As the face of Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply’s spring campaign, Ruby Rose presents an ideal modern-day muse for the brand. The DJ with the razor-sharp cheekbones spent her early days modeling, and now has gained considerable recognition for roles in film and television. (The follower counts don’t lie.)
On Friday, Macy’s invited Rose’s San Francisco fans to the city’s Union Square for a free sunset concert. Before playing an energetic mix, during which she often climbed down to high-five members of the crowd, the Australian sat for a chat with WWD about her growing list of titles, and why she really doesn’t consider herself a model after all — blame Gemma Ward.
WWD: Early in your career, you interviewed musical artists for MTV. Is it weird now that the tables are turned and you’re constantly being interviewed?
Ruby Rose: It’s not because really early on I was an ambassador for so many different causes and so many different things. I had a fashion label and a radio show and was hosting my own TV show; I had a style show.
I was a VJ to begin with, so I had a good year of interviewing artists, but then I would spend half my time being interviewed about half my projects, and the other time, other people.
It was good because it made me a better interviewer because I knew what people didn’t like being asked, and what they enjoy being asked, so I am super used to it.
WWD: What question do you like to be asked?
R.R.: I like them when you’re not expecting something. I used to always throw in random questions. I’d have to ask about their single and their writing process, which I know is every artist’s most-hated question, like, “Well what was ,your process?” And it’s. like, “Well, I wrote this album.” And then at the end I would throw in, like, “So, Seinfeld or Simpsons?” and they’d be so thrown, because everything else could be autopilot. All my greatest moments were from the most sporadic questions.
WWD: So, Simpsons or Seinfeld?
R.R.: Simpsons. I didn’t have a TV growing up, but I watched it after I grew up. I started watching it when I was like 16 or 17. I remember thinking all TV was black and white, but that was because we had a really old, broken TV. And then I went to a friend’s house and I was like, woah, your TV is like, crazy! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That was my first show.
WWD: You’re a model, actress, DJ, even clothing designer and makeup developer. Which title do you prefer?
R.R.: Just actress. Well, I’m not a makeup designer — yet — but I am the face of Urban Decay, which is phenomenal, and I’m such an advocate for the brand and love it so much. In the future I think we’re going to work on more collaborative stuff, so that’s cool. I’m definitely not a model. I just get to, in the course of what I do, especially with acting and dressing up and getting into different characters and doing one-off campaigns with brands I really love, I get to be a model for a day. I walked on one catwalk once, and it was the most frightening thing, because you’re just putting one foot in front of the other, but it was pretty mortifying.
You know Gemma Ward? It was her first ever catwalk, and my first ever catwalk, and I was, like, “I’m not meant to be here, but you are.” She was the most beautiful person I’d ever seen. She needed the whole hallway just for her legs to fit. I was like half her height, being like, hmmm, this is not the career for me.
WWD: What do you do on your day off?
R.R.: I like to watch films. Obviously new films and see what directors I want to work with, see what my favorite actors are doing. And I like to spend time with my dogs.
WWD: I see them on Instagram.
R.R.: That’s usually when they have begged me to be on Instagram, when they are speaking human, which my dogs do sometimes. I have two, and one dog who is really weird. Rue will stare at me and ask me to take a photo of her. If I take my phone out, she will stop in her tracks, and I can video her, and she will be so still that you’ll think it’s a photo, because she is waiting for her special photo to be taken. My other one is not in to being photographed. She is more aloof.
WWD: She is also not a model.
R.R.: She considers herself to be more an underground artist.