Site's Network
Welcome to Rose McIver Online, an exclusive and in-depth fansite for the talented actress Rose McIver. Serving fans since 2009, we are the longest running and most extensive fansite dedicated to Rose.

Rose is known for her roles in projects such as "Once Upon a Time", "Maddigan's Quest" and "Power Rangers R.P.M", and can currently be seen in the CW television show "iZombie" as the lead character Olivia 'Liv' Moore.

We aim to bring you all the latest news and images relating to Rose's acting career, and strive to remain 100% gossip-and-paparazzi-free. - Sara, Neide & Emily
Sara   /   Mar 13,2014   /   0 Comments / 2 views

Huge news Rose fans!! Rose has been cast as the lead in a new CW drama pilot called “iZombie”! Read more below…

Rose McIver, who plays Tinker Bell on Once Upon A Time, has been cast as the lead in Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero’s CW drama pilot iZombie, from Warner Bros TV. Based on the DC comic, iZombie is a supernatural crime procedural that centers on med student-turned-zombie Olivia “Liv” Moore (McIver), who takes a job in the coroner’s office to gain access to the brains she must reluctantly eat to maintain her humanity. But with each brain she consumes, she inherits the corpse’s memories. With the help of her medical examiner boss and a police detective, she solves homicide cases in order to quiet the disturbing voices in her head. McIver, repped by WME and Principato Young, has been recurring on Showtime’s Masters of Sex. (source)

Other articles on the new project:

Sara   /   Mar 09,2014   /   0 Comments / 1 views

Rose appeared on her friends’ Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld’s podcast show “If I where you” again! Listen to it below…

Our friends Jeff “Rosie” Rosenberg and Rose “Rosie” McIver join us to discuss stealing, scamming, and sleepy sex.

This episode is brought to you by! Looking to start your own business or deal with ANY business related problem? Check out and use coupon code “Jake” or “Amir.”

Sara   /   Mar 09,2014   /   0 Comments / 5 views

Rose McIver is sprinkling her pixie dust all over Hollywood these days.

After a winter break, Sunday marks the return of ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” on which the New Zealand native charms as Tinker Bell, the feistiest fairy in the Enchanted Forest. The iconic character is a contrast from McIver’s role on “Masters of Sex.” On the Showtime series set in the 1950s, she plays Vivian Scully, the daughter of the university’s provost (played by Beau Bridges) and an impeccably dressed and tressed candy striper who seems hell-bent on landing a doctor husband.

Further, the 26-year-old is currently shooting “Petals on the Wind,” Lifetime’s upcoming TV movie sequel to its hit adaptation of V.C. Andrews’s “Flowers in the Attic.” She’s playing the starring role of Cathy, taking over for “Mad Men’s” Kiernan Shipka, who played the younger version of the character in the first film. “Petals” picks up 10 years after the first film.

While it seems she’s suddenly everywhere, McIver isn’t exactly a newcomer. At the age of 3, she appeared in the Oscar-nominated film “The Piano” and her memory of the experience is a funny, leg-crossing one. She’s also spent time fighting crime, TV style, as a Power Ranger, wearing the yellow suit for the series in 2009. So we hit her with some Big Questions…

1. There have been many famous Tinker Bells. Who and what inspired your version on “Once Upon a Time?”

What was great was when I auditioned, I didn’t know it was for Tinker Bell. I thought I was just auditioning for a fairy. Because of that, I didn’t bring any of those ideas to my initial performance. So it’s been a nice fusion of a completely original portrayal of a fairy, and merging in some of the original ideas of Tinker Bell. When I looked into J. M. Barrie’s creation of her, he envisioned her, because of her pint size, to only be able to house one emotion at a time. So she’s either incredibly jealous or incredibly elated or incredibly encouraging. That’s been fun being able to have an almost manic element to her, where she can flip and become very stroppy at the drop of a hat. She doesn’t symbolize one thing or one virtue; she’s much more three-dimensional than I had expected.

