Claire Holt shows off her gorgeous self in this hot new pic from the latest edition of the Just Jared Spotlight of the Week photo series.
The 25-year-old Aussie actress stars on the new hit CW series The Originals as Rebekah Mikaelson, the role that she originated on the sister show The Vampire Diaries.
Claire was photographed by Justin Campbell at the Mondrian Hotel wearing some fierce outfits, including a pair of Vogue Eyewear sunglasses.
In our exclusive interview with Claire, she tells us how she got her start acting on television series in Australia with Phoebe Tonkin before fortuitously landing star-making roles on the same show. We even got her to dish on how they took trips to Target together as broke actresses in Los Angeles and stumbling upon dolls modeled after their characters from that Aussie show. Lol!
Just Jared: Congratulations on The Originals, it is doing super great!
Claire Holt: Thank you, it is.
JJ: How did you first get into acting?
CH: You know, I was doing odd jobs for my dad, or making five dollars an hour filing, at probably age 14, and I thought there’s got to be a better way to earn money than sitting, folding, and putting stickers to some things.
JJ: In Australia?
CH: Yes, so I started doing TV commercials. I did a Sizzler ad, a Dreamworld ad.
JJ: Sizzler, as in the restaurant?
CH: Yeah! I got to spend the entire day eating cheese bread and pink lemonade so I thought I had the best job in the world.
JJ: You made it!
CH: I made it. I started doing that, and then my first acting audition was for H2O: Just Add Water, which is a mermaid show that I did with my Originals co-star Phoebe Tonkin. And yeah, I’ve been doing it ever since.
JJ: How did that come about with you and Phoebe on Vampire Diaries and The Originals or is that completely separate?
CH: Completely fortuitous. We’re sort of the same demographic I guess, that we appeal to, so we were both up for the same type of roles, but that was just luck. It’s awesome.
JJ: What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t acting?
CH: You know what? It sounds really pretentious, but I always wanted to be a doctor, because my dad’s a doctor and I always wanted to follow in his footsteps. But, I went off track a little bit there. My mum just actually read my grade one school book last night and told me I said that I wanted to be a singer or a police woman. So I guess maybe that.
JJ: You could still be those on film.
CH: Right? A singer or a police woman.
JJ: It could be both, it could be YMCA. (laughs)
CH: Oh yeah, there we go.
JJ: What are you most excited about for the rest of the season?
CH: I’m really excited for the story to move forward in episode 11, or when we come back from the mid-season finale, 10 or 11. I’m excited for the fans to start to see the repercussions of the harvest ritual. Also, Rebekah kind of gets some balls and starts toning back on the men, and following her own path and forging female alliances. There’s some cool scenes that I get to do with Phoebe, which is really nice.
JJ: Do you have a favorite prop on set?
CH: Oooh, a favorite prop. The dagger. That’s my favorite prop. My teeth actually, maybe, that’s more fun. I like putting those in. Daniel Gillies, who plays Elijah, is like the prop master, he’s obsessed with them. He tries to put really weird props in the set all the time. So we did one set and there was a baby carrier, and he was like, he’s so odd.
JJ: How do you stay up at night or wake up early for early morning/late night shoots? Do you have a regimen?
CH: It’s almost impossible. A lot of sugar, caffeine. I try and work out. That keeps me up a little bit, but it’s hard. Driving home at like four in the morning after a long day at work, I have to stick my head out the window and blast air.
JJ: Describe your castmates in one word. Joseph Morgan.
JJ: Daniel Gillies.
JJ: Phoebe Tonkin.
CH: Oh, I was going to say “the best” but that’s two. Gorgeous.
JJ: Charles Michael Davis.
JJ: Daniella Pineda.
JJ: Leah Pipes.
JJ: Danielle Campbell.
JJ: And now your Vampire Diaries family.
CH: Oh my God, I’m so on the spotlight. I’ll definitely regret all those. (laughs)
JJ: Ian Somerhalder.
CH: (laughs) Affectionate.
JJ: Paul Wesley.
