Last week EA announced a new standalone expansion for Red Alert 3. Titled Uprising, it will be available exclusively for PC this March and features four mini-campaigns. But most importantly, it features Holly Valance.
Eurogamer caught up with the former Neighbours star to find out more about her role in the game, and to ask her lots of facetious questions about things which have nothing to do with it. Just like when we met Gemma Atkinson, in fact. Except we had to interview Holly over the phone, because of course she lives in Erinsborough.
Read on to find out who she fancied in Neighbours, why she thinks there should be more nudity on Eurogamer TV, in what circumstances she thinks DVD piracy is acceptable and how she's related to Benny Hill.
Eurogamer: Hello, Holly Valance. I understand you're currently promoting Red Alert 3?
Holly Valance: Hi. Yes, I am.
Eurogamer: Last year I interviewed Gemma Atkinson, who's in the original game. So who is fitter out of you and her?
Holly Valance: I'm probably going to say Gemma, to be honest. Yeah.
Eurogamer: That's interesting, because when I asked Gemma who was fitter out of me and her, she said me. So by that logic, are you saying that I, Ellie Gibson, am fitter than you, Holly Valance?
Holly Valance: You probably are. You sound fit.
Eurogamer: Thanks. Now we've got that out of the way, what exactly is your role in Red Alert 3?
Holly Valance: I play a news reporter called Brenda Snow. She's investigating a research facility that might be doing some dodgy business, and thinks perhaps the president's involved. I interview him walking down a red carpet. It's a camp, over-dramatised character, it's not too serious. It was fun to go a little bit over the top.
Eurogamer: Did you do a lot of method preparation for the role?
Holly Valance: I watched about nine versions of the news every day. I have a newfound respect for newsreaders, because reading off the auto-prompter is not as easy as I thought - especially when you're blind as a bat. I kept saying, "Can you make the font larger? Yep, larger again... A little more..." It's difficult. They do a tough job, and they're doing it live.
Eurogamer: You're probably best-known for your acting role in Neighbours...
Holly Valance: I loved my time on Neighbours, I had a lot of fun. It was my training ground, because I never went to theatre school or anything like that. I got a baptism of fire working 16 to 17 hours a day on a soap for three years, and I loved it.
Eurogamer: Who is your favourite Neighbours character? We like Karl Kennedy and Paul Robinson...
Holly Valance: I liked Joe Mangel. Oh, and I loved Rick Alessi. I loved Rick Alessi. I found a cutting of him when I was at Neighbours and I kept it. Or I did some weird thing with this image of Rick Alessi. Then he came in one day and I got really red and embarassed, because I'd had this big crush on him.
Eurogamer: What was the weird thing you did? Did you build a shrine? Did you stalk Rick Alessi, Holly Valance?
Holly Valance: Yeah... What was his name... Dan Falzon, I think... I just remember being so embarassed when he walked in, I thought, "Oh no, I hope he doesn't see the cutting." What a loser.
Eurogamer: Originally I thought I was interviewing you on camera, and I'd hoped to wear an Erinsborough High uniform - but I couldn't find one anywhere. Did you keep yours?
Holly Valance: I didn't get to keep it. Mine was tiny, it was so tarty. I always made sure my actual school uniform went down to my knees, because I hated the girls who wore the really slutty ones. But my Erinsborough uniform was so small, and tailored in at the seams - everything was hugging you, you know? You could get some serious cleavage if you undid the buttons. It was quite a naughty uniform really.
I used to get bored in my breaks so I'd hang out in hair and make-up. One day I got one of their pregnant suits and put my uniform over the top of it, so I looked like a nine months-pregnant schoolgirl. We took loads of photos of me in the hallway, with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. It was so funny.
Eurogamer: You're also famous for the outfit you wore in the Kiss Kiss video...
Holly Valance: Yeah, or lack of.
Eurogamer: Did you design that yourself?
