Ruby Rose, who first came to the attention of American audiences with her role in Orange is the New Black, is on a bit of an action movie streak. She appeared in the latest Resident Evil movie and has a role in the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 2. At the moment, though, Rose is out publicizing xXx: Return of Xander Cage, where she plays Adele, one of Cage’s team members as they hunt down the weapon Pandora’s Box.
Screen Rant spoke with Rose at the xXx press day, where she talked about working with some of the massive action stars in the movie, how she picks her roles, and the comic book franchise she’d like to reboot, which just happens to have a prior film adaptation starring one of her Orange is the New Black costars.
What did you learn from—because you’ve worked with some of these action star legends like Donnie [Yen] and Tony [Jaa], Vin [Diesel]. What did you learn on set from these guys?
Ruby Rose: Just their work ethic. You know, I already have a good work ethic, I’m addicted to working, but to see them be both like—with Vin, for instance, he’s producing and he’s the lead, so a lot of this rides on him. And it’s his franchise, and he’s resurrecting it after fifteen years, so the stakes are high. But he kept it a stress-free environment. You never saw those sides of him where he might be feeling the pressure or under the pump.
Donnie, and his zen-like ability to just walk in in a robe, sip some tea and I’m like, “How are you doing?” He’s like, “Yeah, I’m good.” And I go back to the trailer and I read the sides and I see that Donnie’s doing some of the most epic stunt-work that day. I’m like, “And that’s it?” He’s just sipping tea, like that’s no big deal? I’d be pacing around, doing push-ups, but it’s all in a day’s work for him. And Tony Jaa, same thing. He’s so spiritual, and I just, I learned something from everyone, for sure.
Was there any sense of one-upmanship when it came to stunts with these guys? Because it seems like it was pretty zen-like, now that we’re talking about it.
Ruby Rose: I don’t know, I never got to see the scenes—I mean I got to see them in the film—but I was never on set for the scenes with just Vin and Donnie or just, you know? So I don’t know, there might’ve been. It wouldn’t surprise me, even in a really cute, subtle way. But, you know, amongst the women for instance, I had a lot of scenes with like Deepika [Padukone] or Nina [Dobrev] or Vin—there was never that with us, but I don’t know. I feel like—cause they’re already naturally playing kind of characters that are supposed to not like each other. You know, at the beginning, at least, they’re actually quite mortal enemies. And so I don’t know if sometimes it’s in character that kind of naturally happens.
So you got your big break on Orange is the New Black, and your resumé now is consisting of a lot of action films. Do you prefer the action genre more?
Ruby Rose: I feel like it’s a mixture of two things: I’m a very physical person, I don’t like sitting around doing nothing, so if you’re gonna tell me to jump out of a plane, or fall out of a tree, or whatever it is, I’m gonna be all about it. But it’s also that happened to be the wave that I was riding, and I’ve done that my whole career…I try to carve a path, but I also listen to what the universe is saying should be happening. And the fact that those first three films were action, I feel like is no coincidence. That must’ve been how Hollywood and how directors and casting agents saw me. So I wanted to go in there and do a great job at that, and just be so humbled by the fact that I was getting these amazing film offers off the back of Orange. And then I wanted to make a real stronghand move to kind of go, “I wanna go a different direction.” And so doing Meg, I play a scientist, so she doesn’t run around with a gun, you know? And then Pitch Perfect is a comedy, so I’m trying to make sure that I do a lot of different things, so I never get bored and I don’t bore other people.
This year, 2017, is the year of badass women action stars. Milla [Jovovich], yourself, Wonder Woman’s coming out. I read that you’re a big comic book fan.
Ruby Rose: I am.
Is there any character that you’d like to see brought to screen, portrayed by you?
Ruby Rose: I mean, there’s one or two that I would love to play, but if I were to even say that it would just get everyone into such a panic, you know the rumor mill would just be—
That’s what we want!
Ruby Rose: —wild, and I don’t wanna do that. But I will say one that I don’t think is getting resurrected that’s been my favorite comic for many years, is Tank Girl, but I also think, like, how could you ever beat Laurie Petty?
That’s true, but I think you could do it.
Ruby Rose: But if they were ever gonna ask I’d have to ask for her blessing.