Barely a minute before "Keep Your Friends Close" aired, ABC Family finished their chat with the executive producer and writer of the show, Marlene King. She much to say, including some information about Ella Montgomery!
Marlene says: "We have a great story line for Ella coming up. She is going seek and find."
What do you think? It sounds like Ella is going to start dating younger men, which Holly has feared. I'm sure many of us are happy she's finding somebody more deserving than Byron... Or maybe it's something else entirely?
But will Ella's ex-hubby Byron and Hanna's mother Ashley be hooking up as last week's episode hinted?
As someone who watched, recorded and re-watched every episode of "Charmed" for eight seasons, I feel
seasons, I feel comfortable saying that Holly Marie Combs is one of the most underrated TV actresses working today. Well, she was until a baby break left us H.M.C-free for nearly four years. Thankfully, that spell will soon be ended as Holly Marie returns to the small screen this June on ABC Family's new series, "Pretty Little Liars."
I caught up with Holly to find out what made her return to the weekly series grind, how faithful the show will be to the "PLL" novels and what it's like to now be the veteran on set.
PopWrap: After "Charmed" ended were you consciously looking to take a break from acting?
Holly Marie Combs: Yes, actually, for two reasons. One, when "Charmed" ended I was three months pregnant with my second son, so I knew there would be at least a year of that. And second, we did eight seasons so I felt a little drained, creatively. I was a little empty. I needed to go live real life, go have real experiences, go reconnect with my family and friends who I really had ignored for eight years.
PW: Did that time fly by?
Holly Marie: It’s like you have blinders on. You just go and go, trying to get the days done. And the days turn into seasons and the seasons turn into years and you look up: it's eight years later. There were fences that needed to be mended and I feel like "Charmed" gave me the means to spend those few years, when my sons were very young, at home with them. And that was the greatest gift I could have asked for.
PW: So were you actively looking to get back into a weekly series?
Holly Marie: [laughs] You know, it’s really kind of funny. I wanted to stay home until my baby was 1. Then, about three months ago, my husband looked at me and said, "you need to go back to work." But I was happy doing the mom thing. He kept saying, "you need to go back to work." Apparently I had started memorizing random trivia and bombarding him with it when he’d get home, I guess my brain was waiting for something to do.
PW: How did "Pretty Little Liars" become the project?
Holly Marie: What I wanted to do this pilot season was find something that was worth leaving my kids for. This show was seamless -- they said I would work two to three days a week on this contemporary series and remain a float in the business. At the same time, I could be home long enough to make my kids realize they weren’t raised by nannies. Which is my biggest goal at the moment.
PW: Seems like you're juggling quite well.
Holly Marie: Well, right now, I’m sitting outside my kids’ kindergarten with a car full of balloons and a giant cupcake. It’s his 6th birthday today. So I’m talking to you, then celebrating his birthday and then going to a costume fitting for "Pretty Little Liars."
PW: Was there also talk of "no green screen" work in the initial discussions?
Holly Marie: There is that. They promised me two-to-three days and I wouldn’t have to blow anything up with my hands [laughs]. I could throw things at my husband, but I wouldn’t have to actually blow anything up. And there’s been no greenscreen so far, which is a relief because when I see greenscreen, I instantly think, “Oh god, what’s flying at me now?” I’m a little shell-shocked. As soon as I see the green I think something is chasing me.
PW: What else appealed to you about the character of Ella Montgomery?
Holly Marie: Ella is like the very modern, laid-back mom who lets her kids be individuals. She’s the very liberal mom, which I myself am not. So I have a little bit of a struggle. The other day Lucy Hale [who plays her daughter, Aria] and I were shooting a scene where we’re having coffee together and I asked her, “Would I be serving coffee to my 16-year-old?” She says, yes [laughs].
PW: So she's that "if you're going to drink I'd rather you drink in the house" mom?
Holly Marie: Exactly! Which is kind of horrifying to me.
PW: The show is based on a very popular series of books -- how closely will it adhere to them?
Holly Marie: At the moment, we’re only on episode three and we're trying to cover everything the books encompass in a way that makes everybody feel satisfied. Which is basically an impossible task [laughs]. The books had a very big following as it was, so there’s some responsibility to be loyal to what's in them. But that being said, we’re going to go through them very quickly. I think Ella’s husband doesn’t have an affair till the second book and we have that in the first episode. We’re expediting storylines. And from what I heard, they get divorced and Ella begins dating younger men. Which kind of horrifies me.
PW: The idea of dating a younger man?
Holly Marie: Yea, I'm a little bit nervous about that.
PW: What about playing mom to a 16-year-old? A lot of fans thought, "she's too young for that!"
Holly Marie: Yea, it’s really funny. On my first day Chad [Lowe] and I were talking about playing parents to a 16-year-old, which neither of us have done in our careers. He thought it was hard, but it felt totally normal for me and I couldn't figure out why. Then I remembered that Drew Fuller played my grown son on "Charmed" after he traveled back in time.
PW: Is it odd to go from "Charmed" where you were the youngest to "Pretty Little Liars," where you're surrounded by 16-year-olds?
