Ruby Rose splits her time between DJ’ing, presenting on television, acting and being the face of brands such as Maybelline cosmetics and JAG jeans. After taking six months off to deal with depression, the 27-year-old is back and set to star in coming film Around the Block, due out next month. I caught up with Rose to talk about giving up alcohol, how overcoming her depression has inspired others, and her raunchy sex scene with Christina Ricci.
Tell me about your new film.
Around the Block is a film that is about Redfern 10 years ago, when the government was trying to take away the land that belonged to the indigenous people. No one knew what my role was but then the trailer came out and there is the sex scene so everyone is like, ”Oh my god, you’re naked, having sex with Christina Ricci.”
Were there awkward moments while filming the sex scene?
I thought it would be awkward and I was not looking forward to it – you know, being alongside Christina Ricci, who has been a famous actress since she was born, pretty much. I remember her as Wednesday in The Addams Family and [in] Casper. So I was sort of spun out on the idea of having to be this dominating person in a role with her, but she is a pro.
Did Christina give you any advice?
She said, ”I know that I am tiny but just throw me around, I’ll be fine,” and for that moment I was like, ”I can’t do this.” I wanted to be, like, ”Are you OK? Is it OK if I pick you up?” but then as soon as they shout ”Action”, you just fall into the part. She is just such a seasoned actress; you don’t want to be that immature, so you just go, ”OK, I’ll get into it.”
And with no booze, either!
[Laughs] I know – and she doesn’t drink, either. It was funny because we met at a bar and we are both doing these shots of water and I was like, ”Oh, you don’t drink, either?” and she was like ”No”, and I was like, ”Oh, thank god, we are both sober for this!”
Did you give up drinking for health reasons?
Yes, alcoholism runs in my family, so it just got to a point where I was either run full pace and do the jobs that I love doing and turn up and be healthy and happy, or I can try to do both [drink and work] and one’s going to give. I was getting sick because I have depression, so it wasn’t doing me any favours in that department. As soon as I quit I felt happier. It’s the best decision I have made.
You have always been open about your depression. Has that helped many of your young fans get through their tough times?
Just recently I was speaking at a school and I introduced myself as ”I’m Ruby. I have bipolar and this is what I do.” At the beginning they were kind of ”Oh!” And then, bit by bit, people started to open up and said, ”My mum has this” and ”I struggle with that”, and it gives some kids a lot of confidence … When I got home I had over 100 private messages on Facebook from students at that school.
Where do your priorities lie, work-wise?
I have realised that my priorities now lie in happiness. Before my priority was working as much as possible; I just had to be working all the time. But I burnt out and I got to a point where I didn’t know what made me happy. I took a break from everything and I kept working closely with the people who feel more like family than work – like Maybelline, JAG – and I have the same feelings towards my DJ’ing. Anywhere that I find myself feeling comfortable and that I can be myself, I am really happy. I now say no to a lot of things.
Are you in a relationship?
No, I’m single. I’m in such a good place right now.
How did you feel when you heard the news of your former fiancee Catherine McNeil becoming engaged to Miles Langford?
Of course I was happy. I think they looked really happy together. I did think it was funny. I saw a photo of them and I was like, ”He is wearing my Givenchy T-Shirt, and he has an arm that looks like my [tattoo] sleeve. [Laughs] My only sadness of it is that I wish myself and other gay and lesbian people in this country could have the freedom to get married, the same way that Kat and Miles can. I think the rest of the country deserves that same opportunity.
WE WENT TO Glass Brasserie, Sydney city centre.
WE ATE Salt-baked beets, sheep’s labna, compressed pear and walnuts; spelt risotto of prawn, crab, parsley and rock samphire.
WE DRANK Sparkling water.
I WORE An Ellery top and Bec & Bridge skirt
RUBY WORE Ann Demeulemeester top and Assin pants.
Photo: Janie Barett