Ruby Rose Tells Us What She Really Thinks Of Lesbian Characters On TV

Photo: Steven A Henry/Getty Images.
We thought our obsession with Ruby Rose had reached peak levels in 2015 when she became everyone's favorite inmate, Stella Carlin, at Litchfield Penitentiary on Orange Is the New Black. But now, here she is, renewing our devotion not only with kick-ass roles in upcoming action films (xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, John Wick: Chapter Two, and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter), but with her contributions to improving media portrayals of the LGBTQ community.

Rose told Refinery29 that while Hollywood's representations of LGBTQ characters and their stories are improving, she still remembers the first time she saw a lesbian portrayed on television (a rarity at the time) and how she felt when the character was abruptly killed off — something that would have never happened to the other female characters on the show.

"I think it's just that we need to keep telling these stories and get more realistic portrayals," said Rose, who recently spoke to R29 about her role as a spokesperson for Urban Decay.

The 30-year-old Australian actress explained how much LGBT representation has changed in the entertainment industry, what roles she hopes to play next, and why she's terrified of tidal waves.
You've obviously been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights. What do you think mainstream media is doing right and what do you think they really need to do better?
"I think what they're doing right is that more and more I'm seeing gay, lesbian, trans, gender-fluid people on mainstream media and films. I'm reading scripts coming through with gay characters and lesbian characters and I think that's amazing. I think that really strong people are coming out and telling their story. I think that it's unbelievable.

"I think it's not that anything's being done wrong, aside from the political stuff, but within the media, I think it's just that we need to keep telling these stories and get more realistic portrayals [on TV]. I think, there's been a history, especially when I used to watch television, that the lesbian or gay character would always have to die in like three episodes by [something] miraculous.

"In my case I was obsessed with this character on this soap opera. I was like in love with her, I was 9 years old, and I had never seen a lesbian on TV, [so] finally I was like, 'Oh my god. They exist, there's someone else out there.' Then in an episode she died from like a tidal wave that only wiped out the one lesbian. I was too young then to understand that the odds of that were really slim. I was just like, 'Oh my god! Tidal waves are the biggest fear of my life now!' You know, that's also still happening but to a lesser degree. Even if you go back five years, 10 years, every time the staple lesbian character had to either die or get killed or something horrible would happen to them or they'd end up in prison. But maybe they all end up in Litchfield!"

You've got a lot of action films coming up. Do you feel like those are a lot of the parts you get offered, or are you getting offered a wide range of roles?
"I definitely get a lot more action than any other genre for now. I think that just lends itself to the fact that I am a physical person and I'm super fit; I love extreme sports. From what they can tell from interviews and social media, it's that I'm always posting about riding motorcycles or on skateboards or whatever, so it's kind of an obvious fit. And I used to be a boxer. There's all these different reasons why a physical film would make sense, but I do have three coming out and although they're very different, one's sort of apocalyptic which is Resident Evil. I kind of just want to do part of the last Resident Evil with Milla [Jovovich] because I just love her and I was like, 'Where do I sign?' Then John Wick is more of an assassin-type underworld kind of theme. And then xXx is extreme sports and very much an ensemble cast of Samuel L. Jackson and Toni Collette, who's like my idol."

Toni Collette is such an interesting casting choice for that movie.
"Yeah! You don't understand, she's so good. I've always wanted to do a film with Toni. I didn't think it would happen and I certainly didn't think it would happen in xXx. It did and she is just... I love her so much. All three are action, but I had to learn different skills for each one.

"In theory, I don't think I would do another action, I think I'll wait. I want to do a raw, gritty, emotional piece that people will watch and go, 'Oh wow, we didn't know she was capable of that.' Something where I can put my acting chops in and a bit of my life on the line, which I've been able to do in different ways on the ones so far but not as much as I've [wanted to]. Once I've done that, I'd like to experiment with comedy and romance and all those different genres, and then still be able to do action. But I don't to just do action so much that everybody thinks that's all I'm ever going to do."
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