Zane Holtz has built a versatile career as a model and actor, starring in principal roles in both television and film. He has starred in recent films; Hunter Killer and Beyond The Night, and can be seen in February 2020 in Katy Keene on the CW. We sat down with Zane following our exclusive shoot to talk more about his new show and more
MM: Where were you when you knew you wanted to pursue acting. Describe the place the sights, the feeling you had?
ZH: I had done some work as a kid but never really thought of it as a career. When I was about 20 I had dropped out of college and was interviewing for a full-time job as a cabinetmakers apprentice. I had a new baby and it was a decent paying job but I knew that if I took it I could get stuck doing it for the rest of my life and it wasn’t something I was passionate about. I remembered that I always loved acting so I took the riskier route and went to theatre school.
MM: Where did you study acting after high school?
ZH: I went to Lee Strasberg in Los Angeles for a year. My time spent there really helped me understand what acting can be. Nothing that unusual but there is a sense memory exercise we would always do where you try and remember a specific cup of coffee in your hand, heat, cup smell, etc. I never felt like I got that one right.
MM: You got a bit of a start through modeling; tell us more about those beginnings?
ZH: I just kind of fell into it through contacts I had from acting. I got to travel a lot and meet a lot of creative people. I still keep in touch with photographers I have worked with over the years.
I don’t know if I have a favorite but I always liked the work I did with Paul Jasmin. He’s so talented and his shoots often have a cinematic-like quality. I always felt like we were telling a story.
MM: Ok, let’s get back to acting; “the Perks of Being a Wallflower” Do you have a favorite and why?
ZH: I love Perks. That is one of my favorite projects for sure. Working on that film with Stephen Chbosky was such a unique experience. I can’t think of any other instance where an author was able to adapt his own novel for the screen and direct it. He was so loving with his material and really made everybody feel like they were a part of something special. I have a small role in the film but that time on set is something that will stay with me for life.
MM: Let’s fast-forward to working with Common, Gerard Butler, and Gary Oldman. Did you have to learn a lot about portraying a military man?
ZH: The director Donovan Marsh was adamant that the SEAL’s all looked and moved as legitimately as possible. We had a week-long boot camp in Bulgaria prior to ever stepping on set. We dressed out in our uniforms and body armor every day and handled the weapons that we would be using in the film as well. A lot of repetition to make sure everything looked as smooth as possible. The slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.
MM: Did you grow up watching military/war movies? Top 3 movies of all time?
ZH: Difficult genre to pick only three! I have watched a lot of these types of films. But a few favorites are Black Hawk Down, Tears of the Sun, and Inglorious Bastards.
MM: Can you tell us how this project with the CW spin-off of Riverdale, “Katy Keene” came together?
ZH: It’s crazy. I was actually in New York this time last year promoting Hunter Killer. I thought living here would be great but I would have to have a great job to make it happen. Fast forward a few months and Katy Keene was the first pilot I auditioned for that season. I was lucky enough to get the job and here I am living in New York.
MM: Tell us about the character you play?
We are still shooting season 1. The show is really beautiful and everyone is so well cast in their parts. It follows a group
of friends in New York chasing their dreams and all the ups and downs that come with it. I play KO Kelly. He is an aspiring boxer from Queens who works odd jobs as a bouncer to make ends meet. He loves his friends and is very reliable. He’s the kind of guy you call if you are in trouble.
MM: Who did you grow up admiring in the acting world?
ZH: I think Viggo Mortensen is my favorite actor of all time. I also always watch Benecio del Toro and Dicaprio.
MM: Do you try to emulate your style to anyone in Hollywood? If so who, and why?
ZH: Not really. Best to be yourself.
MM: Do you have any fun traditions in how you celebrate the holidays, or do you have any winter trips planned?
ZH: Honestly I’m looking forward to spending my first Christmas in New York! I’ve heard the city really goes all out in decorating. Gotta go ice skating at Rockefeller center and check out the tree. Hoping we get lucky and see some snow.
MM: Words to live by?
ZH: It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.