Q & A with Emilie de Ravin
Author: Holly Charron
Date: November, 2000
Source: Seventeen Magazine
"Guess I'm a legal alien, and she's an illegal alien," says Emilie de Ravin, 18, of Tess, the character she plays on Roswell. The Australian de Ravin, who was featured in six pivotal episodes last season, will be back this fall to vie for the affections of her fellow alien Max (Jason Behr).
Q: Tess shook things up between Max and Liz (Shiri Appleby) last spring. Did you get hate mail?
No. I think viewers realize that Tess came on the show with a purpose: To tell Max, Isabel and Michael what they must do to keep our species alive.
Q: What's in store for her now?
Tess is finding that she has human emotions, and the aliens help her discover her compassionate side.
Q: What changes would you like to see for Tess this season?
I'd like her to get a trendier wardrobe. She's cool, but she could get more of that groovy-chick thing going on.
Q: What show do you always tape?
Friends. I just laugh. I love it!
Q: What other TV character would you love to play?
Jeannie on I Dream of Jeannie or Samantha on Bewitched. They're both witchy people. I loved the fantasy aspect of those shows.
Emilie de Ravin Interview From November's TeenPpl - November 2000
Emilie de Ravin - "Guess I'm a legal alien, and she's an illegal alien", says
Emilie de Ravin, 18 of Tess, the character she plays on Roswell. The
Australian de Ravin, who was featured in six pivotal episodes last season,
will be back this fall to vie for the affections of her fellow alien
Q. Tess shook things up between Max and Liz(Shiri Appleby) last spring. Did
you get hate mail?
A. No. I think viwers realize that Tess came on the show with a purpose: To
tell Max, Isabelle and Michael what they must do to keep our species alive.
Q. What's in store for her now?
A. Tess is finding that she has human emotions, and the aliens help her
discover her compassionate side.
Q. What changes would you like to see for Tess this season?
A. I'd like her to get a trendier wardrode. She's cool, but she could get
more of that groovy-chick thing going on.
Q. What show do you always tape?
A. Friends. I just laugh. I love it!
Q. What other TV character would you love to play?
A. Jeannie on I Dream of Jennie or Samantha on Bewitched. They're both witchy
people. I loved the fantasy aspect of those shows
Date: December 2000/January 2001
Source: Cosmo Girl Magazine
Rising Star Emilie de Ravin
One thing that makes Emilie so perfect for the role of Roswell alien Tess Harding is that she knows what it's like to feel alienated. "I went to ballet school in Australia, and it was the bitchiest atmosphere," she says. "I think it happens to every girl in every country: You think a girl's your friend, and then she goes behind your back and tells stories about you. Well, I was nice to everyone. I knew that I didn't want to be like those other girls!"
Emilie's two sisters helped her through the hard times while she was growing up. "They're much older than me--I'm 18; they're in their thirties--so if I was ever embarrassed about something, I could go to them for advice," she says. "I remember when I was 14, I had a crush on this guy and asked one of my sisters what to do. She was like, 'First, you don't want to be too pushy with him. Make him come to you.'"
Emilie took her sister's advice a little too far. "When my crush finally asked me if I wanted to go to a movie with him, I tried to act all cool. I was like, 'Not tonight--I have other things to do,'" she says, laughing. "When my sister found out, she was like, 'You don't want to totally brush him off!' So I had to call him back and say, 'Actually, I really don't have anything to do tonight. So ya know, if you were still planning on going to see a movie, I could still go with you.'" The moral of the story? Even aliens can be down to earth!
