'Orange Is the New Black' star Ruby Rose reflects on the greatest year of her life

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BY: GIBSON JOHNS

Ruby Rose just had "one of the greatest years" of her life.

The Australian actress, model and DJ has been a star in her home country for years, but broke out in 2015 for her portrayal of Stella on the third season of Netflix's hit show "Orange Is the New Black." Though she has a slew of upcoming acting roles -- "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter," "John Wick 2" and the animated "Sheep'n'Wolves" -- Rose's next big project is a high-profile modeling gig: She's currently the face of Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply's Spring 2016 campaign.

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Speaking exclusively to AOL, Rose told us about her experience of shooting the campaign for Denim & Supply, joining the "Orange" family and comparing the price of fame in Australia and America. Throughout the conversation, the rising star was eloquent, funny and down-to-earth, providing a level-headed perspective on her rise to the top, ever-evolving style and affinity for a wide variety of roles.

See photos of Ruby Rose from her breakout year in 2015:
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'Orange Is the New Black' star Ruby Rose reflects on the greatest year of her life
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 01: Actress Ruby Rose attends the ONE Campaign and (RED)Âs concert to mark World AIDS Day, celebrate the incredible progress thatÂs been made in the fights against extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS, and to honor the extraordinary leaders, dedicated activists, and passionate partners who have made that progress possible. At Carnegie Hall on December 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The ONE Campaign)
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 09: Ruby Rose Performs At The Grand Opening Of ICON MIAMI on January 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: Ruby Rose (R), Australian model, DJ, recording artist and actress poses during the UFC 193 event at Etihad Stadium on November 15, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 10: Ruby Rose arrives ahead of the 2015 GQ Men Of The Year Awards on November 10, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)
MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 25: Ed Sheeran and Ruby Rose speak onstage at the MTV EMA's 2015 at Mediolanum Forum on October 25, 2015 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 25: Ruby Rose speaks onstage at the MTV EMA's 2015 at Mediolanum Forum on October 25, 2015 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 25: Host Ruby Rose poses with fans the MTV EMA's 2015 at Mediolanum Forum on October 25, 2015 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Actress Ruby Rose attends Kari Feinstein's Style Lounge at Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas on September 17, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: Ruby Rose performs at Temple Nightclub on August 21, 2015 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for Temple Nightclub)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20: Actress/DJ Ruby Rose performs at the Surrender Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas early August 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Wynn Las Vegas)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15: Ruby Rose is seen on July 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - JULY 08: Ruby Rose visits 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on July 8, 2015 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Ruby Rose is seen on July 04, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Nancy Rivera/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 06: Actress/Dj Ruby Rose is seen outside 'Today Show' on July 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Actress Ruby Rose DJ's at Pacha's Independence Day bash on July 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 29: Ruby Rose is seen at LAX. on June 29, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12: Actress Ruby Rose attends the 'Orange is the New Black' season 3 premiere party benefiting the Women's Prison Association at The Ainsworth on June 12, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 15: Actress Ruby Rose attends The Max Mara 2015 Women In Film Face Of The Future event at Chateau Marmont on June 15, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Max Mara)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12: Singer/Actress Ruby Rose is seen walking in Soho on June 12, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Ruby Rose attends the 'Orangecon' Fan Event at Skylight Clarkson SQ. on June 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
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Check out our full conversation with Ruby Rose below:

You've done a lot of modeling over the years, and I'm sure you've been offered a ton of different opportunities from a variety of brands. What about Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply felt like the right fit for you?

It came at the time when "Orange" had really come out and it was really well-received. I had a lot of different people approaching me about doing different things (which was amazing) but this was the one where I knew people that had done previous campaigns that had loved it, like Cody Simpson and Hailey Baldwin and Avicii, so I knew it was a good fit. I knew how collaborative it is and that everyone has a say in what they were doing. It's a really artistic approach to utilizing the spokeswoman's skills and applying them to Denim & Supply's aesthetic. I immediately said yes and we had a meeting about what kind of vibe we wanted to do right away.