CH: I already said hilarious for Daniel. Um… funny.
JJ: Steven R. McQueen.
CH: Muscley. (laughs)
JJ: Zach Roerig.
JJ: Michael Trevino.
CH: Oh gosh, what can I call Michael? Lover.
JJ: Candice Accola.
CH: The greatest.
JJ: Matthew Davis.
JJ: Malese Jow.
JJ: Kayla Ewell.
CH: She’s also sweetest. What’s Kayla? If I just say nice, that’s like the worst, but she’s the nicest person ever. Stunning.
JJ: Torrey DeVitto.
JJ: Taylor Kinney.
CH: Hot stuff.
JJ: Kat Graham.
JJ: Who was your favorite cast member while you were on Vampire Diaries, both male and female?
CH: My favorite male cast member was Paul Wesley. He is such a riot, he’s so hilarious. People don’t know that about him. He’s just so funny. And really talented, he was one of my best friends when I was working on that show. And female, Candice Accola. She is like the greatest friend you could ever have. She’s so loyal, she’s so fun. She is like Caroline on the show. No, it’s a toss up, Kat and Candice. It’s a tie. Candice is actually this amazing girl’s girl who you just want to be around. And Kat is the most fun ever. The way I met her is we were both taking a dance class in Atlanta, so we were in the same dance class, and I hadn’t worked with her yet. She’s just like fiercely loyal and such a strong, independent woman. She’s so career driven and successful. They’re really powerful and amazing women, and I love them.
JJ: What stuffed animal did you have at Vampire Diaries base camp that you hated?
CH: Oh, the wombat. Did Kat tell you that? (laughs) There was this wombat that someone sent, and it was this really ugly, fur thing. They were like, “Claire, you have to take the wombat when you go to The Originals,” and I left it there on purpose because I didn’t want the stupid wombat. And then they filmed this video for me of the wombat making a trip to The Originals set. And it was this whole production where they put it on the road, and everyone was saying goodbye to the wombat. The delivered it to The Originals set and then a day later the UPM’s dog ate the wombat. So, I got my wish. That’s so funny.
JJ: What are the babies, in Atlanta?
CH: The babies? Oh! How do you know all this stuff??? Who told you all this? I go to a shelter in Atlanta, called the Genesis Center, and it’s this really amazing place where homeless women can come with their newborns. They can have other children but a lot of them have newborns. They get education, job training, housing, medical care. And then they have a daycare center for the newborns during the day, so I go and hold babies in Atlanta, in my spare time. It’s really awesome, I love it so much.
JJ: Awww! You rented a house in Palm Springs for your birthday, when you got there, could you explain what happened?
CH: (laughs) I want to know how you know all this stuff! Oh my gosh! Okay, so we turned up at the house in Palm Springs and it was occupied already. There was a suitcase and stuff everywhere, and we thought that we had gone into the wrong house but we had the key and the code and stuff. Anyway, it turns out the owner’s mother had not realized that people had rented it out, and she was there for a little getaway. So, we had rented a quite dirty, little house in Palm Springs.
JJ: Teresa [Palmer] says you like to keep it real. How long have you gone without showering?
CH: Ever? Oh… goodness. I feel like when I was in high school and we’d go on those outward summer camps, like probably a week. Which is terrible and I would never do that now. Now, my boyfriend’s a neat freak, so I shower twice a day. I like follow in his lead. Yeah, there’s probably been a week long period there on some camping trip that I’ve gone without. I’ve done a gypsy shower, a little bit of deodorant, wash cloth, make up wipes.
JJ: Could you tell us about the time that you and Phoebe Tonkin went to Target broke?
CH: I can’t believe that you know all of this stuff.
JJ: I do my research.
CH: You’re amazing. When we first came to America, we didn’t have any money, and we gave ourselves a budget of $50 to go to Target. Because, every time you go into Target, you know, you end up coming out spending $200 or something crazy and everything you didn’t need. Okay, so $50 at Target, that’s it. So we turn up at Target and somehow we’re walking past the doll section of Target, and we see our H2O mermaid dolls in there. And we’re standing there, going, “We are so broke and we have dolls in Target, what went wrong?” But yes, we used to have a little frugal Friday where we’d go to Target with $50.
