During the press event of ‘Brightest Star‘, Rose has been interviewed by We Got This Covered. Here’s the full exclusive video + text interview made by Jordan Alder.
Rose McIver is a young actress who is slowly putting a stranglehold on the television world. She stars on two of the hottest Sunday night programs for very different audiences. In Once Upon a Time’s third season, on a small hiatus but set to return on March 9th, McIver plays the iconic Tinker Bell. She also has a recurring role on Showtime’s Masters of Sex, where she portrays Vivian Scully. McIver’s performance as a traditional young woman trying to figure out her own sexual boundaries in a rigid society makes her one of the cable series’ most fascinating characters and has given the New Zealand native a wealth of acclaim.
It has been a long road for McIver, whose first role was in a television commercial at the tender age of two. At three, she garnered a small role as “Angel” in Jane Campion’s Oscar-winning drama The Piano, although American movie audiences likely know her best for her role as Lindsey Salmon, Suzie’s younger sister, in the adaptation of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones. As she balances her roles on two of television’s biggest dramas, she also has time for film. In the new romantic drama Brightest Star, McIver plays Charlotte, a driven college graduate who leaves her boyfriend (played by Chris Lowell) aching at his knees. Not one to give up, he sets out to win her back and rekindle that spark of first love.
Recently, I had the chance to sit down for an exclusive interview with McIver. She spoke about creating onscreen chemistry, the roles that attract her the most and why the characters she portrays in Brightest Star and on Masters of Sex aren’t all that different.
Check it out below and enjoy!
WGTC: When I spoke with [Brightest Star writer/director Maggie Kiley], she told me that when she met with you for the role of Charlotte, she instantly knew you were right for the part. What attracted you to this role and working on this film?
RM: When I read the script, I had been reading for the past few weeks beforehand a bunch of scripts that had this really expository dialogue and I just hadn’t been very inspired by the material I was reading. Then I got Brightest Star, which had a different title at the time. I remember just feeling like I could do all of these things and feel like it was my voice. It was beautifully written. I think a big part of it is the fact that Maggie Kiley is an actor, as well as a director. So that was the immediate draw. And then, just the subject matter, the fact that the story is about these people who think they know what they want and think they know where they’re going and suddenly the ground is pulled out from under them. Becoming an adult changes all of those ideals you think you have. It just felt very resonant and was what I and all of my friends were going through. It made a lot of sense to me.
WGTC: And you could personally relate to the character’s struggles. How much of you is there in Charlotte?
RM: I think a lot of me. I really like the fact that it was in a contemporary time period and playing the age that I was. It definitely eliminates a couple of those elements that can sometimes put filters on the performance. I got to really just engage with as much of me as I could. And Chris Lowell was fantastic in helping to bring that out. He’s somebody who’s also interested in creating a really raw, real chemistry onscreen and building an environment where we’re able to genuinely make each other laugh and genuinely irritate each other so that we don’t have to be manipulating the material.
WGTC: With that sense of chemistry between your characters, when you’re shooting an independent film, you only have so much shooting time to get to know the actor playing the love interest. How did you connect with Chris to create this chemistry and this relationship in such a short amount of time?
RM: Chris and I started an email chain backward and forward between each other for months leading up to the project, which was really helpful. We had talked about the books we like, the films we like, where we grew up and our families, what we might have wanted to do when we were children, all sorts of questions. He then had this wealth of resources to tap into. It helps on set that he knows in-jokes or he knows nicknames that someone used to tease me about when I was little. He kind of drew on that stuff. We worked on doing that a lot. We worked with Maggie in a rehearsal period, particularly in the weeks before production. We spent it talking about the context behind each scene, what we really needed to get out of them and what textures we could find in them as well. We were lucky that although we didn’t a whole lot of time, we had enthusiasm on our side and everybody was invested in trying to tell the best story they could.
WGTC: What did you like the most about working with Maggie on her first feature?
RM: You would never know it was her first feature. She was so centered and knows exactly what is worth fighting for. I think that is a really wonderful attribute for a director. She doesn’t feel the need to over-communicate between takes. She’ll absolutely come and guide you toward what she needs if you feel you’re not delivering. She actually knows which things are worth bringing up and which things, if she brings them up, will clutter the performance and clutter the on-set environment. She’s very deliberate about her words and careful and that’s immensely useful.