2. And, of course, your Tinker Bell has a cool New Zealand accent. How did you convince them to keep it for the part?

What’s cool is because the story is universal — everybody from all different countries grew up reading it — the “Once Upon a Time” creators were open to keeping it a really universal and global production. The characters can be from all over the world; they’re not locked into being American or British. They have Australian accents on the show, and now, this is the first Kiwi accent that they’ve had. It’s a nice way to unite and tie in audience members from all over the world into a very universal subject matter.

3. Your “Masters of Sex” character, Vivian, is one of the most marriage-minded girls we’ve seen on TV. She’s 18, but so excited to walk down the aisle that she ruined her own marriage proposal.

I know [laughs]. But I feel like I do know those girls. It seems like a dated idea, but when I look around at some of my friends, it’s an absolutely essential thing for them in their lives that they really have counted down the days, and almost spoiled the moment, because it’s so anticipated. But, yeah, it’s funny — in some ways, it’s such a 1950s show, and it’s really presenting people’s images and understandings and psychology at that time. But when you look around, some of people’s mindsets today can still be very comparable. On the show, you see everybody wears 1950s costumes and speaking sometimes in a dialogue that feels a little out of date. But the things that they’re talking about are still issues that I feel are not necessarily resolved today, and they were generating a conversation that is still very much in the works. It’s not something that’s irrelevant, which is great.

4. Your character’s parents are played by Beau Bridges and Allison Janney, making it the second time you’ve worked with Allison, who also appeared in the movie “Brightest Star.” What have you learned from her?

Allison is definitely one of the people I’ve looked up to most since starting work in the United States for sure. I just really admire her choices. I admire how down-to-earth and grounded she is. She’s incredibly professional. I really look up to her a lot And she’s a lot of fun. She knows that she’s lucky to do what she does for living. As for this role, it’s really inspiring to think that it doesn’t matter how experienced you are, you can still take new roles and push your boundaries, and find new characters to play. So that’s been something I’ve looked up to.

5. Any funny reactions to the title of the show from people who didn’t know the premise — that it’s a show about sex research pioneers Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson?

My mom and dad [laughs]! I told them on Skype. I remember vividly — I was so excited and I phoned to say, “Guys, you’ll never believe this. I got the role in this great cable show. It’s called ‘Master of Sex.’” And I just saw their faces drop. I hadn’t thought about the fact that to phone my parents on the other side of the world, who let their little girl go live in Los Angeles, to get that phone call and not know the context was probably pretty terrifying. But when I told them it was about Masters and Johnson and the research and explained the role, they were really excited for me. But certainly, the title has a shock impact that can be little throwing to some people. And I have to explain to people that Vivian is not one of the racy subjects or part of the experiments. She’s the virgin and everything comes with that [laughs].

6. Do you still have your yellow Power Ranger costume and, if so, please tell us that you wear it in public from time to time? Or Halloween?

I wish. I absolutely wish. It’s funny, I was in Austin around Halloween this year for the Austin Film Festival and I saw a bunch of people dressed up as Power Rangers walking down the street in a drunken state. I never realized going into that project how much of a cult following it had. In New Zealand, it’s actually banned on screen for being too violent — weirdly because compared to some of the other stuff that’s on screen. I mean: It’s rubber monsters! What’s the risk of that being carried out in the playground? [Laughs.] So I didn’t realize its impact until coming and spending time in the States. It was so much fun to make. It was a job where I worked with five of my best friends, they had a lot of New Zealand cast on the show, and we flew around and fought rubber monsters for months on end. It’s kind of a dream gig. And, no, I never have dressed up as a Power Ranger for Halloween. I feel like I spent enough time in that spandex to last a lifetime.

7. Were you a girl who had V.C. Andrews books on her nightstand?

I actually had never read these books, but so many of my friends and family had, so I wasn’t unfamiliar with the series. The limited time between casting and when production began meant that reading the books was not a realistic goal if I wanted to juggle all the other preparation I wanted to do as well. I spent a lot of time doing ballet, developing Cathy’s emotional arc throughout this story, and building relationships with the cast and crew I would be working with. And I always work via Skype with a coach and mentor back in New Zealand — Miranda Harcourt — so I made time for that as well. Unfortunately, reading the books will have to wait.