Holly Valance: No, it was the director's idea, but I thought it was fabulous - anything to get a rise out of people. It's nice to do something which is not that common. It's not like I was doing anything that unique, but I hadn't seen that for a while. Nude dancing with light bulbs.
Eurogamer: There was a bit of a furore on account of how you could almost see your Coco Hernandez...
Holly Valance: I don't think England gets an opinion when they have Page 3 every day. I don't think anyone's worried about tits and arse in England.
Eurogamer: We love tits and arse in England. But there was a furore...
Holly Valance: I was happy with that. When you're launching a career in music, any publicity is good publicity, and I guess it was a good conversation point for people. Which is great - job well done.
Eurogamer: I might try advancing my career in videogames in a similar fashion.
Holly Valance: You should! Do a nudie report on all the new games coming out. You'd have so many hits.
Eurogamer: I meant I might start doing phone interviews nude. Your idea's interesting but I'm not sure I'd look as good as you naked. Even though you did say yourself that I, Ellie Gibson, am fitter than you, Holly Valance.
Holly Valance: Hey, it's unique. You've got to get to the masses.
Eurogamer: I'm not sure the masses want me to get to them in that fashion. Anyway, you're also known for your role in the Dead or Alive movie. Did you enjoy that experience?
Holly Valance: It was an amazing experience, but it was the toughest experience of my life. We spent four months training in kung fu, then we were in the desert in China, sick as dogs, working hard in heat like I have never felt before. It was literally 50 degrees Celsius one day.
But it was a wonderful bonding experience with the other girls, I've made friends for life. It was like going to war together almost, because you were doing things in really poor conditions and it was quite third-worldy in some areas. So it was hard, but it was great fun.
Eurogamer: Did you play actual Dead or Alive?
Holly Valance: Oh yes, we played so much. That's pretty much what we had to do in our rooms, because there was nothing else to do. That and buy pirated DVDs in the village. I'm so against buying pirated movies and music, because that's my business, but there was literally nothing else to do. So we'd watch these awful DVDs filmed on a camcorder in the cinema.
Eurogamer: In that movie you defeated an entire room of baddies while wearing just a towel...
Holly Valance: That was awesome, I had so much fun shooting that scene. The only problem was, when I pistol-whip the detective at the end, I actually did during one take. They had moved the marks between takes without telling either of us, and I ended up accidentally smashing his face with the butt of a gun. He was bleeding and we stopped shooting for the day. I felt so awful.
Eurogamer: Do you play many other videogames?
Holly Valance: I'm learning to get better at the Wii, and I've got a 360 and a PSP. I do try, because I see boys get so much satisfaction out of playing it. I think if I understand and get better at it, I'll enjoy it more. The Wii's good because it's exercising at the same time.
Eurogamer: How could Eurogamer readers use their gaming knowledge and skills to attract a woman like you, famous international sex symbol Holly Valance?
Holly Valance: I would like to be moulded into some sort of videogame character. So they could come up with a game, and EA could hire me and take all the computer shots of me, and make me into a character, based on me, about me - just me. Stroke my ego, basically. That would win my heart. So tell them to write to EA.
Eurogamer: Will do. I was doing some extensive research on Wikipedia earlier, and I read that you're related to Benny Hill. Is that true?
Holly Valance: Yes, it's true. Benny was my grandfather's cousin. I never got to meet him. I would have liked to, I've heard wonderful things about him.
Eurogamer: Did Benny Hill inspire you to become an actress?
Holly Valance: No, I don't even think I understood who he was until I was a bit older. Now, if I'm watching telly and he's on, I do have quite a giggle. He was very naughty and I liked his sense of humour. For that time he was very cheeky, and I can appreciate that, because I've got a foul mouth and a sick sense of humour. Probably passed down.
Eurogamer: Had you been acting back then, would you have liked to have been one of the ladies running around in short skirts while Benny gave chase?
Holly Valance: I don't think so. It would depend on what they were paying. If it was massive amounts of cash, I would totally be up for it.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Uprising is out exclusively for PC this March. Ellie Gibson is fitter than Holly Valance.