Holland Roden Talks Playing Lydia’s Heightened Emotions, Her New Love Interest, Her Dynamic with Stiles, and More on the Set of TEEN WOLF Season 3
Developed by Jeff Davis, the hit MTV drama series Teen Wolf returns for a super-sized, 24-episode third season that debuts on June 3rd. Picking up four months after the events that nearly ended Jackson’s (Colton Haynes) life and resurrected Peter Hale (Ian Bohen), Season 3 finds teen werewolf Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) and his friends Stiles (Dylan O’Brien), Lydia (Holland Roden) and Allison (Crystal Reed) beginning their junior year of high school unaware that a new threat has arrived in Beacon Hills – a deadly pack of Alpha werewolves intent on bringing Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) into their fold
With the filming relocated to Los Angeles, Collider was invited to check out the set and chat with the cast for a series of exclusive interviews. While hanging out in her trailer on a break from shooting, actress Holland Roden talked about where things are at now for Lydia, how challenging it’s been to play Lydia’s heightened emotions, the most unexpected and surprising storyline for her character, Lydia’s new love interest, making her character more genuine, how much fun the new dynamic with Stiles is, and the pressure of living up to the success of the first two seasons. Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
Collider: Where are things at for Lydia, when the show picks back up for Season 3?
HOLLAND RODEN: It’s been four months since Lydia was last seen, and that was with Jackson (Colton Haynes), in quite an emotional scene. It picks up with the inclination that Lydia is being typical Lydia, in the sense that she acts like everything is fine, on the surface, but underneath, I would assume that she’s falling apart. I would be falling apart. At this point, you see something bubbling underneath the surface, but she appears fine. It’s yet to be seen if there will be a Lydia meltdown over Jackson. I, personally, think that’s what she spent the time lapse doing. He randomly moved, due to his parents. Other than that, she’s been as normal as you can be, finding out that there werewolves in your town. Lydia is finally getting a clue about what her surroundings are actually consisting of.
Has it been challenging to play Lydia’s internal struggle, since she really does have a tendency to hide her emotions?
RODEN: When I first started the show, everyone asked, “How would you describe Lydia?,” and I always said, “She’s Tracy Flick-esque.” People either thought I was really big with my acting and my emotions, or they totally got it and thought it was hilarious. Hopefully, people were more the latter than the former, but that’s how I decided to play that. I am a huge fan of Alexander Payne, and I love how Reese Witherspoon portrayed Tracy Flick (in Election). It was fun to do that, but I definitely got polarized reactions that were either really good or really bad. In real life, I’m so brutally honest that it almost works against me sometimes. People think you’re being dishonest because you’re just too blunt. I have absolutely no filter, which is the opposite of Lydia. It’s been fun to be that coy, non-chalant mystery girl.
How has it been to move the show to Los Angeles?
RODEN: It’s been really easy. It’s almost too easy. We feel like we’re still in Atlanta, as soon as we come to the set and see the exact same sets we saw in Atlanta. It’s beyond a déjà vu mind trip. I love it! We’re able to focus here. It’s been a really great transition, having our life here and still being employed. It’s a nice combination, as an actor.
What have been the most unexpected or surprising storylines for your character?
RODEN: I think it’s interesting, how she’s dealt with Jackson. That’s been the most interesting path that was chosen for Lydia. I’m still trying to figure that out. How does she deal with that? You don’t see it in Season 3. You see little bits, but not really. So, my question is, “Is that coming, or has that already happened?” That is my biggest qualm. We’ll see. Stay tuned.
With Jackson being out of the picture, who is Lydia spending her time with?
RODEN: Lydia does have a new love interest. It’s not the same kind of love interest. Jackson was definitely the love of her life. So, her new love interest, honestly, is her friends. That’s who she’s spending her time with. She’s very good friends with Stiles, this season. Her and Stiles form a genuine friendship, and they’re definitely partners-in-crime together, throughout the season. She spends a lot of time with Allison and Stiles. It’s the three of them now. It’s this little trio, trying to save the werewolf world.
Is it fun to have that change in dynamic, between Lydia and Stiles?
RODEN: It is! Jeff [Davis] and the writers and producers sat me down, and they made a conscious decision to make Lydia more genuine. Now that Jackson is gone, she needs somebody to be there for her, so she’s let her guard down with Allison and Stiles. There’s not that much of the schticky big mannerisms anymore. She’s a normal girl now. It’s been nice, as an actor, to just chill out a little bit. Now, I can just walk into a scene and talk, and it’s not quite as intense.
After the success of the first two seasons, do you feel pressure to live up to that with Season 3?
RODEN: As far as my day-to-day life goes, I actually feel less pressure because I am so comfortable on this set and we are such a family. Reputation wise and expectation wise, it’s too early to tell. It’s not necessarily that I worry, but I know that there’s some anticipation. I’m preparing myself to worry, but I’m not quite there yet because we’re so embedded in the filming process. I always feel like everything I shoot is a student project and nobody else knows about it. I forget, in the moment, that other people will see it. It’s a bizarre thing, and I’ve had it since I started acting, five years ago. It’s almost a subconscious thing that my body does. It just goes there because it has to go there. If you’re thinking about the expectation while you’re filming, you’re putting the tail before the head of the horse. Thank god, my instinct kicks in and I don’t think much about it. When it starts coming out is when we get very nervous. We read everybody’s stuff. I do, at least, because I think it’s important to hear feedback about the show, critically, as well as with viewers. I’m interested to see how the extended season is going to be, and how that’s going to play out on television, as far as holding people’s attention or not. Hopefully, we will.
Have you just come to expect anything, with this show?
RODEN: For the most part, yeah. As actors, sometimes we want our character to go somewhere different than it goes, but that’s being an actor. You get the information, and it’s not your job to judge it or not judge it. You adapt and you do it. That’s what we do, as actors. We’re just as surprised as the viewers, sometimes.
Teen Wolf airs on Monday nights on MTV, starting on June 3rd.