|Birth Name: Frances Rose McIver
Birth Place: Auckland, New Zealand
Date of Birth: October 10, 1988
Mother: Ann “Annie” Coney
Father: John George Whitfield McIver
Siblings: Paul McIver
|000. Biography (below)
001. Her Career
004. Personal Life
Frances Rose McIver was born on October 10, 1988 to ceramicist Ann “Annie” Coney and photographer John George “Mac” Whitfield McIver. She was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and raised in the suburb of Titirangi with her parents and older brother Paul. As a child, McIver was talkative and precocious. It was her older brother, now a musician, who led her into acting ; at four he was scouted at a bank and had gone on to do a TV ad. “My parents were very hesitant at first. They didn’t want us to be out there as working children but we enjoyed it, so they thought, ‘what’s the harm?’”
Rose says the family’s home in Titirangi is filled with happy childhood memories of summers spent on the beach playing on the rocks with her brother in French Bay. The home was also filled with colour – the family lounge features her mother Annie’s ceramic artwork, as well as her father Mac’s photography and vintage radio collection.
She studied ballet and jazz dance until she was thirteen, and running has always been one of her favorite hobbies. McIver also enjoys writing, and is inspired by the works of John Steinbeck, Wally Lamb and Franz Kafka. She also enjoys crossword puzzles and Sudoku. She attended Avondale College and was a prefect in her final year; she graduated in 2006.
From there, enamoured casting directors hired McIver not just for the preppy schoolgirl roles – in the Disney films, Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off and Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board, she plays bright-as-a-button, complete with American accent – but edgier parts too. Harry Sinclair let her improvise in Topless Women and Toy Love. She tightrope-walked her way through Margaret Mahy’s apocalyptic fantasy series Maddigan’s Quest, in which she played the lead part of Garland. In Rude Awakenings, one of her favourite roles because it allowed her the chance to play nasty, she sported brown hair, glasses and a conniving nature. “That’s what I like about acting,” Rose says. “You can step into someone else’s personality for a while and then leave it and not have to treat people like that. Some kids played hockey in their school holidays and I just worked. Acting was always more of a hobby than a serious pursuit.”
After shooting The Lovely Bones, a role with the potential to catapult her into Hollywood, McIver could have moved to Los Angeles, capitalising on the acclaim she received playing the grieving teen forced to grow up after her sister is murdered and her family life begins to crack. Instead, she enrolled at the University of Auckland to study psychology, anthropology and linguistics, subjects with the potential to inform her acting. While actively shooting the 2010 film Predictament, Rose juggled both university classes and an acting career with school grades suffering as a downside, though she stated what was most important is exploring topics of interest and not worrying about coming up on top all the time. “I crave knowledge. So studying seems like the obvious thing to do while I can, while I have no dependents.” Deciding the school arts degree could wait, she dropped out and made a spontaneous move to Wellington in 2010 with architect boyfriend Benjamin Hoeksema.
In March 2010, Rose starred in That Face, her first professional theatre role, a challenge she’d long been hoping to take on. The long rehearsal process, the exploratory work nailing a character, was a new process for an actress used to relying on instinct. She’s earlier starred in “Arcadia” (2003) on Titirangi Theatre in Auckland, as Thomasina Coverly, and in “Blood Brothers” (2008) at the Peach Theatre Company. From 19 March to 10 April 2010 she appeared on stage at the Herald Theatre as Izzy, the best friend of the main character in That Face. McIver was also selected to participate in the 2010 Show Me Shorts Film Festival.
While she’s away, Rose stays in touch with her family and Benjamin, her boyfriend of seven years, via Skype. “They’re everything to me, so that’s what’s great about Skype – it’s completely revolutionised being away from home. “It’s just like having a Sunday night dinner, but you have a Sunday Skype session. It doesn’t feel like you’re away from home. “I’m back and forth at the moment, so that’s the way it has to work with me and [Ben],” she says.
As one of New Zealand’s only child stars, McIver has emerged from the spotlight with a healthy sense of confidence and poise, and none of the damaged goods behaviour of some of her US peers. “[My parents] have always been quick to remind me that I’m like everyone else,”. “When I’d come home I’d be expected to pick up my washing. And I’ve never been told acting is an unrealistic thing to do or that I’m wasting my time, which has given me quite a lot of faith in myself.”
In July 2013, it was announced that Rose landed the role of Tinker Bell for a multi-episode story arc on the series, Once Upon a Time. Rose immeditely became a fan favorite, and appeared in a total of 8 episodes in the series third season. During the same period, she also stared in a multi-episode storyline as Vivian Scully in the popular TV drama “Masters of Sex”. In February 2014, McIver was cast as the adult Cathy Dollanganger in the Lifetime television film Petals on the Wind, adapted from the book by V. C. Andrews. She also kept busy in her spare time this year, filming a string of short films with her good friends Jennifer Morrison and Karen Gillan – such as “Mattresside”, “Warning Labels” and “Coward”.
In March 2014, McIver was announced to star in CW’s new series iZombie as Olivia ‘Liv’ Moore, the main character. Filming started later that year, and the show premiered in March 2015. Early may, it was revealed that the show had been picked up for a second season, after gaining great critics and ratings.