put on a really big show!"
you introduce yourself?
name is Melissa Smith. People who might have seen me before might
have seen me on Making the Band 3 or the CWs Pussicat Doll
show, it was the Search for the Next Pussicat Doll, and if you
dont know any of those shows then youll have to see
me in the movie! Im from Canada, and I grew up there, my
family then moved to Michigan, where I found my love for singing
and dancing and all through school, I trained really hard and
always knew at an early age that this was what I wanted to do,
just to come out move out to LA and be part of the industry.
I told my parents when I was 12 that I was gonna move to LA,
be a singer, dancer, actress and was gonna do it all
thats what I did and the journey never stops, you always
grow as an artist, as an actress, and you know, its a crazy
journey, its a hard journey but if you stick to it, and
are really driven and passionate about youre doing then
you will succeed, at least thats what I believe!
pretty much do it all, is there one you put in priority?
its everything but, obviously if Im shooting a movie
thats gonna be taking priority over my music at the moment.
I try to balance everything out and whatever comes my way whether
it be something else to record or shooting a movie then that
becomes my main focus and I focus on that and you know, I give
it my all.
Command Performance, youre both acting and
playing a pop singer, how did you get approached for the part?
guess I had shot my manager an email, and it came across his
desk, Id actually just started working with him. At the
time, I was just focusing on my music a little bit more and he
said well do you wanna go and audition for this role?
and I said I don't know let me take a look at it.
So I read the script and I fell in love with Venus. Of course
I felt Venus was very much like me, I mean it was almost like
a no-brainer, like oh my god this is my role!. That
with my whole mentality going into it, like this is mine,
I know I am this girl, I know this girl! So I studied all
my lines and rehearsed. And I went in
to my first audition, I met James [Chalke] and Barry [Evans],
and they let me read with them.
got a call back the next day, thats when I met with Dolph
and I read with him. We had to do like some chemistry reading
just to see if we had chemistry on camera, just fun stuff, see
how we would look together
beginning, I dont wanna say like I knew I was gonna get
the part, but I felt in my heart that it was my role,
and it was my job to go after it, and it was my job to get it,
and I got it. It was for me, what an amazing role because in
a lot of ways, youre right, I got to do everything, I got
to sing, I got to dance, I got to be this glamorous pop star
then at the end I get to be this bloody crazy
like a glamorous role and then its down to the dirt and
blood and youre shooting people, shes really fighting
for her life, so it was a very very cool role for me, and it
brought me to a lot of different places, just wasnt playing
this one person, it was like she went through a whole transformation
too you know.
there something you were anxious about or what was the most challenging
thing for you?
never done action before and my background is more comedy so
this was my first action movie but its funny because I
always wanted to do action. I grew up doing gymnastics and dancing
Im very flexible and Im very muscular so my body
is trained like an athlete, so I felt like, this would be very
good for me I felt I would be very good in an action role. Yeah
it was like ok, well I havent shot a gun, I need
to learn some stunts and, of course all of those things
go to your head but it was nothing like Im not gonna
be able to do it, I felt confident in myself. The emotional scenes,
you know watching my brother get killed, I think its just
important that becomes real to you, and you make it your own,
and you really find that area in your heart, in your mind, where
you can release that emotion. What is tricky about that is when
you find it, its right there, youre there with your
emotion in your scene and then they cut and you gotta do it like
some many more times, they gotta get from this angle and from
that angle, you really have to stay on that emotion. The first
time was very easy to cry and the more times you have to get
it its like ok my tears are running out!, you
have to sustain that!
helps to think its actually real
yeah for sure! And it feels true. I mean the guns, what theyre
shooting is blanks but theyre shooting real bullets like
its just blanks. It is real, real gunfire. Yeah it is really
happening when youre in the moment, and the first time
I heard the gunshot I was very like scared, you know its
like WOW this is actually going down you know!
did you start working with Dolph once you got the part?
feel like this film, and I'm not biased in any way but, I feel
like this film is one of his best films."
know Dolph is really cool to work with because, before we went
in and we read the whole script with the cast, then we had a
couple of rehearsals before we were gonna shoot the scene, and
that was really good because wed get our blocking down,
wed get the moments and the beats that he wants, and yeah
we rehearse it we rehearsed the scene, and then when it comes
to shoot it we run the lines and then we go ahead and shoot it
and everybody kind of knows what theyre doing so... he
was very smooth to work with. And hes not one of those
directors thats all in your face, for the most
part hes very calm, hes very direct with you and
he gives you a lot of good pointers, hell tell you what
he wants to see: okay I need you to do it a little more
this way or change it up and do this. It was really good
working with him.
you think it was easier to work with him as a director since
hes also an actor?
of course, exactly, because hes been there, hes done
it. In very quick moment, the director doesnt have a lot
of time to just like go into this big huge deal, Dolph would
get right to the point and be like OK I need you to do
this, he would even like act it out, he would get you right
to that moment where he needed you. Of course it is easy because
hes an actor, he understands actors.
you familiar with him and his movies before?
of course Ive seen some of his movies before. When I first
saw him was in Rocky, you know Ivan Drago, everybody
knows him from that role, Universal Soldier. Hes
really good at what he does. I told him I wanna see him do a
comedy, itd be really funny to see him do like a romantic
comedy, completely different from what everybody sees him doing.
could really pull it off because hes very funny
many songs do you perform in the movie?
