Ruby Rose swaps high-kick­ing ac­tion for hard-rock­ing com­edy in Pitch Per­fect 3

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When they called “ac­tion” on Pitch Per­fect 3, Rebel Wil­son took it lit­er­ally: the Aussie star de­liv­ers al­most more punches than punch­lines in the new movie. And she couldn’t have had a bet­ter guide than coun­try­woman Ruby Rose, who joins the com­edy fran­chise as a ri­val rock ’n’ roller.

Rose’s big-screen ca­reer to date has largely con­sisted of kick­ing butt in Res­i­dent Evil, xXx and John Wick: Chap­ter 2. And af­ter a few weeks of Liam Nee­son-ing, Wil­son saw Rose’s work in a whole new light.

“She was like, ‘I have new re­spect for what­ever it is you’ve done in all those films’,” Rose re­calls. “‘Did you do all of that stuff ?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I love it. Do you?’ She was like, ‘Not re­ally’. Cos she’s scared of heights and she had to jump off some­thing. I was like, ‘Well, I was a bit scared of heights too un­til I did it’.”

Rose stops and laughs at her­self: “Ev­ery time I say I’m scared of some­thing, the next thing I know I have to do it ... I should stop man­i­fest­ing that.”

Once Wil­son did take the jump, Rose says, “she had a blast”.

“I didn’t re­ally give her tips ex­cept to stretch — stretch, take care of your­self and just love it.”

Wil­son wasn’t the only one stretch­ing new mus­cles.

Orange is the New Black pro­vided Rose a tough-girl en­tree to all those ac­tion films;

Pitch Per­fect 3 is the first swing in her fight to prove she can do com­edy — and mu­sic and all sorts of other things — too.

“Pitch is def­i­nitely the first big de­par­ture to­wards some­thing en­tirely dif­fer­ent,” she says. “The di­rec­tion with ev­ery script I get is: have I done this be­fore? Is this too fa­mil­iar? Am I go­ing to learn any­thing or is this go­ing to type­cast me?

“I’m con­stantly try­ing to break that mould.”

Pitch Per­fect 3 finds the a capella group Bar­den Bel­las on a USO tour of Europe, where their voices strug­gle to com­pete against the am­pli­fied in­stru­ments of a coun­try group, a DJ and an­themic rock band.

Rose is the an­tag­o­nis­tic, gui­tar-sling­ing front­woman of the lat­ter, an all-fe­male band called Ever­moist. (Rose or­dered the name be said only in the most “weird and sticky” way.)

The role came her way af­ter a get-to-know-you lunch with pro­ducer El­iz­a­beth Banks.

“It was only at the end that she said, ‘Do you sing?’ I was like, ‘A lit­tle bit. I used to sing in church choir and I had a sin­gle that I put out in Aus­tralia, years ago, that didn’t do any­thing’. She had a gig­gle. Then she’s like, ‘Do you play gui­tar?’ ‘Yeah but not since I was 16 or 17’. She was like, ‘In­ter­est­ing’.

“I was think­ing, ‘Is she go­ing to get me to do the Christ­mas party?’ I had no idea.”


A few weeks later, Banks called to say she wanted Rose in Pitch Per­fect 3. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, bring it on’.”

Rose’s movie band con­sists of Bey­once’s drum­mer, Ven­zella Joy Wil­liams, Prince protégé Andy Allo and Nashville mu­si­cian Han­nah Fairlight.

“I was, ‘Wow, I’m def­i­nitely the weak­est link, but we could do this thing’,” she laughs.

Rose’s girl­friend, Veron­i­cas singer Jes­sica Origliasso, knows well the al­lure of per­form­ing on stage. Has Rose caught the bug?

“I don’t think I’ll trans­fer en­tirely to be­ing a rock star now,” she replies, “but the adren­a­line you get com­ing off stage af­ter play­ing to 1100 peo­ple is pretty wild. I get why peo­ple love do­ing it.”

Com­edy, how­ever, is a path Rose def­i­nitely wants to pur­sue. Keep­ing pace with Wil­son and Anna Ken­drick on PP3 made for good train­ing.

“It was dif­fi­cult — we would do the script and then we’d do one or two takes where it would just be a free for all. Rebel would say some­thing ridicu­lously amaz­ing and Anna would be so witty and so cut­ting.”

She reck­ons she did get some good one-lin­ers in — “Rebel was like, ‘I didn’t know you were funny!’ — but given her char­ac­ter’s “above it all” air, most couldn’t be used.

Rose ad­mires Banks’ rise from ac­tor to writer, di­rec­tor and pro­ducer, es­pe­cially the way she’s used that to “give women strong roles”.

In the wake of the sex­ual mis­con­duct rev­e­la­tions out of the movie biz this year, women giv­ing each other a hand up can only help “cre­ate a dif­fer­ent at­mos­phere”, as Rose puts it.

The 31-year-old Aussie is thank­ful not to have a #MeToo story to share.

“But it feels ridicu­lous to say ‘I’m so blessed’, be­cause that shouldn’t be a thing. That (ha­rass­ment) should not be the nor­mal. I’ve been lucky not just work­ing with a lot of fe­males, which I didn’t re­alise is as rare as it is, but that ev­ery­one I’ve worked with has been so bound­aried and pro­fes­sional.

“I feel aw­ful for those who haven’t had that ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s not just film and mu­sic and TV — my mum went through it as a teacher, my friend goes through it as a nurse. The only good thing about these hor­ri­ble sto­ries is it should now break open the con­ver­sa­tion in ev­ery work­place.”



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