Interview with Melissa Ponzio

September 21, 2015 | In my review of the "Teen Wolf" summer finale #5.10 I couldn't help but shout out "Thank you, Jeff Davis, for Mama McCall!" Not only did she single-handedly save lives on-screen, she also gave hope to the viewers in front of the screen that our beloved wolf population of Beacon Hills may find a way back to each other in the end. We are more than happy that Melissa Ponzio, the amazing woman who brings our favorite TV mom to life with so much heart, kindly made time once again this year for our chat about "Teen Wolf" and also "Chicago Fire".

Foto: Melissa Ponzio - Copyright: Brad Buckman
Melissa Ponzio
© Brad Buckman

Note: © myFanbase 2015 - The interview is exclusive to myFanbase and may not be published on other websites or the like. You may share the first two questions (up to 180 words) if you link back to this site. Translations other than English and German may be posted with full credit including the link to this site.

German translation of the interview.

1. In a season about failure and destruction the bond between Mama McCall and Scott was literally what saved my life in the summer finale! How did you and Tyler approach this scene about hope? I felt like "Give them hope" was as much directed to the fans as it was to his pack...

What a great question. There has been a very specific shift for Mama McCall this season when she councils Scott on life, and it's something that has developed over time just like a real Mom/Son relationship. I believe there comes a time when you look at your child, and they have turned a corner...where they become the person you have poured everything into, they are standing in front of you 'formed'. I believe Scott is formed, he is his own man this season, and has to carry a much heavier emotional load because of all that's happened. In the moment where we're talking in that scene, I wanted to approach it like we were on the same level speaking to each other, not like I was passing down a lesson as parent to child, I wanted it to feel like a deeper share between us. A deeper respect for who he is and where he is in the moment. The concept of Hope is so huge, it's a life force of it's own if you think about it. And I'm so happy you guys liked the scene.

2. Melissa and Sheriff Stilinski are not on the same page anymore when it comes to dealing with the supernatural. They usually respect each other's opinions even when they don't see eye to eye but in this case it's about the kids' safety... what do think?

Betsy Graham who runs Howlercon, one of the largest Teen Wolf conventions in the states, recently told me that our ship is 'the only ship the entire fandom can agree on', which made me laugh...and it made me think. I'm very intrigued as to where this riff will lead us into 5B. We as parents have really relied on one another because the other knows the true undercurrent of what our kids are dealing with. The Sheriff is someone Mama McCall has always turned to...but not now. I think when you have been in any kind of a relationship and one day the other person completely comes out of left field with something that is so different than what you thought about them, that's going to leave an emotional mark for a while. And that slap!?!?! :)

3. Scott trusts that every person can be saved. Do you think he has that from Melissa? If yes, might she consider trying again with Scott's dad? Or date someone else, now that the Sheriff is dating Mrs. Martin. Suggestions might be Argent... or Peter ;)

Yes. He does. I think he has experienced his mom as a woman of action and I'm proud of that :) And I think she is too busy running every floor of that hospital to even think about dating anyone! Like a lot of single parents, the 'love' relationship she chooses is the love for her child above anyone else. To put him first, help him become the individual he's meant to be. Shout Out to all the single parents out there that do the same!!!

4. Mama McCall has some of the most wonderful lines. "Be your own anchor" or "You're shoulding all over yourself" being just two of them. What was your favorite so far and do you sometimes exchange thoughts with Mama McCall so to speak?

I'm super lucky to have Jeff Davis sharing and writing into the show some of his most impactful moments with his own mother. That's where most of these amazing pearls of wisdom germinate from. So really, I'm speaking lessons from his childhood, which is a gift. And I feel that's why they are so memorable, because they are real. And it's an honor that so many people remember these moments, quote them back to us, have tattoos of these amazing words, send me original art...it's overwhelming at times. A big Thank You to everyone who is moved by any of Mama McCalls words, for it's Mama Davis's truth being spoken...

5. The "Teen Wolf" moms kick serious ass! Some out of love, others more villainously. I'm dreaming of an episode with all the grownups in which we learn all about their shared background. What scenario would you like to see / act out?