8. You’ve just started filming, so how is it going? And, because it’s an intense role, what do you do to shake it off at the end of the day?

So far I have been really enjoying finding the truth in each scene. Because Kiernan Shipka already did a fantastic job bringing Cathy to life, I am able to draw from her performance as well as creating the character with the supremely talented director I’m working with, Karen Moncrieff. [As for shaking it off], hot baths! Not only is the emotional component of this project really taxing, but there is also the physical component of ballet training. So I have been making sure I find time to wind down with a hot bath and a cup of tea at the end of long days. It also helps that my fellow cast and crew have a great sense of humor and strong work ethics, so we are able to keep spirits up in a wonderful way.

9. Your biggest movie role that Americans will probably know was in fellow New Zealander Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones.” What was that experience like?

I remember that it was my first time working abroad. I remember how thrilled I was to be coming with a group of awesome filmmakers from my own country who hadn’t worked directing and making films abroad either. Although they were so experienced and capable, it was their first time adventuring overseas to make a project like that. So there was something really nice about embarking on it with a bunch of other people on their first adventure like that too, and we made something that I feel is really special. I made some lifelong friends on it, and I learned a lot. It was quite hectic — it was during the writer’s strike. And it was everybody working away from home, but I was just lucky that I had such a positive experience and met wonderful people and learned a lot.

10. What, if anything, do you remember about being in “The Piano”?

My most vivid memory, it’s actually one of my first memories, I was three and I was the youngest angel in the show production. And I remember being absolutely desperate for the toilet. I needed to wee really badly. So I was crossing my legs when I was walking down. I remember just thinking: This is so unjust that this little girl is desperate for the toilet. And they’re saying, “Aww — it looks really cute! She looks just like a girl in a school production. Keep her like that.” And I remember being like, “Oh, I will never let myself need to go to the toilet like that again.” That’s the only memory I have!

11. You started acting so young. When did you decide for yourself, “Hey, I love acting. I’d like to keep doing this forever”?

Well, to be honest, it’s still a decision that I make every day. I don’t ever want to feel like my whole life is laid out before me and I know exactly what’s gonna happen. That would be so boring. What I love about my work is the variety and not knowing what’s coming next, and being able to embrace something for a period of time and know something new is going to follow. I also know that I want to do other things in my life as well. I’d love to write, and I think about teaching. But at the moment, what feels right is acting. I’m really fortunate that I am in continuous work and I love what I do. And I think that there’s a reason that it keeps happening. So while that keeps happening, I will be thrilled — and feel lucky — to keep doing it.

“Once Upon a Time” returns Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. (Original Source)

Sara   /   Mar 02,2014   /   0 Comments / 1 views

Rose attented the Red Carpet Style Lounge In Honor of The 86th Academy Award Nominees on March 1! Thanks to Gabby we have the first two high quality photos from the event. You’ll find them in our gallery – happy browsing!

Sara   /   Feb 02,2014   /   0 Comments / 4 views

So many good new interviews with Rose lately! Here’s an other one, this time from Collider. Rose talks about “Brightest Star”, her shows “Once Upon a Time” and “Masters of Sex” and more.

The indie dramedy Brightest Star tells the story of a young man (Chris Lowell) who’s fresh out of college and devastated because the girl of his dreams (Rose McIver) has dumped him. While trying to transform himself into the man she desires, he starts to find the person he might actually be. From director Maggie Kiley, the film also stars Clark Gregg, Allison Janney and Jessica Szohr.

At the film’s press day, actress Rose McIver spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about how she came to be a part of this film, what she thought she could bring to this character, working with Chris Lowell, what Maggie Kiley was like, as a director, and what she loves about acting in all mediums. She also talked about the great experiences she’s had working on Masters of Sex, where Beau Bridges and Allison Janney play her parents, and playing Tinker Bell on Once Upon A Time. Check out what she had to say after the jump.

brightest-star-posterHow did this come about for you?

