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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   /   Jan 10,2010   /   0 Comments

Rose McIver was a fan of Alice Sebold’s book, The Lovely Bones, before tackling the role of Lindsey Salmon in the film adaptation. Lindsey’s the older sister of murder victim Susie Salmon (played by Saoirse Ronan), the 14 year old girl through whose eyes we witness the affect her death has on the people she loved.

The Lovely Bones, adapted for the screen and directed by Peter Jackson, is a tale of love and loss, and as McIver explained in our one-on-one interview, the book (and the film) deal with varied expressions of grief.

“For me, the movie’s really about the acceptance of a variety of forms of grief. I think that that’s something that Peter and Alice and everybody who was involved in this understood. There’s not one way that people deal with things. There’s jealousy and there’s laughter and there’s revenge, and there’s all sorts of things that people bring to the table. And I think the film really accepts all of those different things as part of the grieving process.”

Exclusive Rose McIver Interview – The Lovely Bones

What did the book mean to you?

Rose McIver: “Well, because it was kind of the first book that I’d read with actual subject matter and I was going into high school myself, that was a really deeply affecting book for me. I thought that the characterization and the novel and the originality of the way it’s told just really, really made it special.”

Where you attracted to the character of Lindsey when you were reading the book?

Rose McIver: “I found her a fascinating character. I thought she was incredibly challenging and really admirable, actually. But no, I had no ideas that I would ever play her or anything.”

When you got the part, did you go back and look at it again or did you just kind of put that aside?

Rose McIver: “Yes. I’ve reread it several times, actually, since auditioning for it and then being cast. And it’s kind of this wonderful resource that fleshes out your character, you know? You’ve got the story and so much to kind of look back at and use to inform your character.”

Do you think the way that she’s written and the way that she actually comes to life on the screen are very similar?

Rose McIver: “I hope so and that’s what I’ve tried to do, certainly. I mean, although the film adaptation is always going to be different to the book, the heart of the story is very much the same. And I really do hope that I bring Lindsey, as the book character, justice.”

The film captures the tone of Alice Sebold’s book. Did you see that in the script?

Rose McIver: “I couldn’t really imagine it not doing it, but I think it was really hard to tell until I’d seen the finished product. I didn’t really know what to expect, and especially since all the heaven stuff, I wasn’t involved in that and I hadn’t seen the shooting for that, so there was a lot of the film that was new to me, actually. But reading the script, I definitely thought it was true to the story.”

You’re 21 and you had to play someone who’s 11 at the beginning of the story.

Rose McIver: “I did, but we did shoot two years ago or something now, so I was 19. It was a bit of a lean, but I mean I have been all of those ages before. It’s not like I was trying to play something above 21 or whatever. So they’re all ages that you have been and been through, and with the help of makeup and costume it’s not too much of a stretch.”

It wasn’t a stretch on film because you look exactly the age you’re supposed to be.

Rose McIver: “Thank you.”

You’re welcome. How easy was it for you to go connect back with those years, because it has been a few years now?

Rose McIver: “Yes, it has. It actually wasn’t too bad at all. I did really specific kinds of things that I associated with each year. Like I had sort of memories from my years of 13 and 14 and things, and thought about objects that I associated with them. And then a lot of it is really with the help of the makeup and the costume team. I had wefts, hair wefts and braces and all sorts of things to really stick me outside my age as I was now.”

Were you involved in the choice of costumes and hair styles for the younger Lindsey?

Rose McIver: “Well, I trusted them a lot, so basically no. I mean if there was anything that I didn’t feel would work, I’d say something. But no, I felt like I was in very safe hands.”

When you’re taking on a character like this where there are millions of people who adore the book, did you feel an extra weight on that set realizing what people were expecting of you?

Rose McIver: “I don’t think I thought about it actually once I was cast, and once I was in Peter [Jackson’s] hands. I really, really trust him as a director and I don’t think it would have helped my performance to be concerned with those sorts of things, so I just [did] the best that I can.”

You said you trusted Peter as a director. I admire Peter the man…

Rose McIver: “Isn’t he wonderful? He’s so down to earth and so personable. He’s wonderful.”

Is he like that on the set?

Rose McIver: “Yes, he is. People say, ‘Were you intimidated to be working with Peter Jackson on that?’ He couldn’t be intimidating if he tried. He’s so friendly and so welcoming. No, he’s wonderful.”

Does he storyboard everything out for you?

Rose McIver: “Well, I mean we had the script to work from, and with each day we’d rehearse a little before. We had a couple of weeks of rehearsal as well before we started the production. But, really, he knows exactly what he wants for each scene. There are a lot of directors who I’ve worked with who have great ideas and they bring a lot of things to the table, but Peter knows exactly what he wants. And once he’s delivered that, you can rest assured because he will get it.”

Was it tough to find Lindsey? Was she a character who was really hard to get into?

Rose McIver: “No. I wish I could be as brave as her and I think she’s somebody I really look up to, actually. And in that scene [no elaboration on what scene as we don’t want to spoil the film for readers who haven’t seen it], I think I’d be a crumbling mess in that situation. I wish I could be like Lindsey – absolutely.

I think she’s far more kind of savvy and aware of her role in the family than I would be. But I didn’t find her hugely hard. Because it’s a character that I did look up to, I think it was relatively easy to step into the role.”

I always felt, in reading the book and also in seeing the movie, that she’s just wise beyond her years. Is that kind of how you saw her?

