words | Daniel Larsen
photos | Gilles Toucas
Pollyanna McIntosh turns heads every time she walks on set, whether it be as a director, producer, or actor. You may have seen her in the film The Woman or in her recurring role as Jadis in the The Walking Dead, or a number of indie and foreign movies. The trilingual, Scottish star was raised in Scotland, Portugal, and Colombia before eventually moving to London at the age of 16. As a childhood hobby, she acted in regional theater. Eventually modeling and playing small roles would lead her to begin a degree in theater, an arena in which she would end up producing and directing. After some times in theater, Pollyanna took the next step in her career, “Love took me to LA at 22 and it was there I started auditioning for more film....My first American film was produced and directed by an Emerson graduate: Andrew van den Houten..." Thoroughly enjoying the initial experience, she has since filmed two more movies with van den Houten. She shares, "It's great to work with people who have been there with me since the start of things.” She has definitely found her niche and feels, 'if anything defines my career it's playing weird, off kilter characters." Although The City of Angels obviously treated Pollyanna well, the The Walking Dead star is no longer living in Los Angeles. “I've relocated to Atlanta for the show ‘til the end of the year, so I'm discovering this new city and I love it.”
She’s an intriguing and talented woman, but we’ll add “hard working” to the list of words we’d use to describe the star. “If it's a work day, I'm up at 4 AM and drive to work where I check in, pop into my trailer to find my costume hung up waiting for me. Then it's off to the makeup and hair trailer where we play music and chatter away as the skilled team bring our characters to life with hair and makeup. It's always a warm environment on The Walking Dead with Andy (Andrew Lincoln) leading the charge for a super positive, fun, and kind atmosphere. He plays great music in that trailer, too. Heading to set is always exciting. After work, I'll look at what I have the next day and chill out or I'll have dinner with some cast or crew.” A perfect example of someone doing what they love, Pollyanna says of being on The Walking Dead, “It's like nothing I've experienced. The fandom is so strong and working on the show itself is an absolute dream. Great writing, great cast, and such creativity!”
Bold patterns, bright lips, and her trademark bangs; Pollyanna’s style is eye catching. It’s impossible not to love her looks whether she’s on the red carpet, hanging with friends or fans, or on screen wearing an outfit that was chosen for her. She has to say of her style, “I love vintage, color, and a bit of kook or edge. I think my aim is generally to bring a bit of fun. I'm inspired by people like (David) Bowie, Debbie Harry, Bjork, and 70’s rockers; people who did their own thing.”
Being a talented celebrity comes with many praises and awards as Pollyanna has found out. An Instagram site has most recently has praised Pollyanna’s her armpits. She definitely takes it in stride.“There's no end to the strangeness that being considered a celebrity can bring. My armpits feel very proud.” Take a look at her Instagram and you’ll see some insight into her great sense of humor. “I often find our human condition hilarious. Vanity, arrogance, and awkwardness are ripe for comedy and absurd humor is something I love too.”
Pollyanna does take kindness seriously. Aside from the fun-loving and edgy woman you see before you, Pollyanna’s favorite quote tells us so much about her. “Tennessee Williams said a beautiful thing: 'Nothing is disgusting except cruelty'.” She shares, “Kindness makes my heart skip a beat.” Probably the best way to express the depth of her kindness is to share with you what Pollyanna has to say of her favorite charity. “The Joshua Nolan Foundation was founded by a woman who had come up against a healthcare system that didn't serve her and her son when they needed it most. She lost him to suicide, so I'm inspired by her fortitude and kindness in creating a charity to help others. JNF brings counselors to those who need them and also brings the conversation about mental health into schools. I think it's so important to not only encourage people to give to the charity, but also to smash the stigma about mental health. We are all done a disservice by imagining there is weakness or weirdness in needing help and support with such very human problems.” Needless to say, we all need more of Pollyanna in our lives.
Lucky for us, Pollyanna’s childhood years in theater have paid off. Her career has steadily climbed and so has her popularity; no wonder considering she’s the perfect balance of talent, passion, and comedy. With amazing armpits, edgy style, and strong skills both on and off screen, we can’t think of many more reasons to love Pollyanna McIntosh. Be sure to keep an eye out for her on the latest season of The Walking Dead.