ROSE McIVER: I was given the script, the day before I went back to New Zealand. I was booked on a flight, and I read it and my manager said, “The director is around tomorrow and would like to meet you.” I was frantically packing and trying to get ready to go, but I thought it was definitely worth it, after I’d read the script. So, Maggie [Kiley] and I sat down at a coffee shop, and I just knew, after talking to her for an hour, that I really wanted to do it. She seemed very interested in me, and we both were like-minded, in how we viewed the character and the project. It just was exciting to me. So, she said, “When you go back to New Zealand, can you send a couple of scenes for me to show the producers?” After meeting her, I sent a couple of scenes, as an audition, and it was all go from there. It was just wonderful.

Is it just never an easy thing to do, to put yourself on tape for an audition, or did it make it easier that you had already met the director first and knew what she was looking for, with the role?

McIVER: Yeah, absolutely! When you go in, you’re making choices. That’s what you do at an audition. You hopefully make some strong choices, and you go in with the text and hope that the casting director has been briefed on which direction to push you in. But without that person, sitting there and breathing down your neck, telling you what to do, it is blind. I was just really lucky that the day before, I was able to really clue in on what Maggie was after and what she needed from the character, so that my choices were more informed with that audition.

With something like this, that is such a character piece and a relationship journey, is meeting with the director crucial to making sure you’re on the same page before you agree to play the role?

McIVER: Yeah, definitely, especially with something told out of sequence that’s a subtle piece. It’s very much about the relationship between these characters, so it definitely helps to meet the director and know what their take is, how sensitive they are, and which direction they want to go with the material. I wouldn’t have undertaken this film, which could have been quite ambitious, unless it was with somebody who I really trusted. Maggie did that.

What was it about Charlotte that you saw something in and thought you could bring something to her?

McIVER: I think that thing that happens, when you finish school and all of the ideals that you think you have about the world, and who you’re going to be are suddenly thrown into question, and what you want out of relationships and what you want out of your career and what matters to you is suddenly much more unfamiliar territory. For me, I had just come out of school and I was asking those questions, and I still am, to an extent. I hope I always do. I think it’s important to always explore and ask those questions. So, it just felt like the right time to do something that resonated with me like that.

brightest-star-rose-mciver-chris-lowellHow did you view the relationship that Charlotte had with The Boy (Lowell)?

McIVER: My school of thought, with going into a character, is that you have to understand where they come from and you have to empathize with them. Although some of Charlotte’s choices aren’t in The Boy’s best interests, necessarily, they were in Charlotte’s best interest, at the time. Every decision that she made wasn’t just purely selfish. Nobody acts purely selfishly. Everybody has needs and wants, and she had questions that she needed to answer. So, I understood Charlotte’s perspective. She’d worked really hard towards this career that she was trying to serve. Going in with empathy towards a character is the only way you can approach it.

How did you go about developing this relationship with Chris Lowell?

McIVER: Chris and I were lucky, in that we started emailing each other several months before the project. And the back and forth that we had, we were able to build a connection. It wasn’t so much about building a backstory, as it was about building a genuine connection between us where we understood each other and got each other’s sense of humor. We knew triggers that would make that person laugh, or maybe irritate that person, if that’s what you needed. Just to build something that you can draw from that organically, when the shoot is only 18 days long, is incredibly useful, so we did that. I think it was lucky that Chris and Maggie and I were all on board to be collaborators, in that way. We were all enthusiastic enough. Not everybody you meet wants to put the time into that. I was just very grateful that I had them.

What was it like to actually work with Chris, on set?

McIVER: Chris is such a generous actor. He and I get along incredibly well. We’re great friends. So, when we started working together, we both trust each other and respect each other. I know that I don’t have a perfect performance that I bring to set. I bring ideas to set, and I’m more than willing for those to be affected and be malleable, based on what the other person gives me. I don’t know what another actor is going to give me, on the day, and I don’t want to be so hard and fast in my technique that I’m not open to what’s coming. So, there was a lot of flexibility that we definitely embraced. We were just lucky that we had a similar style of working like that.

brightest-star-rose-mciver-1Did you do much improvisation on this?

