During a phone call from Vancouver, Rose has been interviewed by Yahoo. Here’s the full interview made by Karen Benardello.
College students often struggle to find their true identities as they make the final transformation into truly mature adults, and prove they can live up to the high expectations that have been placed on them. Not only do they have to work hard to find a career they enjoy and excel in, they also have to find ways to continuously fortify their personal relationships. Actress Rose McIver relatably portrays a career-oriented recent college graduate, who would stop at nothing gain the approval of her colleagues, and strengthen her relationship with her boyfriend, in writer-director Maggie Kiley’s first feature film, the independent comedy-drama, ‘Brightest Star.’ The performer is also showing her ever-evolving versatility and adulthood by playing the legendary Tinker Bell on the current season of ABC’s acclaimed adventure fantasy series, ‘Once Upon a Time.’
‘Brightest Star’ follows the indecisive, 20-something unnamed protagonist (who’s called The Boy in the closing credits and is played by Chris Lowell), as he struggles to find his place in the world after he finishes college. The wavering young adult is determined to find a meaningful career that not only truly satisfies his quest to leave an impact on the world, but also makes him, his family and friends happy. But he becomes hesitant to move past his relationship with his longtime girlfriend, Charlotte (McIver), who he lovingly remembers in flashbacks to when they first met and fell in love in college.
The Boy chooses to remain skeptical about the potential opportunities New York City has to offer him. But he seems to start getting his life back on track as he stays with Ray and Lita (Alex Kaluzhsky and Jessica Szohr, respectively), the couple who move into the apartment he shared with his ex-girlfriend. The struggling protagonist seems to start getting his life back on track after he quits his office job, in which he worked for Charlotte’s father, Mr. Markovic (Clark Gregg), and was miserable. He takes a seemingly menial job as a janitor in the laboratory of an astronomer (Allison Janney). In the process, The Boy discovers how fulfilling his life can be when he seeks out meaningful relationships and a career path that truly makes him happy.
McIver generously took the opportunity recently to talk about shooting ‘Brightest Star’ over the phone from Vancouver, where she’s currently shooting ‘Once Upon a Time.’ Upon other things, the actress discussed how she took on the role of Charlotte because she felt like she could understand the character’s struggles, including pondering the idea of staying in a relationship with someone when life’s pulling her elsewhere; how Kiley had complete control over the set, especially since she co-write the script, and knew exactly what she wanted and where the character’s motives are coming from; and how she enjoys being able to step into the mindset of a character who’s rooted in powerful story-telling history.
Question (Q): You play Charlotte in the new romance comedy drama, ‘Brightest Star.’ What was it about the character and the script overall that convinced you to take on the role?
Rose McIver (RM): I just felt like I could really relate to the character of Charlotte. I think she feels the same way everyone feels like when they first come out of school, and they’re forging their own paths and finding their own identities. She’s weighing her values. She’s also working on the idea of staying with someone in a relationship when life’s pulling her elsewhere, especially since she’s focused on work.
I felt like those are all situations we had when we all finish school and enter the real world, and have to make all these decisions. I thought she was really well written, and liked Maggie, who was making the film. So I wanted to get on board.
Q: How did you become involved in the film? Did you have to audition for the role of Charlotte, or did Maggie (Kiley), the film’s director, approach you with the role?
RM: When I read the script, it was the day before I was supposed to go back to New Zealand. So I wasn’t able to go in and audition in a normal scenario. I just ended up having lunch with Maggie, and we chatted about the character and the script. I was able to see what she wanted, and I thought we were on the same page.
When I got back to New Zealand, they sent some scenes over for me to bring home and work on. I heard shortly thereafter I was cast, and we began shooting shortly after.
Q: Maggie is a first-time feature filmmaker who also co-wrote the script for the movie with Matthew Mullen. Do you prefer working with helmers who also penned the screenplay for a film?
RM: I think there are plenty of successful directors who can work with other people’s materials, and really understand them. But when the director also wrote the script, that definitely rules out any kind of misinterpretation.
I loved the fact that because Maggie helped write the script, she knew exactly what she wanted and where’s she’s coming from. If I have a question, there’s no one else for her to go back to and ask; she can answer it herself. I definitely found that to be a relief.
Q: What was your overall experience of working with Maggie like, since she was making her feature film directorial and writing debuts, and also has acting experience?
RM: It was wonderful. You never would have known this was her first film with the command that she had. She’s very quietly spoken, and she doesn’t have to raise a big scene to get everyone to listen. She’ll just quietly come over and give you some notes. She’s been a really strong leader in it all. So we all felt really safe, and like we were in good hands. I think she has done a fantastic job, and she always knew what she wanted.
Q: The main character Charlotte interacts with in ‘Brightest Star’ is The Boy, who was played by Chris Lowell. What was your working relationship with Chris like on the set?
RM: Chris and I didn’t get the chance to meet until about a week before we began filming. So the couple months leading up to it, we had an email chain going back and forth between us. We actually began to learn a little bit more about each other, which helped cultivate the in-jokes we had with someone you’ve known for a long time. So by the time we actually met, half the work was done for us, and we had a lot of stuff to draw on. Since the shoot only lasted a few weeks, it was so valuable that we had that time beforehand to build our relationship.
Q: Were you able to have any rehearsal periods with Chris on the set before you began shooting the movie?
