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Willa Holland talks about the action thriller ‘The Dirty South’

Actress Willa Holland chatted about her new movie “The Dirty South,” which was written and directed by Matthew Yerby.

Willa Holland in 'The Dirty South'
Willa Holland in 'The Dirty South.' Photo Courtesy of Cineverse.
Willa Holland in 'The Dirty South.' Photo Courtesy of Cineverse.

Actress Willa Holland chatted about her new action movie “The Dirty South,” which was written and directed by Matthew Yerby.

This crime thriller will be released on Digital, On Demand, and in theaters on Friday, November 10, 2023, via Cineverse. Holland stars alongside Shane West and Dermot Mulroney.

‘The Dirty South’

In this film, Sue Parker (Willa Holland) finds herself in a desperate battle to save her family’s struggling business, which is on the brink of collapse due to her father’s neglect.

When a handsome drifter (played by Shane West) comes into town she sees him as the only chance to prevent their bar from falling into the hands of a ruthless local tycoon (Dermot Mulroney).

What starts as a simple plan to save her family, quickly spirals into larceny, lawlessness and deadly consequences.

“This movie was a whirlwind. It was an intense, packed 15 days of shooting,” she said.

Collaborating with writer and director Matthew Yerby

On working with director and writer Matthew Yerby, she said, “It was fantastic. He was extremely collaborative, and for somebody who was doing this for the first time, he was quite open to all of the challenges, and he handled them all with grace each time they came up. Matthew was fantastic.”

Portraying her character Sue Parker

Holland was drawn to her character Sue Parker for several reasons. “I love how true she always stayed to who she was, and how genuine her love for her little brother was. There were just so many layers to her. I wanted to keep her grounded and rooted, as well as doing justice to the fight that she was having to do.”

“I hope the fans buckle up, it’s a wild ride,” she added.

Working with Shane West

Holland had great words about working with co-star Shane West in this movie. “Shane was great and fantastic,” she exclaimed. “Shane was a really great person to bounce off of, and he is such a good person. I’ve known him for years. It was great to finally be able to work with him after all this time.”

“In fact, everyone on this movie was great and incredible,” she added.

Daily motivations

On her daily motivations as an actress, Holland, “Just the idea of putting myself into somebody else’s shoes and try to experience and think of what it’s like to live in a different type of life. That was the first thing I used to say as a kid.”

“There are a lot of things to experience in life, so I just wanted to put myself in as many shoes as possible,” she added.

The digital age

On being an actress in the digital age, she said, “It’s very weird. I’m an old soul and a homebody so the Internet is very odd to me. I even get weirded out on Zooms because I feel like I’m talking to a human but I’m talking to my computer, and it’s a very odd situation.”

“It’s something that we all have to deal with, grapple and get ready for, especially with the changes that are coming,” she added.

Favorite motto to live by

Regarding her favorite motto to live by, Holland said with a sweet laugh, “S**t happens, so change your pants.” “Just get ready for it,” she said.

Stage of her life

On the title of the current chapter of her life, Holland said, “Waiting but ready.” “I feel like that’s how most people in Los Angeles feel right now,” she said.

If she were to have any superpower, it would be “to fly.” “I would get anywhere as fast as I want to, and I would exit any situation as quickly as I would want to. That would be amazing,” she admitted.


Holland defined the word success simply as finding “contentment” in life. “Success is contentment in what you are doing… and peace of mind,” she expressed.

To learn more about actress Willa Holland, follow her on Instagram.

Please note: SAG-AFTRA has approved an interim agreement for The Dirty South since the film is being released by Cineverse, an independent, non-AMPTP affiliated distributor.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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