McIVER: What’s great about this film was that the script was so well-written. The dialogue was incredibly well-written. Maggie is clearly an actor and comes from a background of having to read other people’s words, and she knows what flows. We didn’t struggle. Maybe there were one or two moments in the process where, for whatever reason, I couldn’t find an organic way to a line. And if I was really up against a wall, I would raise that question. But, I come from a background of reading a lot of really great texts by great people, and when there’s a good wordsmith that you’re dealing with, you want to honor those words. Yes, there is improvisation and there’s flexibility about timing. I’ve never stuck to punctuation, in my life. But, they were deliberated over, for a long time, for a reason. And that line, even though you might struggle with it, in the moment, is serving a purpose in the greater scheme of things, that is probably stronger than the choice you might make, on the day. That happened to be the way this best worked, with those two collaborators.

There is a range of emotions in this relationship. As an actor, do you personally enjoy the more playful scenes and moments, or do you enjoy the more emotionally intense stuff?

McIVER: I think you can’t really reach the emotionally intense stuff without having built a genuine light, playful, connected energy, to begin with. The fact that Chris and I have this really great chemistry and this dynamic between us that we enjoy so much means that when it comes to subverting that, there’s something at stake and there’s something we don’t want to lose, and that makes it more painful, and that makes us more invested in that performance.

brightest-star-rose-mciverWere you surprised at how, even though this is a story that’s very specific to these characters, it really does feel universal when you watch it?

McIVER: Yeah. I think that’s what drew me to the project, in the first place. So many people I know were asking big existential and identity questions that, when I read the script, it felt like it had fallen in my lap as an opportunity to explore those.

There are still so few female directors compared to male directors. What was it like to work with Maggie Kiley, as a director?

McIVER: I’ve thought about that a bit. I’ve worked with female and male directors. I’m lucky like that. So for me, I’ve just always known that women were more than capable of being able to direct. It’s great to meet Maggie, who is incredibly professional at what she does, but I’m not surprised by it, at all, and I wish other people weren’t. She deserves plenty of opportunities to show that. She’s incredibly communicative, she’s sure-footed, and she doesn’t have a big enough, crazy ego not to let other people’s voices matter. She listens, and that’s essential for a director. She’s got the whole skill set.

At this point in your career, what do you look for, in a script?

McIVER: The reason I feel like I act is because you get to live a million different lives in one. I don’t have to go about my life, just being easy-going New Zealander Rose. Sometimes I can inhabit a feisty, vicious character. Sometimes I can inhabit a painfully shy British girl, or whatever it might be. I’m able to step into these other parts of myself. I feel like, as long as I keep doing that in my career, and I keep tapping into different parts of the human condition, that’s all I ask for.

masters-of-sex-rose-mciver-1What’s it been like to be a part of Masters of Sex and do a show about a subject that people are still somewhat afraid to talk about, even though they’re fascinated by watching it?

McIVER: To me, it’s fascinating because it is something that has existed forever, and it’s something that people have had hang-ups about or questions about forever, as well, but it had only begun to be discussed openly in the ‘50s and onwards. Even then, we look at things today and there’s a lot of questions that still can be raised, and there are things that people still feel uncomfortable to talk about. So, it’s interesting to put it in a ‘50s context, where everybody has these societal expectations that are really obvious, and the characters struggle with it because of that. Looking around today, while people are more politically correct about it, there’s still the pressure and there are still the same questions. We’re on our way to understanding those sides of ourselves, in a public forum. We owe a lot to people like Masters and Johnson for generating that conversation.

What has that cast been like to work with?

McIVER: Insane! They’re so good. Allison Janney is in Brightest Star, and she’s playing my mom in Masters of Sex. Chris has also worked with her on The Help, so we both have two Allison Janney credits to our name, and we’re fighting for the third. I love her so much. I think she’s a brilliant actress. I really look up to her. It really is a great cast. We’re so lucky. It’s nice that nobody that I worked with lauds their ability above anybody else. There are newcomers and seasoned professionals alike. And everybody knows that to service the project the best that you can, you create an environment where nobody is intimidated and everybody does the best work that they can.

once-upon-a-time-rose-mciverWhat’s it like to get to play a character as iconic as Tinker Bell on Once Upon A Time?

