wouldn’t go out Friday, Saturday or Sunday if I had an audition on Monday. I worked the whole weekend long just to do well. I’m a hard worker. I got the audition, and I’m sitting there. My agent called me in the car and said, “oh, they cancelled you on Friday. I forgot to to tell you. It’s already cast”. I was furious. I was sitting there out front, about to go up. I was ready and I drove all the way to Santa Monica. I was devastated, so when Wishmaster II came along, I was so determined to get that part. There was no way I was not going to get that part. There were three or four scenes to memorize for each of us that were up for it. You could choose your scene from one of the four. I memorized all four of them, and I went in and said, “let’s do them all”. Jack Sholder was impressed with that, and he said, “alright. You’re hired”. I had to get that part, and I loved it. It was so fun. It’s one of my favorite projects I’ve done. I love that movie. It wasn’t done to win an Oscar. I know it was a horror film, but I love it. It was such a great experience for me working on that with Andrew Divoff. I love him.
Johnny: The Wishmaster movies were recently re-released in a Blu-Ray set from Lionsgate’s Vestron label. Did you ever imagine that they would get such a treatment, and what was the most rewarding part of being involved in that set?
Holly: That was exiting. No, I didn’t expect that at all. My friends at Lionsgate would always call me and tell me that it’s doing well. “It’s doing better than any part 2 has ever done for them”. That was exciting. I’m proud of that. I didn’t expect that, and I’m flabbergasted. I’m just so excited, and I love that people love this movie. It’s so exciting, and I was honored to be asked to do autographs with me and Andrew, and then Robert Kurtzman, the director of the original, and Harry Manfedini, the wonderful composer of the original. He’s incredible. We had some pretty awesome people there the other day.
Johnny: Cool. You played a character, also named Holly, in the 2002 comedy Hip, Sexy, Edgy, Cool. As you’ve done a lot of commercial work, how accurately would you say that movie captured the advertising world?
Holly: Well, the writers and director of that movie were, at the time, the biggest casting directors of commercials, and they wrote that part for me. I don’t know why. I got a call one day from them. They said, “hey. We’re going to be making a movie about commercials. Do you want to be in it?”. I said, “sure”. They said, “do you want to play you as yourself?”. I said, “sure”. I was doing it, and then they said, “can we make your character a little more funny?”. She’s a stripper in the movie. I’m not a stripper in real life. I never would be. I said, “sure”. It was done really well. I think it was more of a spoof on commercials, but that was a really fun movie. It won awards at Slamdance. I love those guys. They were my favorite casting directors, too.
Johnny: Alright. Although you still act in the occasional live-action role, you’ve become more known in recent years for your voice-over work. What led you to that field?
Holly: That’s an interesting thing. 12 years ago, when I was doing The O.C, I got bit by a tick. I was in Connecticut, and I came back. I had the bullseye rash on my thigh, and I told my doctor here, “I have a big, giant bullseye rash. Do I have Lyme disease?”. He said, “oh, Lyme disease isn’t real. Don’t worry about it”. I didn’t worry about it, and within the next two years, I started having memory loss. When I was doing The O.C, I couldn’t remember my lines, and I used to have a photographic memory. That was weird, so I kept going from doctor to doctor to find out what was going on with me. We did MRIs. We did every kind of test you could imagine. 28 doctors, and no one could figure it out, because the symptoms were from head to toe. My brain was shaking, so I would go to a neurologist. The bottom of my foot was hurting, so I would go to a foot doctor. My eye was tearing, so I had to go to an eye doctor. No one thought to put it together, and it ends up that I have Lyme disease. I had extreme exhaustion, so I was diagnosed, I think, 8 years ago with lupus, which I don’t have, but they misdiagnose Lyme disease all the time. I was told I had MS. I was told I had lupus. I was told so much different stuff, and then finally last year, I was finally diagnosed at UCLA. They did a spinal tap. I have Lyme disease and a slowing of the brain, which is why I couldn’t memorize. What happened was, this whole time, I couldn’t do on-camera anymore. I wanted to, but I was getting more and more exhausted. One day I would be so exhausted and the next day I would be fine, so I never knew what would happen. I couldn’t memorize, so I got into voice-over. I’d been doing voice-over since I was 11 years old, but not to that extent. I kind of put it on the back burner and chose to do on camera, but I loved it. I got lucky, and Cameron Diaz put me under contract for her when she was doing Shrek and she needed a voice double. My agent kept saying, “you sound just like her”, and I said, “no, I don’t. I wish I did”. I love Cameron Diaz, so I ended up getting that job, and I’m so thankful for it. Voice-over just kind of took off. I started it, and right away I was doing Shrek all the time, and then Star Wars. I’ve done, like, 200 really cool projects in the last few years. I have a Shrek job next week. We’re doing Shrek 5.