WGTC: Maggie told me that directing was something that she was never interested in doing. A few years ago, she got the chance to direct a short and now directing is where she is putting her attention. Would writing or directing be something that interests you in the future?
RM: Writing is definitely something that interests me a lot. What’s fantastic is that Maggie doesn’t have this big, overwhelming ego and sense of need to be the centre of attention. She has this amazing ability to put her own ego aside completely and just focus on the storytelling and focus on the job that needs to be done. I commend her for that. I don’t really have a drive toward being a director at all. Not that I wouldn’t rule it out, but I just don’t think my instincts lie necessarily in a very visual way. But I am very interested in storytelling, narrative and character development, so writing is something that I absolutely want to do.
WGTC: You’ve been acting in film and television from a very young age, going all the way back to Jane Campion’s Oscar-winning film, The Piano. What led you to pursue acting at such a young age?
RM: It was completely incidental at the beginning. My brother got scouted in a bank when he was about 3. My parents, who were just not stage parents at all, really didn’t want us to go down that path. So she let him do this one commercial and I think she thought it was harmless, and it was. And he’s a musician and acted a little bit throughout his childhood. We were never able to take time off school to do it. It was something that was school holidays and weekends. It’s like how other people pursue tennis or ballet. We had acting. It’s just something that kind of happened and we really enjoyed it on our weekends. I’m just grateful that I stayed in school, as well. Knowing what a real high school was like is so useful when you’re trying to play a high-school student. I’m just glad that what started out as a hobby ended up being a passion of mine and that I’ve been able to keep enjoying it.
WGTC: Switching gears for a moment, on Showtime’s Masters of Sex, you play Vivian. Earlier in the interview, you were talking about taking your own experiences in the modern day to colour your performance in Brightest Star. But Masters of Sex is a period piece and the social and sexual climate of the time is very different. How do you prepare for a role in a period piece, as opposed to a contemporary project?
RM: I think the big difference between the two is societal expectations of a young woman. The reason I can relate to Charlotte quite easily is both my parents are artists and I grew up in a family where the idea of being a doctor or a lawyer wasn’t an expectation. It was, ‘Yes, if it happens, that’s great.’ If you end up wanting to do music or write or art, you are equally celebrated for that. And you are also celebrated whether you’re a man or a woman. We’re at a time period now that is not, by any means, entirely equal, but much more open toward that for women to be able to work in those industries.
Whereas, for Vivian in the fifties, to be the daughter of the Provost, she was very much expected to marry a suitable young man and check those boxes. In some way, the context is very different. Charlotte had the freedom to explore different opportunities and different potential outcomes as an adult. But both characters were asking the same questions and they’re both having the same identity crises. Is Vivian’s first love what she’s expecting it to be? Is Charlotte’s first love what she’s expecting it to be? How are those ideals subverted by encountering the real world? They’re different in context and different in freedom, but I think very similar in identity forming.
WGTC: You are a very busy young actress with your television and film work. Going forward, you are bound to get more scripts coming your way. What kinds of projects would you be interested in working on?
RM: I really like questions. I like people who write scripts because they’re asking questions, not because they’re giving answers. It’s something that I look for. My motivation is to get a deeper understanding and exploration of something that I want to know about the human condition. So, that’s what I look for in the material I read. If it’s asking a genuine question about a concept of the world that interests me and also it helps if it’s a context that I find interesting. For instance, 1950s sexual research is a fascinating world to interact with. In the same turn, for me, it is much more about how organic and how much integrity do the characters have and the questions have that the writers raise.
WGTC: And what is up next for you?
RM: I’m looking at a few things at the moment. I’m still working on Once Upon a Time and that’s been keeping me really busy. I’m reading scripts in between today’s interviews, so who knows? I should have some idea very soon. For Masters of Sex, I will be returning for season two. I’m looking forward to that. I go into production in March and I’ll know more about that soon.
That concludes our interview but we’d like to thank Rose very much for her time. Be sure to check out Brightest Star when it hits theatres this Friday!
Source : wegotthiscovered.com