McIVER: It’s one of those things you think about, as a child. Who really is going to end up playing Tinker Bell on a TV show for their job? It’s a fantasy. I’m really grateful. I’m lucky. It’s nice to be working on something that people back in New Zealand have been watching and enjoying. It has such a dedicated, supportive fan base, which I’m really grateful for. And it’s a lot of fun. Flying around in a harness and working with the wonderful cast in Vancouver, I’ve been very grateful.

Was it challenging to find a way to really own that character?

McIVER: That’s what Once Upon A Time is about. There are these fantastical characters inhabited by humans, and we’re working to make sure we keep them really grounded. What’s useful is that the story does all of the fantastical work for you and brings about this sense of magic and surrealism, and what you’re supposed to do, as an actor, is come in and make sure the character is still three-dimensional and relatable. To be honest, I think my work was just in being genuine.

Have you had any particularly surreal moments on that set?

McIVER: Yeah. I think I have those quite regularly, on some of the things I’ve done, over the years. I did Xena and Hercules and Power Rangers and Legend of the Seeker. I’ve done these things that have a fantasy element, and you look around at the world that you’ve created and that you’re a part of, and it’s so funny that you get to go to work to do that. I get up in the morning and go put on spandex or wings. It’s the make-believe side that you think about when you’re a child and you imagine what acting is. To be able to experience some of that is just joyous.

Is it important to you to find a balance between film, where you can tell the entire story of a character, and TV, where you can take an on-going journey?

McIVER: Yeah. More and more, these days, television is working with great writers that are able to develop long-term arcs for characters that are still as complicated and interesting as they can be in feature films. It used to be that sometimes there was a lot more padding in television, and that’s not the case anymore. I think there are really, really good opportunities to delve deeper and deeper into a character, over multiple episodes. The great thing about being an actor in a film is that you’re able to start knowing exactly where you’re going to finish, and really paint something in between. You can work to know the arc you need to build. Whereas in television, it is open-ended and you’re constantly guessing. There are pros and cons to both. It’s great to do theater, as well, and have the live response and know what that can bring to a performance. I like to juggle as many mediums as I can.

Brightest Star is now playing in theaters.

Sara   /   Feb 01,2014   /   0 Comments / 5 views

Added to the gallery screencaptures from the “Brightest Star” interview Rose and Chris Lowell did earlier this week. Linnea posted a video + the text interview earlier today, click here to see it! It’s a must see, Rose and Chris where hilarious. They have amazing chemestry! Have fun browsing through the photos…

Sara   /   Jan 31,2014   /   0 Comments / 13 views

He’s in Love, but No Closer to Figuring It Out
‘Brightest Star,’ a Story About 20-Something Relationships

Young people’s romantic relationships may be more vaguely defined than they were in the days of chaperones and ritualistic courtship, but that doesn’t mean that movies about those relationships are well served by being vague. “Brightest Star,” an uninvolving film by Maggie Kiley, gives us a story of love among 20-somethings without telling us enough about the main characters to indicate why we should care about their perfectly ordinary entanglements.

The film focuses on a young man (Chris Lowell, of the new sitcom “Enlisted”) who becomes love-struck when he lays eyes on a fellow college student, Charlotte (Rose McIver). What’s the attraction, other than her good looks? We don’t know, because Charlotte isn’t on screen long enough for us to learn much about her. The two converse in vacuous snippets (“If we were a color, what color would we be?”), and even those are fairly sparse, since large chunks of time must be devoted to watching Mr. Lowell’s character be morose for no apparent reason.

