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An Interview with Melanie Denholme, Star of Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire and Dark Watchers: The Women in Black

by Mike Haberfelner

March 2012

Films starring Melanie Denholme on (re)Search my Trash


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Your upcoming film Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?


Lady of the Dark is not so much about vampires but more about nature getting its own back against man. There is a line in the film, “you have raped us for the last time man”, which I think sums it up in one powerful sentence. Eve is symbolic to the bible and her character is very peaceful and spiritual, which is why she was chosen and the changes she goes through although sexual violent and bloody are all just like nature would intend without human emotion dictating her behaviour.


With Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire being essentially a vampire film - is the vampire a creature at all dear to you?


I love vampire films, I think because although they come in many different shapes and forms they all have the element of love and lust out of a need for survival which I find fascinating and I would never say no to acting in film which was based on this mythical creature, I think deep down somewhere there is that little part of me that wonders what it would be like if it was real.


In the film, you make a transformation from the slightly boring goody-two-shoes housewife to homicidal vamp. Which can you identify with more, which was easier/more fun to play?


I don’t think I can identify with any of the character traits Eve goes through, in the beginning she is very spiritual where as I am very driven and charged - but researching kundilini yoga for the role helped to bring myself down to her level. 

I can 100% say for sure that the homicidal vamp side was more fun to play and I also think easier in a way, for some reason I find the roles that are furthest away from my own character easier as it allows me to create a whole new person to become which is what I love most of all about acting.


How did you approach the role of Eve in Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire in the first place?


Well, director Phil Gardiner [Philip Gardiner interview - click here] was nervous of asking me to start with as he knew the role was extremely gritty, but there was no chance I was passing on this one. To start with I had to shake off any nerves I had regarding the role as it required a lot of realism. There was no room for even the slightest amount of “holding back”, I really just had to get in the mindset of saying goodbye to Mel and her life and saying Hello Eve, I’m home. I let go of all my inhibitions and just went for it!!


How did you initially get involved with the project, and what can you tell us about your director Philip Gardiner [Philip Gardiner interview - click here]?


I first met Phil on the set of Paranormal Haunting – The Curse of the Blue Moon Inn, where I was only doing a small scene for the trailer, but then Phil wrote me into the actual film. It was not till later I realised that he had auditioned over 100 girls for Lady of the Dark. I had an email asking if I knew of anyone who would be interested at which I laughed my socks off, He really was worried about asking directly as he felt this role was asking a lot.

Phil to me is an inspiration his vision, his drive and his mind are fascinating, and his films are always a lot deeper and more meaningful than what they appear to be to someone without the knowledge.


From the looks of it, making Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire seems to be a rather intense experience. So what can you tell us about the actual shoot, and the on-set atmosphere?


It was intense for me in regards to it being the first film that required me to push myself to these levels, and I think for Phil it was to prove he could create a visual, beautiful, musical film all by himself from start to finish without any outside interference.


The shoot itself was great fun and very relaxed but extremely organised, when you take away the stress of big crews and you are working in a comfortable environment it just doesn’t feel like hard work, we were able to crack on with no fuss and no worries, it was very easy to stay focused with no interruptions, and I can still say this is my favourite set I’ve been on to date even after 8 features.


You're not only the lead character, you are also the only character in Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire - is it at all indimidating to you as an actress to pretty much carry the whole film on your own shoulders?


No not at all in fact I didn’t look at it like that, I don’t believe I carried the film at all, I think it’s all down to Phil’s artistic, visual creation and the way he shot the whole film right down to the edit. I want every role I take on to challenge me as I want to grow as an actress, so I concentrated more about pushing myself to get this right rather than thinking about being a lead.


With Philip Gardiner, you have recently also shot Dark Watchers: The Women in Black - a few words about that one, and about your character in it?


Dark Watchers was great fun, it’s about 3 girls who house-share, 2 of them go UFO spotting, then some weird stuff starts happening, it’s about alien abduction and “what is”.

I play Alexis a UFO geek, obsessed by the whole thing, I was in my element when her character started getting a bit more freaked out and things started getting strange.


Your character in Dark Watchers: The Women in Black is a staunch UFO-believer. Your own thoughts on the subject?


Ha ha Unfortunately I believe there is a logical explanation for everything somewhere, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes of our everyday lives that just because we don’t know about it when we get a glimpse of something we are unaware of, we take it as alien but it is just really “unexplained”.


How would you compare making Dark Watchers: The Women in Black to shooting Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire - and which shoot gave you more personal satisfaction?


Dark Watchers: The Women in Black was a great week with amazing cast and crew all fantastic to work with but Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire is what I am still most proud of just based on personal achievement.


How did you get into acting in the first place, and did you receive any sort of training on the subject?


Acting has always been my first love it was my “A” in school, I continued with amateur dramatics after leaving but I have no qualifications in the subject although May this year I will be attending London met school on an advanced acting for film course in the hope I can continue to improve and push myself to new limits.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Dark Watchers: The Women in Black and Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire?


My first feature was called The Flirting Cub, an indie comedy where I was cast as lead female by an X Factor-style vote out of hundreds of applicants. I then went on to do Paranormal Haunting: The Curse of the Blue Moon Inn, and since filming Dark Watchers: The Women in Black and Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire I have been lead in a further 4 films.


Most of the films you've made so far are of the horror variety - a genre especially dear to you, and why (not)?


To be honest I have never really been into horrors, I kind of just fell into them, but the roles involved suit me as they involve being extremely creative. I do love the comedies and I would love to work on a good drama.


Besides making movies, you have also done quite a bit of theatre. What can you tell us about your stagework, and how do stage-acting and movie-acting compare?


Wow what a difference acting on stage is to acting for film, I think stage acting takes a lot of skill as you have to make a character believable but be so much bigger vocally and physically - and the adrenaline well you can’t beat it!, I have won a best actress award on stage for the role of Cecily in the play The Importance of Being Earnest, which pushed me to take the next step into film.


Any other talents of yours you'd like to talk about?


I have started producing some movies and I have just finished my 4th production, so I’m always on the lookout for script ideas than can be made into a low budget, one location film like Lady of the Dark.


Any future projects you'd like to share with us?


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Keep an eye out for a film called Twisted – the Devil in her Mind.


Actresses (or indeed actors) who inspire you?


Johnny Depp is an actor I have the upmost admiration for, he takes on any role with flare and style and he is not scared of being different.


Your favourite movies?


Oh my goodness I have so many, I love Black Swan,  Natalie Portman deserved that award, but I love loads from all different genres.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


I can’t stand spoofs and films that make me cringe through stupidity.


Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Thank you for the great reviews and this fab interview xx.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD