Interview with Marta Holm (Protagonist)
How did you get involved in The Secret?
I went to a casting, and I remember how they asked me to play guitar and sing, though I didn’t really know much more than a couple of chords.
They started casting for the Rianne part and I participated in some of the castings, played along with several young girls, not knowing that I actually already had gotten the part as Donna until the end of the day. So it came as quite a surprise.
How did you prepare for the role of Donna?
I dropped out high school to work on a Danish TV-series and was very lucky to get five weeks off the TV-series in order to play the role of Donna in The Secret. So I literally came directly from one set to another and didn’t really have the chance to prepare for the role in a traditional way. From reading the script I had a strong intuition about Donna’s personality and the director, Morten Køhlert, took me and the other actors to the location, where we spent time in the house rehearsing different scenes and got used to the thought of living together three siblings by ourselves.
How would you describe the importance of your character for the story?
Donna is a big sister and very caring about her siblings. I grew up among a lot of children because me and my family lived closely together with other families in a sort of commune, where we shared a big garden and ran from one apartment to another. Me and the other children had the freedom to be together without necessarily having our parents around. It became a small children’s commune, where the older ones took care of the youngest. Therefore, it was very natural to create a similar relationship in The Secret. I’m a big sister myself, so it wasn’t completely unnatural to me to take on the caring and sometimes supercilious sides of Donna’s character. I spend a lot of time with Nanna and Igor in between shootings, so we became a kind of family during the five weeks of shooting.
While Rianne for an example has a more expressive way of dealing with the mother’s death, Donna has a need of reconciling with her mother in a more spiritual way. She wears her clothing, plays her music and is literally putting on her mother’s personality. All together in order to feel her mother close. I believe I intend to process grief and difficult times in a more sensuous than rational way, which might not always be the most efficient way.
How was the experience of portraying Donna, taking into account the circumstances she finds herself in after her mother's death?
It’s a very tragic story. Three children losing their mother way too early and forced to create their own happiness.
Even though I thankfully haven’t experienced the tragedy of losing a parent, the conception of living without them was and will always be a very strong and palpable image to me. That imagination carried me through many of the difficult scenes. I clearly remember one particular scene where I had to go through the mother’s make up and look at old family photos among them pictures of myself as a child. Since the fine line between my real life and Donna’s life became so blurred in that scene, I got very emotional.
This is a 2012 movie, in which forms you would say you have evolved as an actress?
As a 17-year old girl you naturally don’t have much education, experience or knowledge about how to approach such a role. So looking back on shooting The Secret my approach was a little naïve, and being so young you tend to be more expressive and focused upon one particular feeling. As I’m getting older and more experienced I have gained the tools to reflect upon a character in a more diverse and detailed way, though I still believe it's important as a grown up actress to have a strong hold of the naive and immediate side of yourself.
Are you working on any filming projects at the moment? Can you tell our viewers about them?
Since the shooting of The Secret I’ve been participating in several projects from music videos to fiction films, but currently I'm studying at The National Theater School in Denmark, which is a 3-year intense study. I feel very privileged and I’m learning a lot though it’s sometimes tough to reject interesting projects. I still try to fit in projects whenever time allows it.
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