LET'S DO IT!!!! I've begged for a big parent scene, something that brings us all together...I think that would rock.

Foto: Melissa Ponzio - Copyright: Jenny Duckworth Photography
Melissa Ponzio
© Jenny Duckworth Photography

6. On instagram you posted a BTS photo of Tyler Posey and his little look-alike Steele Gagnon (young Scott). Usually actors don't really get to work together with their young counterparts. What was is like working with two "sons" at the same time?

That whole episode with everyone's flashbacks was so much fun to watch as a fan. The scene with the Stilinski's on the roof was HEARTBREAKING. I really was affected watching that...Steele Gagnon who played young Scott is such an amazing young actor. I remember we were doing the first rehearsal of that scene where he is trying to talk while in a full blown asthma attack. Now just so you know, most of the time, rehearsals are not done at 'full performance level', we are all just saying the words out loud and trying to get our movements right...So the director calls "Action" and out of nowhere Steele is drawing everyone in with his performance, SO MUCH SO that the director, Tyler and I all look at each other and we had this shared moment of 'OMG I'm gonna cry'. It was a quick scene, but I'm so thankful we were able to experience it...maybe we'll have more flashbacks, that would be cool.

7. Playing Mama McCall has been your longest continuing role, right? What has been the most rewarding part of being on "Teen Wolf" for five years now?

Yes it has and it sounds simple but to be able to look back and see how much we have all grown up is such a treat. As real people and the characters we play, it's like a mini history book of the last 5 years. We as actors look back and we see/feel much more than the audience could because we remember what the day was like while shooting it, so we have all these additional memories and emotions attached to the scenes you guys are watching. It's wild.

8. "Chicago Fire": After the most beautiful fire house wedding there was the most incredible scene in which Donna gave birth to little Baby Boden in a fire truck surrounded by firemen screaming supportively with her all the way through. What will you never forget about shooting this scene?

That was a special day indeed. They closed down an entire bridge for us to shoot on. We were all jammed in that fire truck all day to shoot that scene and it was SO MUCH FUN! In real life all the actors on Chicago Fire are super supportive and loving, so as Donna and Boden have that very intimate moment of the birth of Terrance in front of these guys who LOVE the Chief so much, it kinda makes your heart swell up, doesn't it? Chief literally trusts these guys with his most sacred loves in this moment to help keep them safe. Wow, right?

9. Watching "Chicago Fire" it feels like the city itself is kind of an important character. What is your favorite thing about the "Windy City"?

Agreed!!! Chicago is a wonderful city full of life. The people are amazing, food delicious and SO much history...but if I had to think of one thing, it would have to be Wrigley Field. I'm not even a huge baseball fan, but to be in that stadium and watch a game is something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

10. Since Papa McCall stirred up Firehouse 51 (sort of) which of the firefighters would you send to Beacon Hills to do what?

What if it was a true crossover episode?? There's a raging wild fire in the Beacon Hills forest and EVERYONE from Firehouse 51 reports to battle the flames? The truck pulls up and everyone from the show pours out of it...I'm calling Dick Wolf right now to get on it!!! ;)

11. You're gonna be one of the guests at a "Teen Wolf" convention in Germany later this year. Have you been to Germany before? What are you looking forward to?

I'm soSoSO excited to visit Germany! Thank you so much for having us. This will be my third time traveling outside the states, so that in itself is still very exciting to me...but to be able to visit Germany in the winter is a dream! My aunt, Diane Ponzio, is an artist spokesperson for Martin Guitar. Last year she brought me back a pretzel from Germany...it was in the wrapper and I grabbed that thing like it was the last piece of food on earth and scarfed it down! It was so good, and it was at least a day old, so to have one fresh is going to blow my mind. See you guys very soon!!!

12. And last but not least: What tv shows do you enjoy watching at the moment?

I can not say enough about Mr. Robot-one of the most original lead characters that I've ever seen and the writing is amazing. Also American Crime, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Damages and then any true crime show. I'm fascinated by serial killers. Is that weird?

Thank you! We really appreciate you making time for us again, Melissa, we love interviewing you so much!

Thank you for these amazing questions and for reaching out again for this interview!

Nicole Oebel - myFanbase

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