Exclusive interview with Melissa Ponzio
June 3, 2014 | She is our favorite TV mom, Melissa Ponzio a.k.a. Melissa McCall, Scotts mother on the MTV series "Teen Wolf". But Melissa also portrays Donna, who sweeps a certain fire fighter on "Chicago Fire" off his feet, and Karen, who had to fight post-apocalyptic threats on the AMC hit "The Walking Dead". Melissa was so nice to take time again for a few of our questions and it is a big pleasure to see how she loves the characters and stories as much as we fans do.
1) From a romantic teen mystery "Teen Wolf" has grown into a full-blown psychological horror drama with its own mythology. In my opinion, a growth that's paralleled in this genre only by "Buffy". What's your take on the development of the show?
Jeff Davis, our writers and our creative team all continue to elevate our show every season. It's really amazing. I think we've grown in story and in characters from first season to now, and I can't wait to see what's next myself :)
2) There is a certain warmth about "Teen Wolf" that is carried mainly through some of the characters: Stiles, Melissa and Sheriff Stilinski. With VoidStiles, this season felt unusually cold and it left me wondering, how will it be possible to let the warmth back in?
Good question. I think Dylan's finest work to date was last season as he danced between Stiles and VoidStiles. I was so thrilled to work with him as VS, it was really fun. I feel you are right, there are shockwaves that were left by VoidStiles, and we're going to have to heal the wounds he left. I think then the warmth will come back, with our beloved Stiles being 'back to normal'...although what is normal anymore, right?
3) Tyler Posey said one of his fave scenes in 3B was in the last episodes with you in the kitchen, Mama McCall holding Scott while he was crying, and that it blew everyone on set away. Do you remember working on this scene and what it was like?
I remember it very well. It was the night before Thanksgiving and it was one of the last scenes we shot together for the season. I remember Jeff being on set, and it was really intense cause we were experiencing true loss in our set family, as we knew that characters/actors were leaving the show. I remember rehearsing the scene a couple times... but when we shot it, and I went to embrace Tyler, his entire body felt different in my hug, I could really feel the pain he was trying to convey for his character. I remember wanting to hug Scott sooooooooo tight, to let him know he didn't have to be strong in that moment, that Mom was there for him...I'm glad it's one of his faves, it's one of mine too...
4) Melissa's and Sheriff Stilinski's silent reaction to Stiles' MRI was incredible acting on your and Linden's part. Will the storyline about Claudia Stilinski's illness be continued at some point?
I hope so, I think our audience would be happy to peek into the Stilinski history for a bit. Linden did a great job in that scene and our set designers/ set builders/ stylers did an AMAZING job with that MRI set! We were getting possibly the worst news a parent could get other than your child is dead.. that a child was dying. Horrible. No. It was just No.
5) The nogitsune had us wondering if Melissa played a mysterious part in the father abandoning the family but one of "Teen Wolf's" strengths is playing it out as just a real-life family drama of an ex-drunk being a coward about going back to his family. Do you think the way things are in Beacon Hills and in Scott's and Melissa's life, is there still a place for him?
We've had many on set discussions about The McCalls and what the future may bring...I think there is more to the story of why Agent McCall left, I think it's deeper. But we have a lot of story to tell, I don't know what Jeff will pull from next...
© Jenny Duckworth Photography
6) Season 3B had a surprising shift of focus with Stiles being at the center of things instead of Scott. What was that like from the ensemble's point of view?
We were all thrilled with the story line. We have strong actors on our show and we are all very supportive of each other... Dare I even say, very little egos, when it comes to story line and who is doing more of what when. I'd like to say that from the ensemble's point of view, we all were happy with how it all came together in Season 3.
7) Cast and viewers had to say goodbye to Allison aka Crystal Reed and (as it seems) to Isaac aka Daniel Sharman, too. On Twitter you said, hopefully the viewers are open to change. Can you talk a little bit more about what's coming and what feels different?
Change is coming and it always feels different because it IS different. I would ask that everyone keep an open heart and mind, you may just be surprised.
8) Looking back at 4 years of "Teen Wolf", what has been the biggest surprise for you, what did you not expect to happen?
I'm still surprised how much our fandom embraces the parents on our show. I'm so thankful and humbled that they still care so much. It's a dream.
9) Congrats on the most romantic firehouse wedding ever! When you booked the role of Donna did you know she would be returning after the first break up with Chief Boden?
I didn't know anything!!! I was probably just as shocked as you were when you watched how Donna returns to Chief's life. I mean, WOW!! Firehouse Wedding!!! And a BABY!!!
10) What is working with Eamonn Walker, the guy with the lowest voice still audible, like?
An 'officer and a gentleman' for sure... he is gracious, kind, inclusive... a family man, proud husband, father and grandfather. Everyone on Chicago Fire has been amazing to work with, and I hope to continue on the show...
11) What one thing about "Chicago Fire" would people not know?
People may not believe how everyone on that show really cares and loves one another, but they really do!! You can see and feel that they are one big family and they enjoy every day together, even when it's minus 57 degrees.
12) On "The Walking Dead", did you know who killed Karen when your final scenes were filmed? Was it a surprise for you?
I kinda knew, but not for sure... I heard rumblings of peoples thoughts/ideas of what may happen... I had a theory, but will keep it to myself... but I tell you what shocked me the most was Melissa McBride's simple one word answer to Andrew when asked "Did you kill Karen?"... "Yes."... That was brilliant!!
Thank you for taking the time for our questions once again, Melissa, we wish you all the best with "Teen Wolf" and "Chicago Fire"!
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