Holland Roden & Shelley Hennig on Returning for Teen Wolf: The Movie
Feb 19, 2023
[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Teen Wolf: The Movie.]From show creator Jeff Davis, Teen Wolf: The Movie picks up 15 years after the events of the original series, as evil and an unexpected old flame have returned to Beacon Hills. No longer a teenager, alpha werewolf Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) is tested in a way that leads him to reunite with trusted friends and allies, including a wide variety of supernatural beings, to fight against a powerful and deadly enemy that has them all facing their pasts.
During this 1-on-1 interview with Collider, co-stars Holland Roden (who plays Lydia Martin) and Shelley Hennig (who plays Malia Tate) talked about when they realized that they were really returning to their Teen Wolf roles, trying not to laugh in scenes with Colton Haynes (who plays Jackson Whittemore), finding the comedic moments, why Shelley was the character that Hennig needed in her life when she signed on to play her, Lydia’s journey, and getting some answers to the Lydia-Stiles relationship.
Collider: When and how did you guys learn that Teen Wolf would actually be returning? It’s one thing to have conversations about maybe coming back in some form, but when does it actually become real?
SHELLEY HENNIG: For me, it was running in the school hallways, on day one. It was like nothing had changed, but everything had changed. We were in those hallways for a different reason. Time had passed, and we we’re not in school. When you watch the movie, you’ll understand why we’re there. That was the moment it became real for me. And also, the fact that Tyler [Posey] and I had to run for four hours straight, he hurt his back and my knees were jammed. It became Geriatric Wolf. It was like, “Here we go! We all have the same young hearts, but our bodies are failing us.”
HOLLAND RODEN: I’m still having realization moments. The first day, for me, was in the sheriff’s station with Jackson. Shooting with one of my best friends, and we’d lived together for a couple of years, was bizarre to click back into that. I just started laughing. I couldn’t believe it. And then, I also got nervous about being bought as Lydia still. It was a bit of a cobweb feeling of, “Wait, I’m back.” It’s so surreal. I’m so grateful. It’s like going home. It’s easy.
Image via Paramount+
Now that these characters are legitimately full-on adults, they can get a little sassier with everyone. I particularly enjoyed Jackson’s sense of humor. Holland, was it ever difficult not to break and just crack up in your scenes with Colton Haynes?
RODEN: Yes! Oh, my gosh, there is a scene, for people watching the movie, in the kitchen, between Argent and Jackson, and Posey and I could barely hold it together. There’s a lot of information in that scene, exposition wise, so we couldn’t even lean into the comedy. Art did imitate life. Colton Haynes is one of the funniest people I know. He is wacky.
HENNIG: He’s hilarious in this.
So is Malia. She’s really the other bit of comic relief in this, at times. Shelley, was it fun to find those funny moments, when she can also be very serious?
HENNIG: Joining the show, it was important that there was that. I needed that in my life, personally. Jeff was so kind to take a chance on me, in that way, because the character wasn’t necessarily meant to be funny. We had that discussion before they really introduced who she actually was. He was like, “Are you funny?” I was like, “I don’t know.” And then, we just went with it, and I guess it’s worked out. That’s my favorite part about this. It’s super serious, but everybody gets to have a comedic moment, here and there. With Malia, who she is and where she’s been just makes her naturally funny.
Image via Paramount+
She feels like the character who probably is also the most impulsive. Is there fun and a sense of freedom, in playing someone who just acts and follows her instincts, and that doesn’t seem to really have any inhibitions, and doesn’t really want to stop and have a conversation about it or put a label on it?
HENNIG: Yeah, that’s what I needed in my life. I couldn’t be that way in real life, so being able to play a character like that, for so many years, it was the easiest, most fun job I’ve ever had because it affects you. That’s the world I was living in for so long. In the movie, she’s not as impulsive. She’s a little more vulnerable, which is where I needed to be, at the time of the movie. It’s been perfect. This show and this Teen Wolf family has just been so giving to us, in so many ways.
RODEN: I just had this epiphany that I am hiring Malia, for the rest of my life, to take every customer service call that I have to make, for the rest of my life. I had a landlord, years ago, that called them hate calls. I now call them hate calls, when you have to call and press a million numbers, and you don’t know if you’re gonna get a human, and they don’t care about that company or you, rightfully so. We’re all dealing with that privately, and we need to just start talking about it. We would be in the makeup chair, sometimes having to make hate calls, which are customer service calls. We don’t curse, and I don’t raise my voice, but they’re still very difficult. We’ve all been there. So, Malia has gonna take on the customer service call movement.
HENNIG: I’ll ask her, if she’s free.
RODEN: Telecom companies are especially difficult. I have a whole story with Verizon in Canada. Don’t get me started on that one.
Image via Paramount+
Holland, Lydia really takes a journey through her emotions, through her feelings, and through her past actions. What was it like to really be able to explore and revisit that past history, and find her voice again?
RODEN: Lydia is exactly where you expect her to be, in the sense that she’s kicking ass and taking names. I went to an all-girls school, and there were girls that you just knew were gonna do things. One joined the Peace Corps, another one is pretty high up at Google now and has been there for years, and I feel like that’s Lydia. She’s doing really well in San Francisco. And then, having to come back to her small town that meant a lot to her, it’s like unearthing that thing that you never talk about at work. You get to go home. And the audience only knows that Beacon Hills Lydia. It’s told in reverse. We don’t know our adult friends’ origin story, but in this case, the origin story is the story.
HENNIG: Or you can’t tell them your origin story.
RODEN: And that’s clearly the case with Lydia. But overall, I think her demeanor is much calmer. She knows those are her friends. She’s mid-thirties Lydia, who’s not as feisty.
Image via Paramount+
Was it nice to get some resolution to that relationship with Stiles, even if Stiles wasn’t actually present?
RODEN: I think the fans absolutely deserve an answer, to such a passionate storyline. I really am so grateful that Jeff [Davis] addressed it, and addressed it so beautifully. It’s a very realistic possibility, between the two of them, that the banshee-ism was brought into Lydia and Stiles’ relationship, and that resulted in why she felt she had to do what she did.
Teen Wolf: The Movie is available to stream at Paramount+.
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