Actress Pilar Holland is getting ready for a busy end of 2017 and start of 2018! Pilar, who is half Mexican, a quarter Japanese, and a quarter White, always knew she was a bit different than others… but it was being a bit ‘different’ that helped her focus on her artistic abilities and become the star she is today. Now living in Hollywood for a few years, Pilar has had a busy career to-date. She has been seen in such hit television shows as Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, NCIS, Mistresses, Supergirl, The Young and the Restless, Scorpion, Scandal and countless others.

With a few other big projects lined-up, Pilar sat down with us here at The Levity Ball for a chat!

1. When did you first know you wanted to become an actress?

When I was a young girl, I didn’t have a lot of close friends and didn’t know how to open up. I used to watch Beverly Hills 90210 and dream of living in that world. I thought how amazing would it be to pretend to live that life. So that’s when the first thought about wanting to create alternate lives came into my head. I wanted to live out different lives because I didn’t know how to live in the life I was in. I am so blessed to have an amazing group of friends that I consider my family at this point in my life. It took time to discover myself and find the right people to open up to on my journey. Now, I have a full life and can fully express myself artistically.

2. Growing up close to Hollywood (a couple hours away), when did you finally say “I’m moving there full-time”? 

I decided to make the big move after I graduated college. In college, I initially studied anthropology and psychology, though was eventually drawn back to the creative arts in my pursuit to understand humanity. I’ve been here ever since.

3. People may remember you as Dr. Lynne Cohen from the hit television series, Grey’s Anatomy… How was it working on such a great show, and will your character ever be back?

I had a surgical scene that was so much fun to film.  They have a real surgeon on set to show you exactly what to do and how to hold the tools. It was quite technical. I hope to be back. I don’t wish cancer on anyone but I told the writers they know who to call if anyone ever needs another oncologist at Seattle Grace.

4. You just shot a movie called Backseat with Christian Bale, Steve Carell and Amy Adams… Any fun memories from working on set with this awesome cast?

Working with director Adam Mckay was amazing. He gives you freedom and flexibility to play in the scene.  He is also so sweet. I think the energy on set trickles down from the top. If your director is respectful, professional and loves his work everyone below him will follow the same course.  I enjoy working on sets that feel like a family.

5. You know how to keep busy… You are also appearing next year on the Nickelodeon series, The Thundermans. What can viewers expect from this fun kids show?

Well, I can’t give anything away as far as storyline goes, but I can say that it’ll be a very entertaining episode. There will be lots of twists and turns.

6. Besides acting, we hear you also coach young actors and help them prepare for auditions and various industry-related items. What is the biggest piece of advice you can give to others wanting to “make it” in Hollywood like you have?

Develop a thick skin. Keep striving to know yourself. Most importantly, learn the business side of the industry. Even the most talented performer needs to know how to best showcase his or her respective talents.

7. Who was your role model growing up and what is the best advice you have ever received career wise from someone else?

My role model growing up was my mother. She is a beautiful strong woman. My mother was able to balance running the household, attending school to move up in the world, asking for help when she needed it, raising two kids and working in order to provide us the opportunities to attend private school, take piano lessons and tennis lessons. I even needed a speech therapist when I was a young girl. My mother did everything she could to give my brother and I every opportunity she thought would benefit us.

The best advice I have received was from my acting teacher Stuart Rogers—who taught me the distinction between being what we think a casting director wants, and what a casting director really needs. We must present our rawest, most honest selves, and let them take it or leave it.

8. Social media is obviously a big factor these days. What are your feelings towards the entertainment industry and the usage of various social channels to either cast people, promote projects or connect with fans? 

I do believe we are moving in a direction that social media is starting to have a larger impact on the industry. You have to know how to balance incorporating into your life without letting it run your life. We can become very obsessed with our image, how we are perceived on all the platforms, and how many views and likes we get. It’s important to go out and connect with people and try to live a full life, because those are the experiences we can pull on to create beautiful art.

9. Besides the projects we mentioned in this interview, are there any other upcoming productions you are working on?

I’m in a play “A Feminine Ending” at Stuart Rogers Studios. It’s my theater debut! I’m very excited to share my art and the story with audiences. The subject is very timely and relevant. It’s about gender norms and the societal rules we are boxed and categorized into, and learning how to navigate outside of those boxes. We run through December 2nd, Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm. We’ve already gotten a few rave reviews.

10. And final question: What do you want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered for the joy in which I lived life and the love and empathy I shared with others.

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