Johnny: Alright. One of your first voice-over credits on IMDB was playing Gwen Stefani in the Celebrity Deathmatch video game, as well as the first episode of the 2006 revival. Had you watched the original show before signing on for that, and if so, how did the impressionists on the original show influence your work?
Holly: I didn’t watch it. I didn’t even know what it was. All I knew was that I was playing Gwen Stefani, and that’s all I cared about (laughing). I love Gwen Stefani. I would just listen to her songs, and listen to much of her talking. I went in there, and it was kind of like an old radio show the way we did it. Usually, when I’m working with Cameron Diaz, I get to do three takes in a row at least, but here, we went through it like a radio show, one take each. It was really fun.
Johnny: Alright. As you mentioned, you’re also part of the Star Wars franchise, voicing Nadia Grell in the Old Republic games. What’s been your favorite part of working on those games?
Holly: Oh, everything. I’m the biggest Star Wars fan in the world. I grew up on those. It’s funny because as a kid, I used to always play Star Wars as a game with my brother and sister. We also used to play Three’s Company, and I played Suzanne Somers. Years later, here I am, playing Suzanne Somers in her life story, and then here I am, working on Star Wars. It’s almost like my childhood dreams came true, which I thought was really awesome. I’ve always loved Star Wars.
Holly: I always used to play the games, so to get to do Star Wars: The Old Republic was beyond my dream come true. I’m working for George Lucas, who’s like a God to me, and my character is so cool. She’s like a female version of Luke Skywalker. She starts out as kind and young and sweet, and then she grows up during the process of the games. The games are so well-done. It’s like a movie. Each character is so well-established and so well-rounded. They put everything into that game. It’s so amazing to be part of the game. I’ve done 5 so far.
Johnny: Cool. IMDB says that one of the many talents you’ve voice-matched has been Charo. What project was that for, and was it difficult to do her fast-talking Spanish accent at first?
Holly: (Laughing) Well, what happened was they wanted someone to do Britney Spears, and whoever did Britney Spears also had to do Charo. I was the only person that could do both. God, I don’t remember what that was for. What was it for? Was it a cartoon?
Johnny: I’m not quite sure. I was just looking at your Other Works section on IMDB and it has a list of actresses you’ve voice-matched. Charo stood out.
Holly: Oh, yeah. Yeah, I think it was a cartoon. I’m not sure what it was. It was a long time ago. It was hard because I had to roll my letters and do the “yi-yi-yi-yi”. I didn’t have to do a lot of Spanish, thankfully, but I should. The Britney Spears was pretty fun to do. I love copying people. I love imitating people. I didn’t know that I could do it until I got the Cameron Diaz part, and then I kind of started becoming to go-to girl for re-voicing because I have the resume. I have the acting experience, so when I loop for people, like Cameron Diaz, for example, she did the movie Annie, but she was too busy to come back and re-loop for herself. There were some lines they wanted to change, so they bring me and I’ll change the lines for her. I’ll watch her mouth and copy her voice, and I’ll do that for her, but they have a lot of people who loop that only loop, but they didn’t make it as an actress. My thing is I did make it as an actress, but I got sick, so I had no choice but to do voice-over. It was kind of perfect for me because I have the acting experience, and I can also imitate, so that’s how I got in high demand for that job. It’s been such a blessing.
Johnny: Okay. You’re also an accomplished singer. What has singing provided for you that acting hasn’t?