JJ: You took it upon yourself to find Phoebe a date to the formal one time?
CH: (laughs) I did do that. That was so mean, I shouldn’t have. I was just trying to help her out. We were on our first show, H2O, and there was this gorgeous extra, and Phoebe was really shy and she didn’t have a formal date. So I went up and asked him if he would take her to the formal.
JJ: And did he accept?
CH: He did, but I think she was so mad at me that she refused to talk to him or me for a good week.
JJ: Do you like to walk around, be out a lot, or are you more of a hermit?
CH: I like to walk around and be outside. I get really depressed if I sit inside for more than a day, like if it’s raining. Sometimes in Atlanta the weather’s so shocking you can’t go outside and I get really sad. I have to be in the sunshine, moving around, outside.
JJ: LA is good for that.
CH: I know, I wish we shot here.
JJ: How much time do you spend flying, and on planes?
CH: Oh Lord, I spend at least eight hours a week. I will have about 180,000 miles I think, by the end of this year, which is insane. Kat and I are frequent flyers, on Delta.
JJ: Who flies more, you or Kat?
CH: I think Kat does, which is crazy because I think I fly a lot. But I was on a plane with her the other week, and she was like, “Oh this is my sixth flight this week.” So she is the hardest working woman in Hollywood.
JJ: Are you OCD about anything?
CH: I have to unpack my suitcase the second I walk through the door, every time. Even if I land at one in the morning, I have to hang everything up. And then I have to put the suitcase away, it’s really weird. I don’t know where that came from.
JJ: Do you have any special hidden talents?
CH: (cat call whistles) I’ve got a really great whistle. I practice for hours. And I can juggle.
JJ: How many things can you juggle?
CH: Only three, so lame.
JJ: What’s the last movie you saw?
CH: I just saw American Hustle this weekend. Jennifer Lawrence is unbelievable. So is Christian [Bale]. Actually, the casting is like out of this world. It was a little long for me, but it was great. Great cast.
JJ: What is your favorite movie?
CH: The Intouchables. That’s my favorite, I love it so much.
CH: I don’t know. I watched it on a plane once and I was just sobbing. I thought it was the most sweetest, touching movie ever. I loved it. Have you seen it? French movie, with Omar Sy. You have to see it, it’s the best thing ever!
JJ: Do you have a favorite TV show?
CH: Scandal. I have a few that I love. I just watched Homeland, that was one of my favorites.
JJ: What is the last album or song that you downloaded?
CH: I just downloaded the Beyonce album. Yep, so good.
JJ: Do you have a favorite song?
JJ: It’s not even a song, it’s a video.
CH: I know! I didn’t realize that. In my spin class last night they were playing it and I was like oh. Then I tried playing it on the album and I couldn’t get it.
JJ: “Yonce” is actually part of the “Partition” song. So if you listen to “Partition,” “Yonce” is in it.
CH: Oh it is. You’re an expert.
JJ: What is your favorite music?
CH: You know, I love all kinds of music. It sounds so lame but I love listening to classic music. Yo-Yo Ma, that album. I love classical music, and then I love, I like Bon Iver, Mumford & Sons. Then I like some good old electronic, dance music and hip hop as well. I like it all.
JJ: What’s your favorite food?
CH: Mexican food is my favorite, I love it.
JJ: What’s your favorite Mexican food place in LA?
CH: Pinches Tacos.
JJ: Do you have any tattoos?
CH: I do. I have one on my foot, it says “gratitude”.
JJ: For anything specific, or just life gratitude?
CH: Listen. I really love the idea of it and I also, was 19-years-old. (laughs) And I may not have gotten this tattoo if I was a little older and thought it through, but I think it’s a nice sentiment.
JJ: Would you ever get another?
CH: If it was a little more meaningful, I think, probably. Maybe if I had kids or something.