We [wanted to embody] the New York scene with a Williamsburg/Brooklyn vibe. It just seemed like the right fit. It was awesome. We did a couple of days of shooting and every single day we just made it up as we went along. It was a question of, "What do we feel? What are we vibing? Where would you wear this? What is authentic? What's real?"


Have you always felt a natural connection to fashion? Or is it something you came into over time?

I didn't notice until I got into the entertainment industry how much I do have such an affiliation with fashion and that type of expression. I was already doing it innately based on trial and error -- with a lot of error. I was always very eclectic and I did a lot of exploring into different niche outlets. I tried everything and over time I worked out what worked for me and what made me the most comfortable.

I have a very androgynous kind of style with a kind of rock-chic vibe. It sounds cliche, but I do just sort of love wearing band tees, skinny tees and leather jackets. Fashion is a huge part of my life and when we do red carpets I work very hard on what I want to wear. It's a big part of my life -- it really is just like art.

Dreaming of those days I wasn't in the great Gatsby.

A photo posted by Ruby Rose (@rubyrose) on

And then I was never allowed back inside E! @taylorswift 😹

A photo posted by Ruby Rose (@rubyrose) on

@denimandsupplyrl X RR

A photo posted by Ruby Rose (@rubyrose) on


You touched on your ability and tendency to embody different looks, which seems to be something that carried over to the roles you choose to portray -- you've taken on a wide range of projects. Is that a conscious decision you made for your career, to take on diverse roles?

It's definitely a decision. When you get a script, you have two options that really depend on the director and the role: Most often, the director wants you to make a character your own and decide how she would speak, how she would move and how she would dress. I like to have a lot of say into what my characters wear, and I recently booked another film that I'm creating the costume for now: She's an entirely different character. It's a lot of fun being able to make those decisions because you're turning into someone else and you really want to get into your character -- and a big part of that is fashion.

And we do that every day as people, too. If I were to wear a dress to a red carpet, for some reason the way I stand and talk is different from if I wear jeans and flat tops.


Talk to me about the experience of filming "Orange Is the New Black" last season. 2015 was truly your breakout year -- what was that whole experience like?

Last year was the greatest year of my life. For starters, I've made friends that I'll have with me for the rest of my life and I've learned skills that I'll have for the rest of my life. The biggest thing that came out of that was that it really helped me break into the American market, which is an incredibly hard thing to do. And getting to work with that level of talent in all sectors for my biggest role ever in the States is nothing short of a blessing.

Every single person that works on that show is so brilliantly gifted in what they do that it just rubs off on you. The quintessential thing on that show is that all of the women support each other. That's the biggest different between that show and some other shows that are out there: It's not a common thing for a show that has that many women — acting, directing, writing — all get along as well as the family at 'Orange' do. It's true; we really do all get along so well. Everyone is so good at giving each other feedback and running lines with one another and talking about what we think our characters are doing next.

The other thing is that, because we only get the scripts a week at a time, you never knew what's going to happen [with your character]. We would sit and have these conspiracy theories about what was happening, and at one point we were all convinced that my character was in there to kill Laura Prepon's character [Alex Vause]. You just don't know until you get the next script. It was the most amazing experience of my life.

RR RR

A photo posted by Ruby Rose (@rubyrose) on

HO HO HOMO thanks @lanashawbitches best Xmas sweater ever

A photo posted by Ruby Rose (@rubyrose) on

Scar face. #JW

A photo posted by Ruby Rose (@rubyrose) on

A photo posted by Ruby Rose (@rubyrose) on


You mentioned the importance of breaking into the American entertainment industry -- how does fame differ in Australia and America?

In Australia, one of the things that can be difficult is that it's a smaller market, which means there are less of us there, so we get more attention — like, unwanted attention — and it's a lot harder to go out and do what you want to do like walk your dog and do other everyday things.

You're also always being written about. Whereas in the States, there's an abundance of people in entertainment so you can kind of go more unnoticed and go about your life because there are so many people doing the same thing. It's the hub of entertainment, and if you can make it over here then you've truly made it, but I actually feel less pressure now than I did back home.

I definitely feel like there's a lot of support here -- not that there wasn't back home -- but I feel a lot of love here right now and it really gives me my focus, drive and passion.

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