Holly: I’m a better singer than actress, or used to be. That always goes back to my grandfather telling me I had to choose one or the other. It’s such a different thing. I had the record deal. When I got my first record deal, I was 9, and I did an album called Christmas Love for Neiman-Marcus. It’s so different for singing. I mean, you go in the studio and you record a song and then you leave, and then you hear it on the radio. For acting, you’re going in and playing a character and immersing yourself in this whole other character for months, which is involving. The singing actually helped me get into voice-over, because voice-over and soundalikes are so based on pitch, rhythm and timing. I have relative pitch, so that’s why I think I’m good at sounding like somebody, because I know the pitch of their voice. I can go right into it. Drew Barrymore was so easy when I was doing Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Copying her was the easiest job ever, plus we went to high school together, so I love that I got to do her voice, and I love that I got to do Brittany Murphy’s voice for her for a movie. That was so cool.
Johnny: Alright. What was your favorite gig as a singer?
Holly: Getting to do back-up for one of my good friends, Bobby Kimball from Toto. That was my all-time favorite. I love him.
Johnny: Alright. You’ve attended quite a few conventions, including Chiller Theatre, where we met for the first time last year. What’s been the most rewarding part of attending conventions?
Holly: That’s the thing. You do a movie and then you go home. I don’t watch a lot of stuff I do, so I forget what I do. I was hanging out with Thora Birch one time at a party, and we were joking around with people, telling them we were airline stewardesses. People kept saying, “no, you guys are actresses”. I kept thinking, “how do they know who we her?”. I mean, we’re not Jennifer Aniston, but we work a lot. We were unaware that people knew who we are. To us, it’s just a job. We go in and do it, and we don’t really see the final product, or at least I don’t. I don’t like to watch myself. Seeing people when they come up to you, and they know who you are, and they appreciate your work feels good. It’s rewarding. They know the lines from the movies, and it’s like you’ve done it all for a reason, you know, rather than for nothing. I love it.
Johnny: I do, too. It was really a blast to meet you at Chiller last year.
Holly: Yeah. I’ve met some really good people, that I’m still friends with, from conventions that love movies. I love people that love movies, and I love people that appreciate that.
Johnny: Yeah. I can recall that I accidentally left the autographs with you when I went back up to my hotel room to take a break. I was going through the autographs I’d gotten that day, and I was like, “wait a minute. Where are the Holly Fields autographs?”. (Holly laughs) I went back downstairs, and thankfully you still had them.
Holly: We saved them for you. Yeah, we put them aside.
Johnny: Yeah, and thanks for that.
Johnny: Now for a bigger question: What would you say has been the biggest change in the entertainment industry between 1987 and 2017?
Holly: Oh, boy. Oh, so much, actually. Well, from the actors’ standpoint, it used to be so easy. When I first moved to L.A, I moved here from Texas. I had a lot of credits from Dallas and came here. You used to go into a room, and you could meet with producers, and a lot of times they would hire me on the spot. It was so cool, and you would get feedback right then and there. “Change this”. “Do it this way”. “Change the character to be more like this”. They would let you redo it and redo it. Nowadays, a lot of times they have you do taped auditions, so you tape them at your house. You don’t even go in to meet everybody, so it’s so impersonal. Your tape goes in. You don’t get told, “hey, we like this” or “change this”, so you have to guess at what the characters are like, and I don’t like it. I like the way it used to be when it was personal. It used to be that you could move to L.A, become an actor, and you could get a pilot. Success happened overnight, all the time, because you didn’t have to be a famous actor to get a job. Now you have to be a famous actor to even get an audition because it’s so cutthroat. Famous movie stars are doing voice-over work. I’m competing against everybody now for voice-overs. You’re competing against every color, every age, and then you’re competing against all these famous actors. When I did the Spider-Man 2 game with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst and Alfred Molina, I was the only lead who wasn’t really well-known. I had to wait and wait and wait because they kept trying to find a name. They couldn’t find a name they liked as much, so they came back and gave me the part, so that was pretty cool. I’ve lost parts so many times. I lost my character on Charmed. I had the middle sister, and then I had the youngest sister, and I lost them both times to names, so I got bummed. I also lost a role in Million Dollar Hotel to Milla Jovovich. That was pretty depressing.
