Shelley is currently starring in a new TV series, ‘Liberty Crossing’, that takes her acting into comedic territory.
A big part of your life has been ‘Teen Wolf’ playing Malia Tate, what’s life been like for you after playing Malia?
[Shelley] Depressing, duh. Malia was very important to me, still is, and it’s just such a special time in my life; I’ll never forget it, I’ll never forget her.
She was very important to me for reasons that I never expected. Jeff [Davis, series creator] and I were just on the same page and he created this wonderful character with a strong will and a strong female.
"I’ll always be a hustler. I’m ready for whatever’s ready for me." - Shelley Hennig
I didn’t even realise how important the role was until my first Comic Con and someone asked me ‘how does it feel playing a strong female character’ and I was like, 'I never thought of it that way because I don’t see it any differently; why can’t women be strong?' So I’ve been paying attention to it and realised how important it was and it was very important to me to keep that alive and I’ve really enjoyed it.
Obviously the fans have enjoyed watching you as well.
They’re so fun on Twitter. I get to read their mentions here and there and they’re so fun. Honestly, the fans are so creative and they make me laugh and they get me [and] my personality. I haven’t met all of them but they’ve been so fun; it’s been a true collaborative effort with the cast, crew and the fans.
And how did fans respond to the final episode [of ‘Teen Wolf’]?
It all happened so fast. I think they were happy; none of our big characters died. Jeff made a finale that pleased our fans and I didn’t hear any arguments from them.
I think it was important we made them happy [because] they’ve made us happy all these years so we wanted to end it on a great note, a special note.
You’re heading to Australia soon for Supanova. Have you been to a convention in Australia before?
I’ve never been to Australia, so it’s my first time and I’m super excited. My best friend is Australian so I told her I was going and her eyes lit up, and when I say ‘Australia’ she goes ‘aww, it’s really cute'.
I’m very much looking forward to it, so Australia holds a very special place in my heart… I can’t wait to see her country and meet the fans there.
What are some of the best parts of conventions for you? It must be a great experience getting to interact with your fans.
I like the meet-and-greet where you get to meet the fans up-close and personal; mine usually ends in some sort of dance party [laughs]. Just all of it, it’s so surreal to meet the people who are contacting or mentioning you online that make you laugh and you hear their stories about why the show is so special to them. I think that’s really nice to hear, it makes us happy to know we got our job right.
Especially once the show is over, to still have the connection with your fans and keep that going.
I don’t feel like that’s going to die.
Fans can also be a bit over the top sometimes; are there any really intense or awkward fan moments you’ve experienced?
In Paris they hired a driver and chased us in an SUV throughout Paris; that was pretty scary. That was actually really dangerous, but typically I’d say everyone is really sweet, even if they’re emotional they’re just really happy and I’d rather focus on those.
When I asked that question I didn’t think we’d go straight to being chased by fans in an SUV.
[Laughs] Well you asked and I’m an honest person. If you know anything about me online you know I’m an honest person, so there it is.
By the way, to make that story more humorous, my mum happened to be in that van with me and my co-stars, so if anything she was just like ’damn, I didn’t know you were this popular’ and I was like ‘mum, I’ve been trying to tell you’. It was a funny moment. My family is always trying to keep me grounded is what I’m trying to say.
Aside from the convention, is there anything else you’re looking forward to doing while you’re in Australia?
I’ve been so busy that I didn’t even have time to plan this; I’m just going to go and see what happens. I feel like Australia is a pretty laidback country from what I’ve heard so I’m going to take it slow. Maybe find a beach; I could probably use a suntan, I’m getting pale.
You started out in soap operas such as ‘Passions’ and ‘Days Of Our Lives’; was there any difficulty in throwing off the soap opera roles and transitioning to dramatic roles and also you’re recent film roles?
The biggest transition was that I’d never filmed outdoors, because my first job was on a soap opera and everything’s done inside on a stage, and that was also multi-cam.
So my biggest transition was filming outdoors where you deal with temperature and weather. I’d never done that in four years of acting, so that and learning how to go back to single-cam. Acting is acting, you know what I mean, and I always adapt.
Let’s talk about your new show ‘Liberty Crossing’. It’s a chance for you to step out of the horror and supernatural genres and stretch your comedic muscles. How have you been enjoying the change?
Oh god, it was so fun. I played a character I’ve never played before and it was an offer from the producers I’d worked with on the movie I did ‘When We First Met’, which comes out in February.
They asked me to do the role and I was so intrigued they thought of me, then I read further into it and I was like ‘oh, now I get why they thought of me’ and I had so much fun with it. I think people are really going to enjoy the show as a whole.
It is hysterical; my manager and I read it a few times and we were like ‘this shit is funny’. So I’m happy to be a part of it.
And do you think comedy will be something you focus on as your career goes on, or are you more open to any sort of role?
I’m open to anything, but comedy seems to be the thing that’s happening since ‘Teen Wolf’, but we’ll see.
And finally, what’s next for you, Shelly?
I’ll always be a hustler. I’m ready for whatever’s ready for me.