just one song that Im actually performing, its called
Lost In Love. I had dancers, we put on a really big
show, that was really exciting for me, I had such a rush, and
the people who were watching the performance they were so great
to work with, they gave me a lot of love, and its cool
because I see a lot of their energy, however that sounds the
people in the audience are gonna push you and theyre gonna
go further. But yeah that was really great, that was a big highlight
for me to do that scene, it was really fun. I wish we could have
done more we just didnt have enough time, I mean halfway
through my performance, the bad guys come in and start shooting
It was very very cool.
not like a full hour and half performance but you had the hundred
of extras who where really excited
were SO excited, oh my god, they were going crazy, it was so
cute. I didnt really think that the response was gonna
be that great but they really loved me and they loved being a
part of it. They were really really great actually to work with,
I cant thank them enough you know because they bring that
extra energy to the performance you know. And watching it on
the playback, it really looks like its real, its
not like were doing this fake concert, everyone is really
performing and it looks really really good, theyve got
all the lights and
it was really really great, great show.
So I wish I could have kept going on and did four or five more
songs! It was such a feel good feeling just to be
up on stage and kind of do my thing.
it so different from other shows you did before?
I mean the venue was a lot bigger, so to perform in a venue like
that, NDK, was really amazing. It was very cool.
came up with the choreography, did you work on it?
I worked on it, actually you know the choreographer that I had
is Richard Jackson and he choreographed the dance breakdown in
the beginning, when we first start, and then we had a choreographer,
Stacy, I'm sorry I don't know her last name, she's a Bulgarian
choreographer, and she had a group of dancers and together we
choreographed the rest of it. But yeah it's really cool, moving
on stuff it's high energy show, there's never a dull moment to
you have to work a lot with the dancers?
is a funny guy, not a lot of people know that but he's really
we did, we had a lot of rehearsals, which I think is really important,
because they didn't know my choreography before I came. I had
to teach them the opening part, it's just a different style,
it's fitting things a lot harder, it's a little more funky, and
I just had to teach them, you know, everything and make sure
it's was really good because I wanted it to look really good
you know so no one can be off, we have to be together as a group.
I rehearsed them really hard but I think in the end like when
you rehearse like that, you grow and you become better.
would you convince, your fans or non-action fans, to check out
know it's so easy because, for me, this movie is not just an
action movie, the genre is kinda everywhere, Dolph and I were
talking about it, it's multi-genred I think. Because there's
some comedy in it, there's action in it, there's performances
in it, there's a love story in it. There's so much involved in
this movie. That's why I said before it was such an honor to
have this role because, it's not just one-noted, it's like I'm
doing everything in this movie. Really really great! I think
anybody and everybody would love to see this movie, because there's
a little bit of everything for somebody, you know.
are you working on now do you have a full-length album coming
right now I'm just continuing to record, and like I said you
never stop growing as an artist. The music changes so quickly,
even the stuff I did last year, to me, has already came and gone.
So my music has to evolve into something else right now, I'm
just getting back in the studio and we are trying to figure what
that next sound is. It's really exciting, I love recording, I
love being creative. Then I like thinking of that where, half
of it, how the music video is gonna look like, all that kind
of stuff. I just wanna get in the studio, keep recording and
then eventually put out an album. In the meantime other than
recording, I've got different scripts coming my way to keep acting.
You know I love every part of the entertainment industry. I mean
back in the day you had to do everything, you had to sing, you
had to dance, you had to act, there were days when they didn't
even look at you if you didn't do all three back then so... that's
really what my love is and my passion is for, for everything.
I love to work really hard, I love to be in acting class, I love
to be in vocal lessons, I love to do recording and I love to
always work on my craft.
you like to add anything?
can't say enough: it was an amazing experience and it was really
cool to work with Dolph. When I first went in to my call back
and I met him I was like WOW it's really Dolph Lundgren,
like he's really standing in front of me you know! And that was
really cool, I mean I can say I did a movie with him, he's a
really great actor.
like this film, and I'm not biased in any way but, I feel like
this film is one of his best films. I mean character-wise, acting-wise,
I really feel like he really did a great job. Dolph is a funny
guy, not a lot of people know that but he's really funny! And
yeah I think he brought a lot to this character in it. It was
different, it wasn't just him playing just the action guy that
we've all seen before: Joe, his character, is really different
from what he's done before. I think a lot of his fans are gonna
be really excited to see that. And working with Ida and Robin,
the two girls in the film, I became such close friends with them
and that was really cool working with those little girls, they're
so sweet and so funny, we had such a great time on set.
opportunity has been amazing, and it's been really great!
Ida and Robin it was good for chemistry, because you share so
much in the story...
absolutely. It's like I was like the mama bird and they were
under my wing because they were so... It's very traumatizing
for them I mean to actually go through all of that in the movie,
and how scared they were so... I had to pull it together and
be the tough girl who'll not let them see that I was kind of
scared too: so we'll get through this together type
attitude and its gonna be OK, that sort of thing.
But yeah they're so sensitive girls.
you said the whole team was great and it could well bring Dolph
back into the mainstream...
definitely! I think so, that's exactly how I felt too. It shows
a different color for him I think, but it's definitely one of
those movies that everyone will like, and will be entertained
to see. Because that's what people want, they want to be entertained,
they wanna laugh, they wanna feel moved, they wanna feel the
connection. And if you can move someone emotionally through a
film that's where you got it/them.
you for taking the time to interview me, I really appreciate