Taylor takes horror in stride
Rachael Taylor has shown strength and character in challenges on and off the screen, writes Darren Devlyn
CHARLIE’S Angels was the Hindenburg of crime shows. Produced by Drew Barrymore and starring Rachael Taylor, Annie Ilonzeh and Minka Kelly, the reinvention of the ’ 70s hit was hammered by critics, ignored by audiences and chopped after just four episodes.
It was described as ‘‘ beyond heinous’’ and containing some of the worst acting (much of it by Kelly) of the past decade.
But while the show was said to be offensive to every actor and writer out of work and made Jersey Shore look like Shakespeare, Taylor took the fall in her stride.
What separates Taylor from many of her peers is that she has a resilience and sense of perspective that prevents her from wallowing in self-pity.
Her strength and dignity shows not just in her approach to work, but how she has handled scrutiny of her breakups with Matthew Newton and, recently, Josh Lawson.
She found romance in the arms of Lawson after they worked on the movie Any Questions For Ben.
He moved to Los Angeles to shoot a role in the TV series House of Lies and was so happy in his relationship with Taylor that he tweeted snapshots of the pair loved up in a
I’m a huge fan of the genre, love the classic horror movies because you get to see human beings getting pushed to their limit
Balinese villa during a work break.
Taylor is now embracing the single life in New York and is cautiously optimistic her new series 666 Park Avenue will keep her there for some time.
‘‘ I’m not in a relationship for the moment but Josh — I love him to death and he’s one of my dearest friends in the world,’’ Taylor says.
‘‘ We (she and Lawson) are young. We work, we move around all the time. He’s in Los Angeles, I’m in New York, everything is pretty great.
‘‘ I’ve probably been overdue a bit of time on my own. It’s great for me and great to move to New York for the TV show on my own terms. I’m much happier than I thought I would be living alone, more capable than I thought I’d be.’’
666 Park Avenue is set in The Drake, an opulent apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side that is home to dozens of residents who are unaware they’re living in the dark embrace of supernatural forces. When a young couple — Jane Van Veen (Taylor) and Henry Martin ( Brothers & Sisters star Dave Annable) are hired to manage The Drake, they soon get swept up in evil.
‘‘ It’s a little bit melodrama, horror, thriller, supernatural, which I think is a pretty cool melting pot,’’ Taylor says.
‘‘ It’s like a haunted Melrose Place. The fact the building has this dark, supernatural power is an interesting puzzle to put together. I’m a huge fan of the genre, love the classic horror movies. Our pilot was inspired by Rosemary’s Baby. We also reference in the series Hitchcock’s The Birds and The Shining. I like horror because you get to see human beings getting pushed to their limit.
‘‘ One of the reasons I wanted to do this show is I wanted to take a character on a journey over a long period of time.’’
That journey may be over in a matter of weeks, or years, depending on audience reaction to the show.
Experience has taught Taylor how difficult it is to predict the success or failure of a TV or film project. A script can be well crafted, but so many variables — including casting, directing, editing, marketing and timeslot — can kill a show’s prospects of connecting with an audience.
‘‘ It always comes down to enjoyment for me. With Red Dog, I didn’t know if it was going to be a success or not, but we had such a lovely time making it. We were up in the
Taylor-made: Rachael Taylor with her fellow cast on the New York set of the new Fox8 series 666 Park Avenue.