Melissa is filming a recurring role in the upcoming Hulu original series, The Girl From Plainville, with Elle Fanning and Chloë Sevigny. The project, from writers/executive producers Liz Hannah and Patrick Macmanus, is a drama inspired by the true story of Michelle Carter’s controversial “texting-suicide” case.
She appeared in the Snapchat original comedy Everything’s Fine from Paul Feig’s Powderkeg Productions and executive producer Pete Wentz. The series, from creator/writer Hannah Klein, focuses on mental health, specifically about a college student who has bipolar disorder and is trying to catch their big break in the music industry.
In 2021, audiences saw Melissa in the Netflix original feature film Thunder Force from writer / director Ben Falcone. The film stars Octavia Spencer and Melissa McCarthy as women who obtain superpowers; McCarthy also produces alongside Marc Platt and Falcone.
Melissa is perhaps best known for her role as the hard-working and devoted single mother on the hit MTV series, Teen Wolf. After her character, ‘Melissa McCall,’ discovers that her son Scott (played by Tyler Posey) is in fact a werewolf, a new and exciting dynamic for their relationship developed as she helps Scott’s pack investigate various supernatural villains threatening their town and loved ones. As a nurse, Melissa uses her medical knowledge to take care of injured supernatural allies at Beacon Hills Memorial, which over the years became the location of many memorable and pivotal scenes. Teen Wolf’s sixth and final season aired in 2017.
Melissa stars in Rachael Annette Helson’s directorial debut, Hatched, an Official Selection at the 2019 HollyShorts Film Festival. Additionally, she has completed filming the upcoming short film Miranda of Mind from writer/director Bianca Ahonor – a Hedgebrook-Humanitas Screenwriting Fellow and a 2018 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship Semifinalist. She has also wrapped writer/director Claire Bryétt Andrew’s coming of age film, Max and Me.
Fans of the breakout AMC drama, The Walking Dead, will recognize Ponzio as original Woodbury resident ‘Karen,’ – the lone survivor of the Governor’s attack on his own army in the third season finale. During the fourth season of the show, ‘Karen’ who developed a loving bond with ‘Tyrese,’ (Chad Coleman) met her untimely, shocking and pivotal demise; a turn of events that reverberated through the remainder of the season.
Other notable television appearances include recurring roles on Cinemax’s Banshee, and Lifetime’s Army Wives, as well as guest appearances on The Following, Touch, NCIS, Necessary Roughness, Franklin & Bash, Drop Dead Diva, CSI and the Vampire Diaries as well as the television films Justice for Natalee Holloway opposite Tracy Pollan and Stephen Amell and Marry Me with Lucy Liu and most recently Ben Meyerson’s Lifetime Television Film, Killer Reputation opposite Anna Hutchison.
Melissa starred opposite Hilary Swank in the HBO original film, Mary and Martha, directed by Phillip Noyce. Based on a true story, the movie portrays a mother’s fight to eradicate malaria in the developing world. Other film credits include HBO’s historical drama Warm Springs, opposite Kenneth Branagh and Cynthia Nixon, and the Warner Brothers’ comedy, Life As WeKnow It, with Josh Duhamel and Katherine Heigl.
Born in New York City, Melissa lived around the states with her loving parents and younger brother, until settling in Florida for most of her childhood. During high school, she was the over-achieving senior class president, yearbook editor and prom queen all while also being on the swim team. College brought her to her adoptive hometown of Atlanta, where she graduated with honors from Georgia State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in theater.