Holly Marie: That day I felt like the veteran on the set, which is what I like to call it, and not the old-timer. I recognize that there's a big leap in age from "Charmed" to this. Then, on my way home from work I was in the In & Out drive-through when the kid stops me and says, “Are you still acting?” And I say yes. He goes, “Oh good, I used to love watching you all the time when I was a little boy.” I was like "what do you mean little boy? I will kill you!!!" [laughs]
"Pretty Little Liars" premiere June 8 at 8pm on ABC Family
Hollys first son, Finley Arthur Donoho, is celebrating his sixth birthday today!
Holly Marie Combs and Shannen Doherty will be signing autographs at the Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con this Saturday, April 17th! The convention will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Orange County, California. The convention is open 10:00 am - 7:00 pm on Saturday. Holly has confirmed being there on Twitter. More info here and here.
If you have a chance to meet Holly, take some photos and send them to my e-mail, email@example.com
On a related note: Shannen Doherty has a book coming out on November 2, 2010! Badass: A Hard-Earned Guide to Living Life with Style and Attitude. According to Shannen, (said on her official twitter) Holly is mentioned in it.
"There's a fine line between being a bad girl and being a badass, and Shannen Doherty ought to know. In her first book ever, she reveals her own evolution from bad girl to badass, sharing her secrets to happiness and success. Badass is a straightforward, but exciting journey to finding your inner badass and living life with moxie and style. She also offers tips for using newfound confidence in relationships, and gives advice on dating, friendships, and handling "frenemies." Woven throughout her tips and advice for living the badass lifestyle are photos, providing an intimate look at Hollywood's favorite female badass."
You can pre-order the book here.
Breaking news! Holly has been cast to play Aria’s mother, Ella Montgomery, on “Pretty Little Liars.”
Pretty Little Liars, based on the popular series of young adult novels, follows four teen girls — Aria (Hale), Emily (Shay Mitchell), Hanna (Ashley Benson), and Spencer (Trojan Bellisario) — who have been hiding a deep, dark secret since the sixth grade. Their clique falls apart after the disappearance of their queen bee, Ali. Years later, they begin receiving messages from someone using the name "A" who threatens to expose their secrets — including long-hidden ones they thought only Ali knew.
"Pretty Little Liars" premieres on Tuesday, June 8 at 8/7c, only on ABC Family.
It has been my dream ever since I was 12 years old to meet Holly Marie Combs. And I think I may finally get that chance. If you have a Twitter account, please sign this petiton (click here) to let Holly see just how imporant this is to me, and all of her fans. I say its about time she has met one of her fans. Her biggest fan. Thank you to all who sign. It means the world to me.
Alyssa Milano has verified HDonoho as the real Holly Marie Combs, so, if you have a Twitter account, follow Holly!
She is currently nearing 8,000 followers!
For anyone that missed it, here's what Alyssa tweeted on December 5, 2009...
| For those of you who've missed it, here's what Alyssa wrote on the 5th of December:|
♥ I'm elated to announce that Holly Marie Combs is finally on Twitter! #FollowFriday☛ @HDonoho
Due to the many, many people claiming to be Holly on Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Many people have e-mailed me, asking if at least one of them was real. So I took a look on Alyssa Milano, and Rose McGowan's Twitters, and found these repiles to the question,
And as of right now, Holly Marie Combs does not currently have an official site or official fan page. But if she does end up getting one in the future, I'm sure that either Rose or Alyssa will let us know.
This just shows Holly's dislike of technology. According to Rose McGowan, she can't even get Holly to text.
The webmisress of glamour-milano.com has found 3 never before paparazzi photos from the time Holly Marie Combs visited The Whiskey Bar in 2002 with her Charmed co-star Alyssa Milano and Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst (who, if my memory serves me right, was Alyssa's boyfriend at the time).
I am pleased to announce that Holly welcomed boy number three, Kelley James Donoho to the world on May 26th, 2009. I am so very happy for her and David! It appears the rumors were true after all. Here is the article from Celebrity Baby Blogs (CBB):
Here's the article from CBB:
It's a third son for Holly Marie Combs! The former Charmed actress stayed mum about the pregnancy, as it was high-risk, but is now pleased to announce the arrival of Kelley James Donoho on Tuesday, May 26th.
Delivered by emergency c-section at 35 weeks, "We didn't feel comfortable making any announcements until everyone was home healthy," Holly, 35, tells CBB. "We are and now it is time to celebrate. I, now a mother of three boys, will be going to take a nap!"
Kelley joins big brothers Riley Edward, 2, and Finley Arthur, 5, Holly's children with husband David Donoho.
I suspected that this could have been true by the way Alyssa reacted on Twitter, She said she didn't want to comment on Holly's personal life when asked about. If it wasn't true, I thought Alyssa would have said that it was not true.
I'm just so happy for Holly, and I wish her the best. She truly deserves a happy and healthy family.
As you can see, we are back and better than ever! Hackers can't get us down! Thanks to Kendall, the owner of HMCIL, we were back up in about an hour and a half. Well, thanks for checking back and be sure to visit often for the latest Holly Marie Combs news!
Don't worry, nothing happend to Holly. Its about our website. Sadly, our website has been hacked, and everything has been deleted. So we are working hard to get everthing back up and running. Check back in a few days and everything should be back up and running.