Imagine you’re at work one day and by chance, they needed someone to step in and perform a task you were not trained for and you nailed it on your first try. After impressing your coworkers you keep the position and as a result, you won the highest honors for it. This is what happened to Melina Juergens, my personal pick for Women of Horror Month.
German-born Melina was working as a video editor for Ninja Theory while they were in the middle of making, what would become, their multi-award-winning video game, Hellbade: Senua’s Sacrifice. When the time came to animate the title character’s movements, Melina stepped in to don the motion capture suit and perform as the game’s heroine Senua, this inadvertently became an audition.
Impressing everyone, Melina was now officially playing the title role both voicing and acting out her actions via-motion capture. Adding more to it, her likeness was used for Senua forever cementing her place in gaming history. Melina was offered acting classes but she chose to act as natural as possible and called upon her own painful experiences in her past to turn her into Senua when the digital cameras rolled.
When the game was complete, Melina’s journey did not stop there. At The Game Awards in 2017, Melina performed a scene from Hellblade live via motion capture. Later that evening she took the award for Best Performance presented by Andy Serkis, who’s known for being one if not the best motion capture actor ever.
Melina Juergens’ story, as well as Senua’s, is about growth through bravery, facing difficulty head on, being humble at success, and overall just staying true and accepting of themselves, a powerful message much needed in recent times. That’s why Melina Juergens is my pick for Women of Horror Month.