Melissa Bolona: The model turned actress who’s the best sceamer in Hollywood

The Neighbour star told loaded all about Irina Shayk and working with Nicolas Cage.

From model to actress. Image Melissa Bolona

The road from modelling to Hollywood stardom, much like the road to hell, is paved with good intentions as Cindy Crawford will no doubt attest.

Among the most beautiful women in the world, Crawford still struggled to make the transition from pin-up to film star, with 1995’s Fair Game a lasting reminder of her limitations. Model turned actress Melissa Bolona is a different story though.

Handpicked from 20,000 hopefuls by Beach Bunny Swimwear, before going on to appear in several campaigns alongside Irina Shayk, Bolona has moved from modelling to acting of late, steadily picking up roles in a diverse range of films.

Her latest, The Neighbour, sees Bolona follow in the footsteps of names like Jamie Lee Curtis, Meg Ryan and Renee Zellwegger into the realm of horror.

With a part in Paul Schrader’s Dog Eat Dog, alongside Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe to come, loaded thought it was high time someone found out what her secret is.


loaded: How did you find the transition from modelling to acting?

Melissa: Being in front of a camera modelling really helped get me comfortable filming. The hard part is getting people to take you seriously and landing the roles you want.

“I’m an amazing screamer”

loaded: What attracted you to The Neighbour?

Melissa: I’ve always believed that everything in life you have to work for and as an actress just starting out, you want roles you can prove yourself in and show people you can do this.

The Neighbour was something I was keen to do and it proved to be a big challenge, just because [mild spoiler alert] of everything my character went through. The experience definitely helped me grow as an actress.

Melissa Bolona in The Neighbour
The Neighbour Melissa tested out her lungs on the film. Image Melissa Bolona

loaded: Do you like horror movies?

Melissa: I love horror movies. Growing up I would watch all kinds of scary movies with my sister – we loved to be spooked.

loaded: Are you a good screamer?  

Melissa: I’m an amazing screamer. For The Neighbour we were doing ADR (automatic dialog replacement) where I had to scream. When we did the scream in the studio, I screamed so high and loud that I literally blew out the mic so, yeah, I would say I am a good screamer.

loaded: You are in Dog Eat Dog alongside Nicolas Cage – what was he like on set?

Melissa: A total gentleman who was there to work and a very hard worker. He was extremely professional and I admired how focused he was on his character.

Nicholas Cage and Melissa Bolona.
Dog Eat Dog co-stars Nicholas Cage and Melissa Bolona. Image Melissa Bolona Instagram.

loaded: Does that mean he went a bit “method” on set?

Melissa: Well, I would definitely say that on set he was very much in character but he still remained very professional. Paul [Schrader] was amazing too.

loaded: What’s Irina Shayk like in person? 

Melissa: I love Irina and have nothing but the nicest things to say about her, she was fantastic to work with. I remember, on one of my biggest shoots, I was nervous went to set not knowing what to expect. But Irina was just so warm and took a genuine interest in my personal life.

To this day, I will always remember how she made me feel like a million bucks

Melissa Bolona model and actress.
Melissa Bolona From her modelling days. Image Melissa Bolona Instagram

loaded: What’s next for you?

Melissa: Aside from Dog Eat Dog, I’m in another super cool horror film called Mara alongside Olga Kurylenko. It’s actually based on a real-life sleep demon and I just remember that the more I read about it the more it started to freak me out.

loaded: Any plans to visit the UK?

Melissa: Yes, I may be over soon for some filming. I’ve actually been to London quite a lot and am a huge fan. I like to think of it as a beautiful, fascinating version of New York.

The Neighbour in available to buy or rent on Amazon now – don’t miss it.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.