Holly: Yeah. I love her, though. I’ve lost so many parts where I’ve had the part, and then they said, “oh, we have to hire a name”. Of course they want a name because they want the audience. I’ve lost so many roles to names.
Johnny: Well, on a lighter note, regarding voice-matching: Have you ever had people ask you to do one of your celebrity voices for their voice-mail messages on their cell phones?
Holly: Yes, all the time, and I don’t (laughing). My friend Greg does. No, I haven’t, but one time I wanted sushi in Hawaii, and they wouldn’t give it to us to go, so I called as Drew Barrymore and I got it to go (laughing). I felt so guilty afterwards.
Johnny: I was bringing it up because I went to Chiller in 2015. Brenda Strong was there, and one of the things that she was offering was that, if you paid her, she could a voice-mail message for you as her character from Desperate Housewives.
Holly: That’s cool. How much was that?
Johnny: I’m not quite sure. I didn’t get it, although I did get the autograph and picture with her, but I think it was something like 30 to 50 bucks.
Holly: Wow, that’s a kind of cool, fun thing. I asked James Earl Jones to do my phone message one time and he said yes. That was pretty cool.
Johnny: Okay. Two more questions. First, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Holly: God, I don’t know. Well, it’s hard because I still have Lyme disease. I’m in treatment right now with the newest antibiotics, trying to get rid of it. I don’t know. How much do you know about Lyme disease?
Johnny: Not much.
Holly: It’s bad. The CDC makes it look so easily cured, but Lyme disease destroys your life. It destroys your brain and it makes you exhausted on top of that. I had it for 12 years, and didn’t get treated until 12 years after having it. It had taken over my entire body. If I had just gotten the antibiotics right when I had that bullseye rash on my thigh, I would be better. It wouldn’t have gotten bad. I got seriously sick. I actually moved away from L.A. I bought a beautiful huge house up in Ojai to retire. I thought that was it. Now I’m back in L.A and I have a house here. I’m still doing the voice-overs, thank God, but they’re trying to do treatment, and then I might do stem cells, because that’s what Ozzy Osborne’s daughter did and she got better. That was recently, so I’d like to try the stem cells. I would love to get better, and I would love to do on-camera again. I’ve been wanting to do that forever. I miss it so much. I love voice-over, but I think you saw on my Facebook that I didn’t want people to know I was sick, but now I want to be an advocate for Lyme disease because so many people I know have it and are affected by it. They’ve lost their lives because of it. It’s a serious, serious disease.
Johnny: Definitely. Okay, now for my final question: If you could go back to your youth with the knowledge that you have now, would you do anything differently?
Holly: Yes. I wouldn’t have passed on so many parts. I passed on any role I wanted on Stargate, any role I wanted on General Hospital…I went in for a guest star role, and they said “we’d rather write you onto the show”. I said no because I didn’t want to have to memorize the lines every time. Doing a soap opera is so much work. I passed on soaps. I passed on 90210. I passed on X-Files. I passed on so much stuff because I just thought I was going to keep working and working and working. I didn’t expect to ever get sick. I wouldn’t have passed on everything. I would’ve been more…I wouldn’t say appreciative, because I was very appreciative, but I was like a little kid. I didn’t take everything so seriously. I kept on thinking, “I’ll pass on this. I’ll get something else. It’ll be fine”. I would’ve taken it all a lot more serious, and I would’ve taken Stargate. That was my biggest regret, passing on Stargate.
Johnny: I see. Well, that about does it for my questions. I thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to speak to me.
Holly: I enjoyed it.
Johnny: Thank you. I’ll catch you on Facebook.
Holly: Have a great day and week.
Holly: Thank you.
For more about Ms. Fields, you can visit her Facebook fan page.
Coming soon to the Flashback Interview: Actress/singer Audrey Landers, comedian and podcast host Ken Reid and actress/singer Tuesday Knight.