Willa Joanna Chance Holland (born June 18, 1991) is an American actress and model. She is known for her roles as Kaitlin Cooper in the Fox teen drama The O.C., Agnes Andrews in The CW series Gossip Girl, Aqua in Kingdom Hearts, and Thea Queen / Speedy in Arrow.
Holland at the 2013 WonderCon 04
Willa Joanna Chance Holland
June 18, 1991
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Holland was born in Los Angeles to cinematographer Keith Holland and actress Darnell Gregorio-De Palma. Her mother was remarried to director Brian De Palma from 1995 to 1997. She grew up with two sisters: Brianna Holland (b. 1988) and Piper De Palma (b. 1996). Holland attended Palisades Charter High School for only six weeks because her career was taking off and school peers were dismissive of her acting pursuits.
At age seven, Holland was playing at her stepfather's neighbor's house in The Hamptons, New York. The neighbor, Steven Spielberg, was filming home videos and told Holland's parents, "You've got to put her in front of a camera." Upon returning to Los Angeles that September, Holland signed with Ford Modeling Agency at age seven, and immediately booked a shoot for Burberry. She has modeled for Guess, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and Ralph Lauren.
The following year, 1999, De Palma took Holland to a theatrical talent agency. Since then she has appeared in many national commercials. During 2001 when Holland was ten, she worked alongside her cinematographer father in Ordinary Madness. She was even slated to co-star in the 2005 Fox series The Inside with fellow model Rachel Nichols, but left the show when writer Tim Minear was brought in to overhaul it. She initially played the role of Kaitlin Cooper on The O.C., replacing Shailene Woodley, as a recurring character in season 3, but then as a regular in season four.
In December 2007, Holland was cast in the independent drama film Garden Party, playing the role of April, a troubled teenage aspiring model who tries to make it in Los Angeles. In September 2008, The CW announced Holland would appear in three episodes of the second season of the teen-drama television series Gossip Girl, created by The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz. Holland played the role of a rebellious 16-year-old model who befriends and creates havoc for Taylor Momsen's character. In March 2010 Holland made a one-off return in the 16th episode of the third season, "The Empire Strikes Jack," which aired March 29, 2010.
In May 2010, Square Enix announced she would be voicing Aqua in the PlayStation Portable title, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, which was released on September 7, 2010 in North America. That same year Holland starred in her first major studio film in the apocalyptic thriller film Legion playing the role of a bratty teenager. She played teen-temptress Janice Heddon in the film Straw Dogs, a remake of the 1971 film of the same name. The film opened in September 2011.
In February 2012, Holland was cast in The CW action-adventure series Arrow, which is based on the Green Arrow comic books, where she played Thea Queen / Speedy, the sister of Oliver Queen / Green Arrow. She remained a regular cast member in the series until 2018, during the sixth season.
|2001||Ordinary Madness||Young Faye|
|2008||Middle of Nowhere||Taylor Elizabeth Berry|
|2010||Humanity's Last Line of Defense||Herself||Documentary|
|2011||Straw Dogs||Janice Heddon|
|2012||Tiger Eyes||Davey Wexler|
|2016||Blood in the Water||Veronica|
|2005||The Comeback||Kalla||Episode: "Valerie Hangs with the Cool Kids"|
|2006–2007||The O.C.||Kaitlin Cooper||Recurring role (season 3); main role (season 4)|
|2008–2012||Gossip Girl||Agnes Andrews||Recurring role; 5 episodes|
|2012–2020||Arrow||Thea Queen / Speedy||Main role (seasons 1–6); special guest star (season 7); recurring role (season 8)|
|2015–2016||The Flash||Thea Queen / Speedy||Special guest star; 2 episodes|
|2006||Scarface: The World Is Yours||Various||Uncredited|
|2010||Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep||Aqua|
|2012||Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance||Aqua|
|2014||Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix||Aqua||New footage for Final Mix-exclusive Secret Episode and archived footage|
|2017||Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage||Aqua|
|2019||Kingdom Hearts III||Aqua|
|2020||Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory||Aqua|
|2008||"Keep Me Up All Night"||The Glitterati|
|2010||"Fearless Love"||Melissa Etheridge|
|2011||"8050 (Too Fast, Too Slow)"||White Arrows|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2006||Spike Video Game Award for Best Cast||Scarface: The World Is Yours||Nominated|
|2012||Boston International Film Festival Award for Best Actress||Tiger Eyes||Won|||
- "The Birth of Willa Holland". Californiabirthindex.org. Archived from the original on November 1, 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
- Kappes, Serena (January 19, 2006). "Introducing... Willa Holland". People.
- Lewis, Casey (June 2013). "Willa Holland Tells Us All About Starring in the Judy Blume Flick 'Tiger Eyes': The Arrow actress is making a leap to the big screen". Teen Vogue.
In all honesty, I only went to high school for about six weeks, partly because I got a job and also because I just didn't get along with high school too well. I got bullied, and just didn't have a good school experience throughout...At school no one believed I was an actress at first—that was the funny part. They just thought I was a total liar. I proved them all wrong, right?
- Clarke, Cath (January 8, 2009). "First sight: Willa Holland". The Guardian.
She was discovered by Steven Spielberg — in his garden no less...she was seven years old at the time, playing with his kids. Her stepdad is Brian de Palma.
- DeBruge, Peter (October 2, 2008). "Willa Holland: Discovered by Spielberg". Variety.
"I was playing over at Steven Spielberg's house' – next door to stepfather Brian De Palma's place in the Hamptons – 'and he was filming little wedding scenes and doing homevideos,' she says. When her parents came to pick her up, Spielberg insisted, 'You've got to put her in front of a camera.' De Palma was for it, too.
- "Spielberg Gave The Oc's Holland Her Big Break". World Entertainment News Network. March 29, 2006. Archived from the original on February 12, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015 – via Contactmusic.com.
- Jessica Holland (February 25, 2013). "Willa Holland: Interview". Wonderland Magazine. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
- "Shooting Stars: How We Got That Picture". Teen Vogue. Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
- Kappes, Serena (January 19, 2006). "Introducing ... Willa Holland". People. Archived from the original on December 21, 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
- "Return to the Magical Realm of Kingdom Hearts on September 7, 2010" (Press release). Square Enix. May 17, 2010. Archived from the original on May 21, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
- Weintraub, Steve (December 14, 2009). "First 'Legion' Clip". Collider.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
- Gonzalez, Sandra (April 2, 2014). "'Arrow' preview: Willa Holland teases Thea's 'major turning point'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on February 12, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
- "'Arrow' cast has some fun aboard the TV Guide Yacht". Cwtvsource.com. October 8, 2014. Archived from the original on February 14, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
- Abrams, Natalie (March 29, 2018). "'Arrow' boss on that shocking cast departure". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
- Peter Travers (June 6, 2013). "Tiger Eyes". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
- "Meet Hollywood's Next Big Things: Kat Graham, Willa Holland, Ashley Madekwe, and More". Glamour. June 2013. Archived from the original on February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
- Mitovich, Matt Webb; Mitovich, Matt Webb (September 18, 2019). "Arrow Favorite Willa Holland to Return and Recur During Final Season". TVLine. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
- "Boston International Film Festival Announces 2012 Winners". bostoniff.org. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
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