How Ruby Rose Did a Nude OITNB Scene Without Freaking Out

When we interviewed Ruby Rose for our spring cover, we couldn’t help but ask all about her breakout role on “Orange Is the New Black,” the Netflix series that just launched its fourth season.

Now that season four is in full swing (and everyone’s freaking out about episode eight…) we’re publishing her most interesting tidbits here. Read on to see how she got the role, what it’s like to work on a predominantly female show, and how she prepped for that notorious nude scene.

Were you nervous about accepting your role on OITNB because it was already such a popular show?

Yeah. That obviously added another element.

If I was on the first season like everybody else, [it would have been different]. I [asked cast members], “How does it feel to be a part of the show?” and one of the characters — she’s so funny. She plays one of the older characters. But she said that when she heard that she was doing “Orange Is the New Black,” she told her manager, “I don’t know anything about fashion.” And her manager was like, “It’s not about fashion. It’s about prison.” And she was like, “Oh, that’s more up my alley!”

A lot of cast members went into it knowing that it would be good because of the script, but nobody had any idea about how well it’d be received by like… the whole entire world. And I think that coming into season three, where I’m already the biggest fan of the show, I know all the characters. I’ve followed all the back stories.

I also kind of got to know everyone really quickly on the first few days and knew where they studied and what they had done in the past and it was a big deal for me. I mean, I hadn’t had a job in like two years. I slugged it out here [in LA]. I tried to get managers and agents out here, even just my foot in the door for an audition and it just wasn’t moving.

So you lived in LA when you were casted?

Yeah, and I couldn’t get anything. And that was good because it made me really fight for it. I mean in Australia, I had this great 10-year career and I thought I could pick up where I left off, but it just doesn’t work like that. So it was good it made me get back on the grind and I made a short film, “Break Free,” and then that went viral. I’m pretty sure that’s how OITNB sort of found out that I existed.

And it was at the same time that they were casting Stella. So I did an audition, got the job and then I was nervous all the way up until I flew there, but mind you I found out I got the job only a few days before i had to start shooting. It wasn’t like I had six months to be nervous. I got the job and they were like, “Cool, I’ll fly you in next week,” and I was like, “Oh, okay.”

And then when I got there and met everyone, within 10 minutes all my fears, nerves, and anxiety were just gone. Because these people, the cast, the crew, the writers, the directors, everyone really is a family. They just welcomed me with open arms and were almost excited to be able to share that experience with another person. Like, “Oh my god, you’re joining the crew as well? This is a ride of a lifetime.”

The cast seems to be so many real women who are so talented and smart.

It’s so silly because you hear from other actors that if you go into a predominantly female cast that sometimes there will be some kind of beef or jealously with someone. And you know, even though there’s almost 40 cast members on that show, there’s just none of that.

That’s insane because you all film together so much. I mean, you’re all in every scene.

Yeah! Even if we’re just in the background because it’s prison. Even if I’m in the back, I mean you might not even see me in the shot but it’s important that we’re all there. Where else would we be? We’re in prison (laughs). But everyone gets along so well and supports each other.

A lot of people in that show, because they are so talented, have side projects. Like Jackie Cruz is a singer and Danielle was just in “The Color Purple” and we all go support those projects for one another.

Oh, so you’re all just real friends.

Real friends! Yes, and they come to my [DJ] gigs. It really is one of the greatest things that’s happened to me.

I was surprised to hear you tell Ryan Seacrest that you only had three days to prepare for your nude OITNB scene. Normally what’s your fitness and health situation like?

For Orange I freaked out for five seconds but then I was like, “Wait, what am I gonna do?” A. She’s in prison, B. I thought about my character and whether I could see Stella working out in her room or doing sit-ups and push-ups in the yard and having a perfect ass… And I was like, no. I couldn’t see her doing that.

So anyway they gave me three days notice. I did a juice cleanse and I went to a couple SoulCycles just so I felt ready for it. I don’t even think it actually made a difference in my body. But almost every single person on that show has been naked. it’s just normal.

I mean, you probably didn’t even notice you were naked because you were so caught up in your lines and your role. I’m sure that it was freeing.

Yeah! It was freeing. I mean, I was thinking about the fact that Stella, who has so much confidence and so much sex appeal, doesn’t even look at her body. She’s busy doing her hair and knowing that Piper was in the bathroom and that was all that mattered to her. She wanted to make sure Piper saw her naked, basically. So I just had to be so free with it and open and not thinking about tensing my stomach or squeezing my butt. It was like, I’m in prison and the girl I like is in the shower right now. So I had to be confident and cocky and that’s what i did in the scene.

 Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth

Creative Direction by Prince + Jacob

Shot at Kitten Kay Sera’s Pink Palace

Styling by Law Roach + Zadrian Smith

Hair by Castillo using Joico

Makeup by Toby Fleischman using Urban Decay

Manicure by Jolene Brodeur at Tack Artist Group using Chanel

Bra by La Perla

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