Going Ravin Mad
BY IAN SPELLING
Xposé # 52 January 2001
Emilie De Ravin swears that she never thought of Tess as pure trouble. "I didn't think that," insists the actress, who co-stars on Roswell as the show's long-discussed, now much-debated fourth alien. "When I read the script even before I shot anything, I thought she was interesting. She had no human side to her at first, none whatsoever. She had been raised by this cold-blooded alien [Nasedo played by Jim Ortleib] and had had no human contact until she met up with Max [Jason Behr]. Isabel [Katherine Heigl] and Michael [Brendan Fehr]. Even at the beginning I didn't consider her trouble at all. I could see how the fans could think that, because of the break-up of Max and Liz [Shiri Appleby]. But it's not that she came along wanting to do that. She came along telling the aliens what they had to do pretty much, to keep the world going so that it was not destroyed. This season especially, there's been a lot of development for Tess. We've seen her emotional side. She and Max are getting really connected, which is nice I think."
As fans of the sophomore sci-fi series know, Tess arrived on the scene late last year - in 'Crazy', 'Tess, Lies and Videotape', 'Destiny' and so on - and quickly emerged as a pivotal. Character, one with very blonde hair, extremely blue eyes and decidedly mysterious motives. Not only did her presence precipitate the demise of Max and Liz as the show's Romeo and Juliet-like couple, but it set the stage for the series' rapid transition from romance with a sci-fi twist to sci-fi with a romantic twist, a turn of events that quite probably saved the show from cancellation at the end of the first season and helped it gain a wider audience during its second year. Many regular viewers, however, particularly Max-Liz loyalists, took an instant dislike to Tess and they made their feelings clear via assorted online diatribes - and even whole web sites - aimed at the character. And none of the Tess detractors seemed to complain too much when the character got beaten to a pulp every other episode.
"I was online the other day; it has actually gotten a lot better," De Ravin says with a chuckle. "There are so many pro-Tess sites now, which is really nice to know. It never bothered me personally, though, because Tess is a character. People are realising that her intent - on a personal level - was not to break up Liz and Max. And it wasn't. That was clear to me from the start. As I said, she came in telling Max, Michael and Isabel what they had to do to keep their species alive, and that didn't involve Liz. She didn't have anything against Liz, but that was the fact. If they didn't break up - as we found out in 'The End of the World' - the world would be destroyed. Without Tess doing what she did, the world would be destroyed. So it was a very big deal. She was bringing them to the realisation of what they were put on Earth to do."
Fortunately, De Ravin's co-stars - who'd already been together for the better part of a season when she stepped onto the set at the Paramount Pictures studio lot for the first time - took less convincing than the fans. "They were quick to accept me," she says. "I was really surprised. I was thinking, 'Oooh, what are they going to think?' But everyone was really great and very accommodating and sweet and very helpful in every way they could be. So being the new girl wasn't a problem at all for me, which was great. We all work pretty well together."
Prior to joining the cast of Roswell, De Ravin had spent more than a year (covering parts of two seasons) playing the recurring role of the demon Curupira on syndicated fantasy series Beastmaster, which films on location in her native Australia. The producers of Beastmaster let De Ravin out of her contract early so that she could take on Roswell, and her final episode of Beastmaster - in which Curupira gets trapped underwater; remember, demons never really die - has yet to air. Even with so many days of Beastmaster under her belt, however, the actress found it a bit of a challenge to portray Roswell's alien newcomer. "It's hard because you can't just say, 'Ok, I'm going to draw from this life experience' because obviously, I haven't had any alien experiences and I haven't had that many life experiences as a human," says De Ravin, who turns 19 on December 27 and speaks with hardly any accent. "It's not like anything really terrible happened to me that I could draw on. So it's hard sometimes to draw on emotions and associate with something that's happened to me. So the challenge is to make my scenes emotional and also realistic, even though, in some ways, it's impossible to make it realistic, even though, in some ways, it's impossible to make it realistic. What you want is for it to be realistic enough for the audience, so that they see you as an alien, so they believe you as the character."
De Ravin reports that she couldn't be happier with the goings-on to date this season. Tess has figured prominently into the action in such episodes as 'Skin and Bones', 'Ask Not' (with its playful and sexually-charged moments between De Ravin and Nick Wechsler's character, Kyle Valenti, aka Liz's former beau), 'Summer of 47' (with De Ravin as Dixie), 'The End of the World', 'Harvest', 'Wipeout!' and the dupes duo of 'Meet the Dupes' and 'Max in the City', which featured the actress as both Tess and her overly-pierced counterpart Eva.