Anyway, Charlotte eventually ends their relationship, and Our Hero instead falls into one with Lita (Jessica Szohr), while continuing to pine for Charlotte. Besides his inexplicable ability to attract pretty women, he defies all trends for this demographic group by being able to land jobs effortlessly, whether as a sandwich maker or as a junior executive. Allegories involving astronomy, baseball and sandwiches are hinted at but are no better developed than the characters. (source)

Sara   /   Jan 31,2014   /   0 Comments / 5 views

Sara   /   Jan 31,2014   /   0 Comments / 5 views

As you know, Brightest Star is out in theatres today! We informed you earlier this week about an interview with “We got this covered!”, and they have now released a video. Watch the interview below!

It was a lot of fun talking with Chris Lowell and Rose McIver earlier this week, who were in Los Angeles to promote their latest film Brightest Star. Co-written and directed by Maggie Kiley, Lowell stars as The Boy (we never learn his real name) who, as the film begins, has just been dumped by the love of his life, Charlotte (played by McIver). The story goes back and forth in time as we see how these two became patiently entwined while in college and what later led them to split up.

The Boy, however, refuses to believe that their relationship is over and does everything in his power to win Charlotte back. His plan is to transform himself into the man that she desired him to be, but in the process he comes to wonder if he is compromising his values and neglecting his true desires in life.

During our exclusive video interview with Lowell and McIver, they spoke about the challenges of making this film on a schedule of just 18 days, what it was like to work with co-stars Allison Janney and Clark Gregg, how they managed to have such great chemistry and more.

Check it all out in the video below and be sure to catch Brightest Star as it’s now in theatres.

Sara   /   Jan 30,2014   /   0 Comments / 4 views

This modestly scaled drama has a shot at a brighter future than most under-the-radar indies.

Maggie Kiley’s first feature, “Brightest Star,” has all the trappings of a contemporary romantic comedy, but also the good sense to strive for a deeper examination of a young man’s search for his place in the universe. Expanded from Kiley’s 2009 short, “Some Boys Don’t Leave,” which starred Jesse Eisenberg, the full-length pic toplining smallscreen star Chris Lowell (“Veronica Mars,” “Enlisted”) premiered at the 2013 Austin Film Festival under the title “Light Years.” It’s a modestly scaled drama that’s a solid fit for day-and-date VOD and limited theatrical release, with a shot at a brighter future than most under-the-radar indies.

Opening with a young man (Lowell) passed out on the floor of an apartment, abandoned by his ex-girlfriend, Charlotte (Rose McIver), the storyline unfolds along two timelines. In the past, the pic tracks his pursuit of dream girl Charlotte, which begins in a college astronomy class and ultimately fizzles when she tires of his slacker tendencies. In the present, the young man starts dating the apartment’s new tenant, a hipster songstress (Jessica Szohr) whose businessman father (Clark Gregg) provides him with a cushy management job just to keep his daughter happy. Past and present collide when the young man uses his new position to reconnect with Charlotte.

In a way, “Brightest Star” mines some of the same road-to-adulthood territory as Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig did in “Frances Ha,” but with the gender reversal of a female filmmaker and male protagonist. The balanced point of view (Kiley collaborated on the script with Matthew Mullen) lends the work a fresher perspective than that of a typical sad-sack dude drama, although Kiley falls notably short when it comes to fleshing out supporting characters and illuminating the specifics of the world they inhabit.

The best example of the film’s at times frustratingly vague approach is that Lowell’s main character never merits a name (end credits simply call him “the Boy”). Fortunately, Lowell’s considerable charm goes a long way toward filling in the gaps and the story’s emphasis on self-discovery over romantic couplings supplies enough interest to sustain the brisk 80-minute running time.

It also helps that Kiley observes her characters with a consistently non-judgmental eye. Pic’s portrait of courtship veers toward the cutesy (bonding over baseball teams and mac ‘n’ cheese) and the dual love interests would benefit from sharper writing, but McIver at least hints at the more complicated woman lurking beneath the surface of her boyfriend’s blind affection. A late-arriving Allison Janney practically walks off with the movie as an astronomer who gently nudges the hero to face his problems rather than run from them.

Tech package is straightforward, though d.p. Chayse Irvin does a respectable job differentiating the visual motifs of various timelines. Soundtrack blends predictably angsty indie rock with trendier electronic pop tracks. (source)