Tay­lor takes hor­ror in stride

Rachael Tay­lor has shown strength and char­ac­ter in chal­lenges on and off the screen, writes Dar­ren Dev­lyn

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

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.

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