Sun Records' Jennifer Holland discusses CMT's new show, Sun Records, the historical elements of the show and more!
Watchtivist: Can you tell us a bit more about your character on CMT’s Sun Records?
Jennifer Holland: Becky was the wife of music producer Sam Phillips and the mother to Knox and Jerry Phillips. Sam was this eccentric, crazy artist with some serious anxiety and depression issues, and Becky cared for him and supported him, which you've started to see a bit of in season one. But, Becky was also a fierce career woman. She started working in radio in her teens, where Sam and she met, and went on to run an all women radio station with Sam out of Memphis with an almost entirely female staff. It was called WHER (W-'her'). It was so progressive for the 1950s. Sam was quoted as saying something like that Becky had one of the lost beautiful voices he'd ever heard.
W: What made it such an intriguing character for you? Did you sense a connection with her after that first script read?
JH: She's unlike any character anyone has let me play before. When I first got the audition, I said to my friends who were helping me run lines, "No one's ever going to let me play his character." I guess I was wrong. I was definitely intrigued by portraying a real person in history, especially in the world of the 1950s. It's so alien to me. I'm very different than how Becky is written in our story. She's very traditional, very religious, and she's stifled by the constraints of society for women in the 50s. I am so modern and not traditional, I'm outspoken and free, and I curse like a sailor (I got it from my Mom). So portraying much of Becky's character was intriguing because it's a challenge for me. Becky and I are both caretakers, though. We both tend to put the needs of others above our own needs. Finding that similarity made it so easy for me to connect with her and understand her struggles.
W: With the show introducing the Phillips’ family dynamic, what’s maybe one thing that people don’t know yet that you’re perhaps excited to have people see over the season?
JH: Over the Season? I can't really talk about what you haven't seen this season yet! I'd say tune in because things are really starting to get juicy.
W: The historical elements may be things that a lot of viewers may not have known much about, do you feel the show does a good job in terms of that portrayal or story too? Or does it maybe dramatize some things that you actually really loved in the end?
JH: I think the writers did a great job of keeping true to the bones of what really happened in history while still writing a fictionalized drama for CMT. And although there are many fictional elements, their real life stories were actually dramatic enough without having to stray too far from that! Sam really cheated on Becky, a lot more than what you've seen on the show so far. Many guys did in those days, right? There are so many story elements that they had to introduce in season 1 because we have such an ensemble cast. The journey all of our characters go through in 8 episodes is immense. Hopefully we get a season two and we can really get into some more of the meat of these characters' lives.
W: How about something overall, what’s something overall that you’re psyched to have people see unfold on the show?
Overall, I'm psyched to have people see this beautiful, sexy, smoky, 1950s rock and roll world that the creative team brought to life. We were a low budget production. I don't know who we got this amazing team of cast and crew to collaborate on this show, but we did. And everyone's passion comes through. It's exciting.
W: After an exciting project like this, what’s next? What would be next on your “wish list” projects wise?
JH: Hopefully season 2 of Sun Records. Beyond that, whether it's tv or film, I'd love to do some comedy. The world needs to know how funny I am. (Hahaha.)
W: Anything else you’d like to say to those reading and watching?
Tune in or set your DVR to Sun Records on CMT, Thursdays at 10/9c.