What The World Needs Now Is More Ruby Rose

Photo: Andreas Branch/Variety/REX/Shutterstock.
We're not going to resort to the cliché 'girl-crush' thing to describe how we feel about Ruby Rose (why should we have to flag that it's an exception to heteronormative love?). And to simply call it a 'crush' does not do true justice to the respect and admiration we feel for the Orange Is The New Black and XXX: The Return Of Xander Cage star. No, what we'll say about Ruby Rose is straightforward and simple: She's cool as hell and we'd love to live in a world where she is our supreme leader, commander-in-chief kween. Is there an election for that? Can we make one?
We sat down with her excellency at an event for Urban Decay's new Vice lipstick mega-launch. Rose is the face of the collection and we talked about everything from her gender-queer identity to why she thinks a Ruby Rose lipstick is a thing that should exist. Um, obviously.
Check out our conversation below and get your nomination ballot ready — we're going to make this empress-of-the-universe thing a reality.
A lot of people in the US only know you from Orange Is The New Black, but you also did this emotionally raw music video about being gender-fluid. What do you want people to know about that work?
"I think if I had a choice to be remembered for just one thing it would be "Break Free." I wrote it, I produced it, I starred in it — it's my life story. I really am so proud of it because it came at a time in my life where I had had the idea for a long time but I'd never executed it. I couldn't get any jobs, I couldn't get an agent or manager, and I was like 'well, I can't sit around expecting to be discovered at Starbucks.' That's not what happens necessarily these days, you really have to work for it. I just spent a day and a half doing it, got a friend of mine to put the song to it, and it went viral. It changed a lot of lives and it changed my life so I think that's what I'm the most proud of." You've obviously been an outspoken advocate of LGBTQ rights. We're definitely talking about it more openly, but how do you think we can all progress even more from there?
"I think what [we're] doing right is that more and more I'm seeing gay, lesbian, trans, gender-fluid people on mainstream media and [in] 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 — it's not just actresses and singers, where we kind of get a little bit more freedom to have these kinds of stories. We need to keep telling these stories and get more realistic portrayals."
Did you ever see yourself as the spokesperson of a brand?
"That wasn't the end goal in any way but there [have] always been certain collaborations I've seen in the past that just [felt] organic and [looked] organic. Who doesn't want to be on a billboard or on the side of a bus? It's such a monumental thing to be able to experience. There are certain brands that I adore and I'd love to work with them, and Urban is one of them. The fact that we got to connect and discuss the idea of [my] being really the first-ever face of the brand is so groundbreaking."
Have you always been a fan of Urban?
"Yeah, always. I first got introduced to it by my makeup artist and it was just the mascara and I was like 'whoa, this is crazy I love this.' I'm not from here obviously and I didn't know about it when I was in Australia, but when I got here I started hearing about it more and more. [My makeup artist] said I had to know about this brand. The next thing I know I'm taking a meeting with [them] and she's like 'well, tell them that's pretty much all we put on your face, so it'll work.'"
So mascara was your first product ever from Urban, but what is your current favorite?
"My favorite, favorite thing [right now] is that beautiful vault of 100 lipsticks upstairs in my room. I can't think past that because I've never seen something so beautifully packaged. And then to open it up and see 100 shades of lipstick — I never even wore lipstick every day. I'm more of an every other day [kind of person]. But now that I have so many colors to get through I have to find a color each day. I don't know which one. Today I chose Slow Burn but I tried on like four other colors first. But the mascara is still a staple for me, and the Brow Beater because eyebrows are daily for me as well. They're my kind of main squeezes."
What is your personal beauty philosophy?
"Beauty is a lot about how you feel, and I feel if you take care of your health and sleep and drink water and [avoid] sugar and stay away from those things I feel like that's when you're going to feel the most beautiful."
When we announced that you were going to be a spokesperson for Urban Decay one of the first things that we got was people saying, "Is she creating a collection?" If that was a thing that came about, what would be your dream product to create?
"I think it would be a lip product and I'm really just saying that because of my name. I feel like if your name is Ruby Rose you don't create an eyeliner. You know, Ruby Rose mascara? A lip gloss, a lip balm, a just has that kind of sound to it. And also I think the colors are very fun to play with with lipstick; now, obviously, I have 100 of them and I'm just aware of how fun that is. Also I love experimenting with eyeshadows and everything. It could even be a Ruby Rose blush? I'm just being really rosy! I think everyone would like to design their own lipstick..." All of those Instagram posts of your Justin Bieber hair spoof got so much attention. What spurred that joke in the first place?
"I have this amazing colorist called Brant and he got my hair green. It [involved] bleaching it and then we tried about five different shades of green, a couple of shades of blue. He had to work on all these different tones and then we then dyed my hair every week so it would stay fresh for [XXX]. So he had to try taking out three months of green and blue ­without my hair falling out of my head. One of the processes was just eliminating the color with a color lifter, and when he did it I literally had my head down and was like, 'Oh my god, I feel like Justin Bieber.' My hair was just doing what his was doing at the time and I just thought, 'I'm going to be cheeky and post it and see how many people actually think that I would do that and think that was normal.' "He's my friend, I totally know that he exists, and I'm going to post this picture of his identical hair and be like, 'Hey guys, I have a really new, ground­breaking hairstyle that nobody's seen,' and watch people be like, 'Wait..' I was going to leave it overnight so I could really get people staring [but] after an hour people just freaked and I was like, 'Alright guys come on, you gave me no credit?' So I had to post a picture of me with brown hair and be like, 'It was just a joke.' I don't know whether it backfired or not but a lot of my jokes backfire." Anything else we can look forward to with Urban Decay?
"As you heard probably earlier, Wende (Zomnir, Urban Decay's founder) and I were just having a chat about some of the ideas we came up with for our next shoot and we're just really excited because we're going to take it to the next level."

More from Celebs & Influencers

R29 Original Series