RM: We absolutely were, yes. Maggie used that time incredibly wisely. She also paired us up with some of the other cast members to run through the scenes. We didn’t over-rehearse, but we raised any questions we had, and also discussed the context. Since the story is told out of sequence, it was nice to have that time to help build the story’s arc. We used that rehearsal week very fully.
Q: Like you mentioned, the movie was filmed independently on a short schedule. Did having that short shooting schedule pose any challenges, or did it help with the creative process?
RM: I think there are pros and cons to working on a tiny, independent film. I love them for the passion involved; everybody is there because they want to be there. They’re not doing it just for a paycheck; everybody’s doing it because they believe in what they’re doing.
Once somebody told me that we work so well within limitations because we think more originally, and we’re innovative in how we solve problems. I think that’s definitely the case with this film. You don’t go for the safe option, because often it’s not an option. You have to invent new ways to get around things, and you end up telling interesting stories because of it.
Q: The film chronicles the strain that forms in the relationship between Charlotte and The Boy when she begins a successful career, and he’s still debating what he wants to do with his life. Why do you think this is an important theme to explore in films? Do you feel audiences will relate to the concerns growing within both Charlotte and The Boy?
RM: Absolutely. All of my friends and I were trying to make some sense when we first finished school. The story definitely resonated with me. Anyone who has been through that in the past, or who is approaching that territory, has questioned their life paths, as well as what we’re doing here and how we can best use the time that we have here. I think that’s definitely relevant, and is a universal theme.
Q: ‘Brightest Star’ will be released in select theaters and on VOD on January 31. Are you personally a fan of watching movies On Demand, and why do you think the platform is important for smaller films like this one overall?
RM: I think it’s fantastic, because no matter where you are in the world, you’ll be able to see this film. If you can’t see it in a theater because you’re not in a big city, you’re not isolated from the material.
I definitely watch a lot of Video on Demand, especially since I now know how to use Apple TV and similar things. Learning to watch films at home as been incredible. I travel a lot for work and my personal life, so it’s really fantastic that I don’t have to try to make a certain time and place. But I do like to watch films on the big screen, as I’m not a fan of watching movies on a laptop screen.
Q: The movie has played at several across the country, including having its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival. What was your reaction when you found out the movie would be playing at the festivals, and what was your overall experience at the festivals?
RM: I was so thrilled for us and Maggie, especially. She’s worked so long and so hard with the producers. It’s been great to see it have this life and exposure it deserves.
When it was playing at the Austin Film Festival, I had an unfortunate experience the day it was premiering, I was set to fly down from Vancouver, where I am now. I went to leave that morning at 4 o’clock, but the fog was too thick. So the plane was delayed over and over again. I ended up being put on a flight that was redirected through another city, and I landed about an hour after the film finished at the premiere. So I was still able to celebrate with everyone after, which was fantastic. It was great to celebrate with all my friends on a film we all worked so hard on.
Q: Have you received any feedback from audiences who have already seen the film at the festivals, and if so, what kind of reactions have you gotten?
RI: What was fantastic was that even though I arrived late to the Austin Film Festival, a lot of my friends were there, not only supporting their movies, but this one, as well. They felt that it was beautifully shot, and that it was incredibly moving and gentle. They really enjoyed it.
I’m always self-conscious to hear responses about a film that I’m in. But I’m very pleased when people are very honest with me, and are able to give very positive responses like this, and I know that they mean it.
Q: Besides films, you have also appeared on such shows as ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘Masters of Sex.’ What is it about television you enjoy so much? How does starring on a series compare and contrast to appearing in a film?
RM: I love both, and love the diversity of both. They’re both very different, in terms of the preparation and routine. When you’re doing television, you have to learn the lines the next day. You can’t prepare a whole film’s worth of material in the time you have for television, because the episodes turn around so quickly. So you get into a different routine with television; there are very long, consistent hours on television. So it’s a more specific discipline right there.
At the same time, you have longer to invest into your character overall, and you’re able to build long-term relationships with the people you’re working with. You’re able to draw on those relationships as reference. You also have a longer act to build towards. But I definitely enjoy doing both.
Q: Speaking of ‘Once Upon a Time,’ you have played Tinker Bell on the romance fantasy series this season. What has the experience been like overall, and are you interested in continuing to play her in upcoming seasons?
RM: I’m actually up in Vancouver at the moment, working on the show. I’ve really enjoyed working on ‘Once Upon a Time.’ It kind of came out the blue for me last year, but it’s become a lot of fun to work on. The people I work with have been fantastic.
It’s also fun to play a childhood icon. It’s great to be able to step into the shoes of a character who’s entrenched in powerful story-telling history. I’ve also learned a lot from working on a fast turn-around show in Canada, with a crew who has been doing this for a long time. Everyone one the show is a seasoned professional. It’s been fantastic.
Q: Besides ‘Brightest Star’ and ‘Once Upon a Time,’ do you have any upcoming projects that you can discuss?
RM: Not at this stage. I went back to New Zealand for a month over Christmas. I enjoyed not having absolutely any work, and just lying on the beach, hiking, surfing and reading. So I just got back up into the work mode in Vancouver. When I get back to L.A., I’ll have a little better idea of what’s next.
Source : Yahoo.com