Rose McIver: “Yes, absolutely. I mean, she does kind of grieve in her own way quietly, but she realizes that she is going to have to be the glue that holds the family together. She really sticks to that which is just… That’s why I say I wish I could be like that, but I wouldn’t be probably strong enough emotionally for myself.”

Was it more challenging for you to actually play her at the beginning when she was younger, or as she grew up and grew into herself?

Rose McIver: “I think having those really distinctive kind of like the hair and the teeth and the costumes and things, like I very much knew what I was stepping into each day and I didn’t find it hugely challenging. I think once we’d created the look for the character, that really helped.

With Saoirse [Ronan] and with Mark [Wahlberg] and Rachel [Weisz], we worked on creating a super family. It was really just about believing that each time, and that was kind of easy.”

You had the rehearsal process before shooting to try and get that family bond going. But did you also do things off the set as a family unit, in addition to the rehearsals?

Rose McIver: “Peter really works to create a happy, positive atmosphere on set, especially when it’s a story that does have such dark elements. We had a lot of fun – all things considered – on the set. We laughed, and we all got to know each other pretty well. And I think really it was just incredibly fortunate that everybody was so open and willing to connect with each other. The sense of family actually came about pretty naturally.”

And you were working opposite Saoirse who is closer to the age that she’s playing. Did that also help you connect to Lindsey’s younger years?

Rose McIver: “Yes, absolutely. And it helps that she’s a lot more mature than me.”

Is she really in real life?

Rose McIver: “She can be. She can be pretty wise, that one. But, yes, she really behaved it as well, so being her younger sister at the start definitely helped. But I had to outgrow her, and so it was pretty essential that there was that change, you know? That I’m the younger sister and I look up to her and then I continue to grow and achieve on Earth what she could only wish for, really.”

How do you handle the American accent?

Rose McIver: “Well in New Zealand we have a lot of American film and television, so it’s really something that I’ve been exposed to for a long time. And it’s just, I don’t know, I guess it does come fairly naturally to me.”

Have you ever had to tackle anything other than American?

Rose McIver: “What have I had to do? Yes, a couple of English accents, which we get a lot of television and films so that’s not so bad.”

Is a British accent easier than American or more difficult?

Rose McIver: “Probably on par, really.”

When you’re doing a character who’s American, do you revert to your natural accent in between takes?

Rose McIver: “Absolutely. No, I’m very much a Kiwi accent person normally. It’s quite funny when we were shooting because everybody was from all over the place, so English and Irish and, you know, we all had these bizarre accents kind of between takes that completely clashed. And then every time we rolled, we were an American family.”

Susan Sarandon provides great comic relief at times in this. Was it kind of hard to play against a character who’s that over the top?

Rose McIver: “No, actually she really loved it. So, you know, when she was enjoying it and she really embraced the role, it was really easy to play against. I mean she was just a hilarious glamour-gran with a drink in her hand at all times. I had some of my funnest stuff actually shooting with her.”

So this actually was a pretty light-hearted set, despite the fact it’s such dark material?

Rose McIver: “Yes, it was. I mean in the six or seven-month shoot or whatever we had, the amount of screen time that you create is so minimal in comparison to the amount of time you all spent together. We really got to know each other so well and we had so many enjoyable times that, yes, the darker stuff really doesn’t feel so significant in retrospect, you know? I don’t look back and think, ‘Oh, it was traumatic,’ at all.”

And working with Stanley Tucci, you don’t have too many scenes with him – it’s more like you’re in one room and he’s in the other, which was my favorite scene of the movie. What was he like? He’s such a nice man and he’s playing this total evil character.

Rose McIver: “Stanley is a chameleon. It’s ridiculous. He’s so friendly and kind, and I really appreciated him. As soon as I met him I thought, ‘This is such a nice man,’ and then he just transforms onscreen and he’s terrifying. But I think the person who played Mr Harvey had to be it, you know? You couldn’t work with anybody that bad naturally. He is just really brilliant and it’s been wonderful to see him again, actually, with all the press as well.”

You look like an athlete when you’re running down the street in this. Are you athletic in real life?

Rose McIver: “I run, so that was semi-natural for me. And the first kind of few times we were shooting I was like, ‘Yes, this is cool! This is fun,’ and then after about take 20 I was pretty over it. But no, I do run in my own time. I’m incidentally sporty, but I’m not a soccer player at all, so you’ll notice the soccer doesn’t really show me onscreen. Minimal – it’s minimal.”

You actually take a lot of time off between projects, don’t you?

Rose McIver: “Yes, absolutely. I’m studying at the moment. I’m at university, so that keeps me pretty occupied. I just finished my second year there doing linguistics and psychology, and I kind of just work when there’s work and keep busy otherwise.”

Have you seen the film with an audience?

Rose McIver: “I have. The London premiere was the first time that I saw it with an audience. I’d seen the screening beforehand, but I took my mom and dad to the premiere there, which was wonderful.”

How was the experience of watching it with an audience?

Rose McIver: “Well for me it was only the second time that I’d seen the finished product, so I think really I was still ingesting a bit of it myself. I think probably the next time I watch it I’ll be able to see the audience’s reaction a little more.”

Do you normally watch films you’re in?

Rose McIver: “I can kind of just, you know, separate myself from the work quite well. So yes, I do tend to – especially if it’s something like The Lovely Bones, which I’m so proud to have been a part of.”


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