Breaking In

Breaking In

Model and presenter-turned-actress Ruby Rose reveals how she landed her role in Orange is the New Black

With all the successful Australian actors in Hollywood, you’d be forgiven for thinking our favourites can turn up in LA and just walk into an acting job. Not so for Ruby Rose, who reveals her recent success – she appears in season three of prison drama Orange is the New Black this month and has an upcoming guest role in Syfy series Dark Matter – was anything but easy.

“I couldn’t seem to find an agent; I couldn’t get my foot in the door the way I had so many years earlier when I had visited the States. To have agents who wanted to sign you when you were 22 pass when you are 28 is tough,” she candidly admits.

Having made a name for herself locally as a successful model, TV presenter and DJ, Ruby knew acting was what she wanted to do next.

“I was studying acting when I auditioned for MTV in 2008 – and I chose to leave school to pursue that opportunity,” she explains. When that MTV gig led to many other opportunities, acting took a back seat… until now.

“One of the last things I did in Australia was a film called Around the Block, which starred Christina Ricci. It was a small role but it reminded me how much I love acting.”

The focussed Aussie headed to Los Angeles to try her luck there, and had all but given up on cracking Hollywood before landing her big break.

“Pretty much everybody passed on me and the agents told me to come back in six months time,” she recalls. “I felt like no one believed in me, and that hurt. Without an agent you can’t get auditions and without auditions you can’t get work.”

Ruby kept herself busy though, working on a short film, Break Free, that went viral online – and a couple of weeks later, Hollywood came calling.

“I got an email to audition for Orange is the New Black. I don’t know how they tracked me down, but I do know I’m beyond lucky. I auditioned for the role of Stella and a month later moved to New York to start shooting.”

While she’s happy to discuss landing the part in OITNB, Ruby clams up when asked for any details about Stella. She’s not being difficult – the program’s producers are notorious for insisting on secrecy concerning upcoming plots and characters.

“What can I say? Basically nothing!” she laughs. “Stella is an androgynous, charming, funny but smart woman. I wasn’t even originally allowed to say she was Australian, but [co-star] Yael Stone accidentally let it slip it in an interview. Thank God or I’d literally have nothing to say about my part. Stella being Australian is fun.”

This is an extract of the June 2015 Foxtel Magazine.
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Image: Brandon Andre