Everyone knows Claire Holt as the smoldering and surprisingly vulnerable vampire, Rebekah from “The Vampire Diaries.” But did you know a vampire isn’t the only mythical creature Holt has played? Her first appearance on the screen was as Emma Gilbert, a brainy, no nonsense mermaid on the show “H2O: Just Add Water,” where three teenage mermaids learn to control their magical powers while getting through high school.
“I think the most difficult role was that of a mermaid, purely because I was so inexperienced and had absolutely no idea what I was doing,” Holt said. “There was a lot of stunt work and physicality, along with a pretty grueling shooting schedule. I learned on the job and I’m eternally grateful for that; every role has its challenges but they are definitely outweighed by the benefits.”
From magical mermaid to vicious vampire, Holt captivates audiences with that mystical je ne sais quoi that we just can’t put our finger on. Holt had a major presence in seasons three and four of “The Vampire Diaries,” but is now leaving the show to pursue a spin-off series called “The Originals.” “I’m really looking forward to starting this new journey,” Holt said. “We are so fortunate to have a built-in fan base and I really hope that we can create an exciting new show for them.”
With online forums full of discussions, art, spoilers, and fan fiction, Vampire Diaries fans could not be happier about the spin-off, especially since the new show will focus even more on Holt’s character, Rebekah. “I love playing Rebekah, so any opportunity get to extend her life is fine by me!” Holt said.
Although she has played a variety of characters throughout her career, Holt’s favorite role is still the chicken she played in her first school play. With a love of Harry Potter books, chocolate, and an eclectic taste in music, Claire Holt seems as real as it gets, which is funny considering she’s most famous for playing mythical creatures.
She’s also an actress who loves to stay connected to her fans. “I really love Twitter, it was the first form of social media that allowed me to engage with fans, its so great to be able to instantly connect with people and share some of your life,” Holt said. She tweets about recipes and star signs and also tweets throughout episodes of “Vampire Diaries” asking fans about their opinions.
“I think the pressure young women feel to be physically perfect is truly sad,” Holt said. “I personally have struggled with body image issues and know how devastating low self-esteem can be. Although it is a real battle at times, I try to love my body no matter what box society places me in, I hope that young girls can learn to do the same.” Did your heart just melt? Mine did.
Holt’s daily inspirations are her fans, and her sister. “She works tirelessly for those less fortunate and really campaigns for social justice,” Holt said. “It’s lovely to be able to stay connected with what truly matters in life and it certainly helps to keep me grounded, I hope to be able to advance my career to a point where I can truly help her make changes in the world.”
As Holt thinks to the future, she said she hopes for “a long acting career if people will continue to hire me! And of course, a nice big family.” A humble answer from a truly humble Hollywood actress with a bright career ahead of her.
By Caelan Hughes
Photography: Aaron Feaver, Feaverish Photography
Stylist: Kristine Lopez
Photographer’s Assitant: Taylor Rainbolt
Makeup: Jenn Strechiter