In the new movie The Doorman, out actress Ruby Rose ( TV's Orange Is the New Black and Batwoman; movies such as John Wick: Chapter 2 and Pitch Perfect 3 ) stars as the titular character in an action film that pits her character, former Marine Ali, against a group of ruthless art thieves, led by the legendary actor Jean Reno.
Talking with Windy City Times, Rose discussed gender norms, working with Reno and if only LGBTQ+ actors should tackle queer roles.
Windy City Times: One of the [distinguishing] things about The Doorman is that gender norms are challenged, down to the name of the film. Was that a conscious choice on anyone's behalf?
Ruby Rose: Yes, in the writing and the script it was a conscious decision. In playing Ally, there's a fine line between letting that affect me or ignoring it; for instance, when someone asks "The doorman is a woman?,"she doesn't let something like that affect her. She's just a girlbut she's also a skilled, highly trained Marine. I liked that they included [that character's question], but I also like that it's not a huge thing. For some people, it won't register at all.
WCT: What was it like working with Jean?
RR: It was amazing. I got the script and I saw that Ryuhei Kitamura was directing, and I love himand then I saw that Jean was attached, and I said "Yep, although I should probably read the script first."
Jean was phenomenal. He's a legend. There are always actors and directors you want to work with, and Jean is one of them.
WCT: You have been in several action movies. Are you aiming to be the next big action starfollowing Vin Diesel or Jason Stathamand then with the next up-and-comer, people will say that person is the next Ruby Rose?
RR: Yeah… It's interesting because I love action; growing up I did jujitsu and martial arts, and I boxed. I think action films are fun, and I love making things real and believable. It's something I'm good at, but I feel that there's only a very short list of women that they'll put into action films.
But I need to be invested in the film as a story and in my character, rather than "Oh, it's an action movie." I've never played the same character twice. What is the reason for the action? Does it make sense? I equally loved doing Pitch Perfect, however, and I loved doing The Meg. Growing up, there were very few womenAngelina Jolie might have been the firstwho were the leads in action films and kicked butt. I thought, "This is so cool." Now, there are women who want to be action stars who can see me or Charlize Theron or Michelle Rodriguez.
I definitely love acting in all genres, and I look forward to doing more in different areas.
WCT: There's a school of thought that says that LGBTQ actors should be the only ones taking on [queer] roles. What are your thoughts about that?
RR: I know it can be controversial, but I agree with Cate Blanchett on this. I don't want to butcher her quote, but she basically said, "I would die fighting for the freedom to act." She played Bob Dylan, okay? I agree; I don't want to just play the gay character. I think it's important to have representation [across the board].
I think it's the responsibility of the actor. If you're a straight actor and you read a script and find out your character's gayif you feel you can't do it, then don't. But if you read it and identify with the character because it's just love, then do it. I think by saying that only gay people should play gay … I mean, there are people who aren't out who are actors. What if you're not out but you really want to play a particular character?
The only time I disagree with this is when it comes to transgender characters and actors because it's an entirely different story. It's not just about love; it's about identity.
The Doorman is out on digital, On Demand, DVD and Blu-Ray.