Ellen Hollman is returning to star as Saxa, one of the new series-regular female leads on STARZ smash-hit series Spartacus: War of the Damned. Hollman, 29, is one of the few actors on the show who perform all their own fight scenes–no stunt double for this brave heroine! Aside from acting, Hollman is the CEO of Visual Impact Now, an LA-based nonprofit that serves as a fundraising and awareness arm for their partner One Sight, providing free eye exams and glasses to children and families in need. We can’t wait to see what other projects this young lady has in the works. James Bond girl, maybe?
How would you describe your personal style?
Sleek and Lady 007 is my goal for red carpets, but behind closed doors it’s Miss Bohemia.
What’s your favorite item in your closet?
Everything with a three-inch-plus heel. Picking just one would be like choosing a favorite child.
What’s always in your purse?
YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipstick in Le Orange.
GLAMOHOLIC: You’ve been acting in L.A. for just about a decade, what was the first acting gig that made you feel like this dream was real?
ELLEN: One of my first acting jobs ever was NCIS. I was agent Tina Larson and despite it being a one day guest spot, it was absolutely thrilling to be really doing it.
What made you want to pursue a career in acting?
I went to school for business and marketing with a minor in German. I figured I could wear a suit whenever I want, so why not go to New York and see what happens. I was nineteen years old, went out to New York and studied in various studios. When I felt I was ready I took off to Los Angeles to pursue the dream.
What has the pursuit of the dream been like for you here in Los Angeles?
It’s been hell! The funny thing is people only see the end result. They don’t see the blood, the sweat, stress and tears that go into getting to that. I think what a lot of people also take for granted is the discipline required to be a successful actor. You have to be so confident. If you think about it, your job is mostly to be rejected as opposed to be a performer. I have been rejected thousands of times, and yes, it’s for that one chance to be on screen and do what you love. You have to learn “no” just means try harder.
It is one thing to train for the stunts you have to do on STARZ’s Spartacus: War of the Damned. It’s probably another to deal with all the nude scenes, even if you get to do them with Gannicus.
Saxa is one of the newest series regular leads on Spartacus and she’s the show’s first female warrior. To learn more about her stunts, her relationship with Gannicus and what fans can expect in the final season, I recently spoke with Saxa’s portrayer Ellen Hollman over email.
Here’s what we discussed. Spartacus: War of the Damned airs on STARZ at 9 pm ET on Friday nights.
How did you first get cast as Saxa last season?
Just like any actor, I had to surpass a gauntlet of auditions among hundreds of potential “Saxa’s.” The ability to speak the indigenous language of the character as well as pull off the stunt work I’m sure helped me cross that finish line first.
How has your relationship with Gannicus evolved over the course of the season thus far? Do you think she in some way, actually loves him?
Saxa and Gannicus are mirrored images of each other—they’re the first on the battlefield and last out of the bedroom. Their connection is rooted in friendship and has grown into their version of a formidable love over the course of this season.