Ruby Rose: Capturing “The Meg”

Ruby Rose joins a diverse cast of ocean researchers who meet their match in the way of a prehistoric Megalodon in “The Meg”. Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
Australian actress Ruby Rose talks real sharks, fake sharks, and being cast as Batwoman

Arturo Hilario
El Observador

The most recent blockbuster movie to hit theaters in this late Summer time is about a prehistoric, 60-foot shark that swam through the seas millions of years ago. The Megalodon was the unparalleled king of the sea, with teeth measuring 5 inches and a bite that could easily crush the bones of large ocean mammals.

In the film “The Meg”, a group of scientific researchers in a large, partially submerged oceanic facility owned by a billionaire (Rainn Wilson) are tasked with attempting to cross through what they believe is a “false” bottom of the ocean. Currently the deepest point in the world’s oceans is the Mariana Trench, which is around 36,000 feet in depth. In “The Meg”, the researchers take their high tech “gliders” past this depth and find a number of new species. One of them happens to be the not-so-new Megalodon, which is the point where things get blockbuster-y.    

On the research team is Jaxx, played by Ruby Rose. Her claim to fame is designing and overlooking all the tech involved in the research facility. Originally from Australia and no stranger to the ocean, Rose recently spoke to us about her experience on working on “The Meg”, as well as the recent casting news of her taking on the role of Batwoman for a CW Network DC Comics event later this year.

Hey Ruby, thank you for taking time to talk about “The Meg”. First off, how was it like being in this “monster movie”?

It was amazing, it was fun, we got to do amazing stunts, I had the best cast to work with an amazingly diverse cast with huge wealth of knowledge in acting and we got to shoot in New Zealand which is one of the most beautiful places in the world, do a lot of shooting and stunts in the ocean, and I love the ocean. For me, it was like a dream come true.

You’re from Australia, and there’s all sorts of critters there that are native to the country that aren’t seen anywhere else. Have you had experience with sharks or any animals native to there?

Yeah, I grew up surfing and spending a lot of time in the ocean, I definitely encountered sharks a lot when I was doing that, and I was never very fearful of them, I always admired them and thought they were stunning creatures, so for me I’ve never had the fear that a lot of people have. But you know, I just admire them.

Are you a fan of monster movies?

Yeah, well “Jaws” is one of my favorite films, and “Jurassic Park”. I love films in general, I mean that’s why I got into acting, anything that takes me out of reality for that 90 minutes or two hours where you get to just enjoy a different universe or a different existence or a different period of time, and learn something and feel something, or laugh or cry or be scared. I think it’s a really magical medium.

Could you tell me about your character in the film “The Meg”?

I play a character called Jaxx. She’s the lead engineer and she basically builds all the gliders and submersibles and all the technology and equipment to do the research on the animals that we find and the different species that we encounter, and she is also the kind of person that doesn’t necessarily trust you off the bat, but once she gets to know you she’s very “ride or die”. And I’ve kind of enjoyed playing that up when it came to Rainn Wilson’s character, not really vibing him and not really knowing what to think of him because he plays a billionaire who’s interested in monetizing the ocean, while we play the kind of characters that want to save the ocean.

What was your favorite thing about your character of Jaxx in the film? Is there a particular moment that you enjoyed being part of?

There were lots of standout moments, but I guess I enjoyed when we are all in the ocean and we’re all swimming and trying to escape the Meg, and it was sort of in between takes where we were laughing [and] making fun of each other, and then it’s like ‘action’ and we’re all back to being terrified and screaming and swallowing salt water. And I’m loving it because I love the ocean. But I’m laughing because Page Kennedy can’t swim, and he’s terrified that something’s gonna touch his leg. Rainn Wilson doesn’t like the ocean, he’s scared of kelp, so it was fun, it was a very big bonding moment for all of us.

Was there a physical model of the Megalodon shark that you were working alongside with or was it all CGI?

Well it’s funny we did more than half of it with a green screen, but we knew what the Meg looked like because in the research lab that was our set we had lots of pictures up of the Meg and diagrams and that, so we always knew what the size was comparable to a great white and anything else. So, when we were working on green screen it was a lot about what the director would tell us was happening, so we could react. We also had an animatronic Meg which was about half the size and half the body, so it was the head, the teeth, mouth [and] eyes up until about halfway to the body. So that allowed us to know what we would roughly be looking at. But the irony was that when we were using the green screen they’d often use a tennis ball for us to look at and you can’t think of anything smaller than a tennis ball to represent a megalodon.

So, during the premiere this past week of “The Meg” it was announced that you had been cast as Batwoman for a CW crossover event involving the show “Arrow”. That must have felt great. Can you tell me a bit about how it feels to step into those boots?

Yeah! It’s so exciting and overwhelming and amazing. Honestly it hasn’t really sunk in yet because you know, I’m on “The Meg” promo tour and premiere, so as soon as I’m done in the middle of the week I’ll finally sit down and actually think about this news and absorb it all and then get straight to work.

Well, for the last question, I just wanted to know why folks should check out your film “The Meg”?

It’s an amazing summer blockbuster, it’s the perfect film to go and grab some popcorn, take your friends, family. Know that you’re gonna have a great time and you’re gonna laugh. Bizarrely, it’s a feel-good shark movie. But, you’re gonna be scared and terrified, there’s romantic moments, there’s sweet moments, and gentle moments. Jon [Turteltaub], the Director is so good at tonally making things fun enough and scary enough, but never taking himself too seriously and never going too far and making it into a parody.

“The Meg” is out in theaters now.