As fans of dance films everywhere warm up for the release of Honey 2 this week, we catch up with star Melissa Molinaro. Unless you watch a lot of American TV shows you may not know who she is …yet.
Melissa was a finalist in the Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search For the Next Doll and also appeared in Making the Band 3. These are both big shows, but it wasn’t until she appeared in an advert for the clothes store Old Navy that people really sat up and took notice. And we can see why, she’s beautiful (a lot of people think she looks like a petite Kim Kardashian) and she’s a triple threat. She sings, she dances and she acts. Her début album The Love/Dance Project has just been released and of course she’s dancing and acting playing the feisty and sexy Carla in Honey 2, the sequel to the hugely popular Honey.
So, tell us about how you got involved with the film?
When I heard about the project I definitely wanted to go and audition for it. I got a meeting and auditioned after for the main role. Seychelle (Seychelle Gabirel, who ended up playing Tina), Kat (Katerina Graham who plays Maria) and I all auditioned for the same role. They liked us all and found a role for all of us. Being a fan of the first film with Jessica Alba and growing up dancing it was a dream to be part of the second one.
You play Carla in the film, do you think you are like her in any way?
I definitely do, parts of me. I feel like I’m sassy sometimes, I’m definitely a tell you like it is sort of girl and Carla has the same sort of similarities.
What was the highlight of being part of the film for you?
Just that I got to be part of the sequel, I was such a fan the original. I remember watching that when I was in grade school and thinking wow this would be a dream of mine to be part of a dance movie like this and now I am which is kind of mind blowing, you have to pinch yourself .
Is this the most exciting project you have been a part of in your career so far?
I think Honey is definitely up there. I shot another film with Dolph Lundgren called Command Performance where I went to Moscow. That film was really fun to be a part of too, I played a popstar and I was singing and dancing and stuff.
Do you think you could pick between the singing, dancing and acting?
I couldn’t. I need them all three, they go by side by side. Singing and dancing for me just kind of goes in one and then the acting is just another passion that I have, I really enjoy all three.
You’ve been in showbiz for what seems like forever, haven’t you?
Yeah I grew up singing and dancing and knew it was always what I wanted to do .
Did you ever have any self doubt that you weren’t going to make it?
You know you always have those doubts, you’re gonna hear a lot of nos but for me that wasn’t important, for me it was that I believed in myself that I knew where I wanted to go and just kept on going.
In the US you’re well known for a whole variety of things but for those of us in the UK who don’t know much about you just yet, do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself?
I think that I’m a fun loving girl. This is definitely what I have been pursuing. It’s great to go from those shows (Pussycat Dolls and Making the Band) and having those platforms. I’ve kind of been like the underdog my whole life, but I still continued to pursue and now it’s all beginning to pay off.
Finally, why do you think we should go and see the film?
It’s a feel-good movie that people will love to see. There’s comedy, there’s romance, there’s all the entertainment value with the dancing. It’s just an amazing, fun movie to watch.
As I get up leave Melissa gushes “ I love your bag”. I look down, she’s pointing to my £9 bag from Primark. A five minute conversation follows in which I try to explain to her what Primark is and that she might not want to take the trip to Primark herself. She’s not having any of it and asks for the store name to be written down. I chuckle to myself as I leave Melissa and her Chanel handbag, imagining her pushing past all the other shoppers looking for my bag in Primark.
Honey 2 is released in UK cinemas from June 10. Read our review of Honey 2 here.
If you think you know a lot about dance films then have a go at our dance quiz.