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 aÂ 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?â€ and one of theÂ characters â€” sheâ€™s so funny. SheÂ plays one of the older characters. But she said that when sheÂ heard that she was doing “Orange Is the New Black,”Â she told her manager, “I donâ€™t know anythingÂ about fashion.â€ AndÂ her manager was like, â€œItâ€™s not about fashion. Itâ€™s about prison.â€ And she was like, “Oh, thatâ€™s more up my alley!â€
A lot of cast members went into it knowing that it would beÂ good because of the script, but nobody had any idea about how well itâ€™d be received byÂ likeâ€¦ the whole entire world. And I think that coming into season three, where Iâ€™m already theÂ biggest fan of the show, I know all the characters. Iâ€™ve followed all the back stories.
I also kind of got to know everyone really quickly on the first few days andÂ knew where they studied and what they had done in the past and it was a big deal for me. IÂ mean, I hadnâ€™t had a job in like two years. I slugged it out here [in LA]. I tried to get managers andÂ agents out here, even just my foot in the door for an audition and it just wasnâ€™t moving.
So you lived in LA when you were casted?
Yeah,Â and I couldn’t get anything. AndÂ that was good because it made me really fight for it. IÂ mean in Australia, I had this great 10-year career and I thought I could pick up where I left off, but itÂ just doesnâ€™t work like that. So it was good it made me get back on the grind and I made a shortÂ film, â€œBreak Free,â€ and then that went viral. Iâ€™m pretty sure thatâ€™s how OITNB sort of found outÂ that I existed.
And it was at the same time that they were casting Stella. So IÂ did an audition, gotÂ the job and then I was nervous all the way up until I flew there, but mind you I found out I got theÂ job only a few days before i had to start shooting. ItÂ wasnâ€™t like I had six months to be nervous. IÂ got the job and they were like, “Cool, Iâ€™ll fly you in next week,” and I was like, “Oh, okay.”
And then when IÂ 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 thatÂ experience with another person. Like,Â â€œOh my god, youâ€™re joining the crew as well? ThisÂ is a ride ofÂ a lifetime.â€
The cast seems to be so many real women who are so talented and smart.
Itâ€™s so silly because you hear from other actors that if you go into a predominantly female castÂ that sometimes there will be some kind of beef or jealously with someone. AndÂ you know, evenÂ though thereâ€™s almost 40 cast members on that show, thereâ€™s just none of that.
Thatâ€™s insane because you all film together so much. I mean, youâ€™re all in every scene.
Yeah! EvenÂ if weâ€™re just in the background because itâ€™s prison. EvenÂ if Iâ€™m in the back, I meanÂ you might not even see me in the shot but itâ€™s important that weâ€™re all there. Where elseÂ would we be? Weâ€™re in prison (laughs). ButÂ everyone gets along so well and supports eachÂ other.
A lot of people in that show, because they are so talented, have side projects. LikeÂ Jackie Cruz is a singer and Danielle was just in “The Color Purple” and we all go support those projects forÂ one another.
Oh, so youâ€™re all just real friends.
Real friends! Yes,Â and they come to my [DJ] gigs. It really is one of the greatest things thatâ€™sÂ happened to me.
I was surprised to hear you tell Ryan Seacrest that you only had three days to prepare forÂ your nude OITNB scene. Normally what’s your fitness and health situation like?
ForÂ Orange I freaked out for five seconds but then I was like, “Wait, what am I gonna do?â€ A. Sheâ€™s inÂ prison, B. I thought about my character and whether I could see Stella working out in her room orÂ doing sit-ups and push-ups in the yard and having a perfect ass… And I was like, no. I couldnâ€™t seeÂ her doing that.
So anyway they gave me three days notice. I did a juice cleanse and I went to aÂ couple SoulCycles just so I felt ready for it. I donâ€™t even think it actually made a difference in myÂ body. ButÂ almost every single person on that show has been naked. itâ€™s just normal.
IÂ mean, you probably didnâ€™t even notice you were naked because you were so caught upÂ in your lines and your role. Iâ€™m sure that it was freeing.
Yeah! It was freeing. I mean, I was thinking about the fact that Stella, who has so much confidenceÂ and so much sex appeal, doesnâ€™t even look at her body. She’sÂ busy doing her hair and knowingÂ that Piper was in the bathroom and that was all that mattered to her. SheÂ wanted to makeÂ sure Piper saw her naked, basically. SoÂ I just had to be so free with it and open and notÂ thinking about tensing my stomach or squeezing my butt. It was like, Iâ€™m in prison and the girl IÂ like is in the shower right now. So I had to be confident and cocky and thatâ€™s what i did in theÂ scene.
Â Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth
Creative Direction by Prince + Jacob
Shot at Kitten Kay Seraâ€™s Pink Palace
Bra by La Perla