"This season has been great," enthuses De Ravin, who gave up a fledgling career as a ballet dancer to pursue acting, first in Australia and then in the United States. "We're all really happy with it. It's been fantastic. It's a lot more exciting this season. We've all been able to expand our characters, which is a real opportunity for us as actors. I've gotten to develop the character and, in the Dupes episodes, play a variation on the character. I think Tess has gotten to really connect with the other three alien characters, especially Max. Something real has come of those two, which is interesting since they were husband and wife in their other life.
"I thought the Dupes shows were really interesting, actually. We had a lot of split screen stuff. We had scenes [where the aliens and the dupes were] talking to each other. It was craziness. We were supposed to be from New York, so we were acting like street kids who get by living on the street and stealing stuff. IT was wild. We had these New York accents and these crazy outfits and hairstyles and a certain attitude. It was hard acting pretty much to nothing. Ad we had no time to get ready for the shows. The episodes just kind of happened. We just got the scripts and it was like, 'Ok, let's go.' On a film, you might have a few weeks to get the accent and the attitude and the look right, but we had like a week to do it. When we saw it put together, though, it really worked. I loved seeing Tess talk to Eva. For the four of us as actors, it was a really good acting exercise. So we did those two episodes and we believe that the dupes are coming back for me at some p9oint."
And what has De Ravin yet to do on Roswell, as Tess, that she's eager to try? "Ooh, I don't know," she replies, obviously caught a little off-guard by the question. "Tess has really become a pretty well-rounded character. She's still got a lot of emotions to explore. That's the main thing I guess I'm looking forward to really. She has, in the second season, definitely expanded in that respect. She has shown a more human emotional side, but she's only just realising that she's half-human/half-alien. She's still getting used to that and also to her powers. She's got these powers she's just learning to use and probably other powers that she doesn’t' even know she has yet."
Given the fact that Roswell is doing so well in ratings these days, chances are that it will be around for a good while. And that means De Ravin should have plenty of opportunities to explore every facet of her character. Tess could wind up in the arms of Max, especially since he still believes that his beloved Liz slept with Kyle (even though she didn't). She might wind up with Kyle, despite his penchant for porno magazines and books about Buddha. She may even end up all alone. Of course, if Roswell stays on the air long enough, she might indulge in all of the above more than once. "I like the idea of that," she says of a busy and long run, though it means lengthy stretches of time away from her family and friends in Australia. "The show is changing a lot. The viewers don't know what to expect next. A lot of different things can happen. There are more storylines. It's more suspenseful now. It moves really fast. It's all very exciting."
Showbiz Alien to Roswell Actress
Date: Jan. 29, 2001
Source: New Zealand TV Guide
Showbiz Alien to Roswell Actress
EMILIE DE RAVIN is a very successful alien in more ways than one.
The plucky, 19-year-old Australian actress got on a plane to Los Angeles little more than a year ago to look for an agent and now she is starring in the hit sci-fi drama Roswell, a second series of which begins this week on TV2. (The opening episode screens on Sunday, then moves into its usual Tuesday timeslot.)
"It's all been such a whirlwind and I feel really lucky," an exited De Ravin told TV Guide on the Los Angeles sound stage at Paramount Pictures where the one-hour drama is shot.
The former dancer from the small Victorian town of Mt Eliza joined the cast midway through the show's first season, playing the newest alien on the block, Tess harding.
The drama is set in the tiny but notorious town of Roswell, New Mexico, where teenagers Liz (Shiri Appleby) and Max (Jason Behr) forge an otherworldly connection when he saves her life and risks his own.
Liz discovers that Max, his sister Isabel (Katherine Heigal) and his friend Michael (Brendan Fehr) are surviving descendants from beings on board the fiery crash of an alien space-craft that popular legend says plummeted to the desert in 1947.
Since emerging from incubation, the three teenagers have grown up quietly among Roswell residents, experiencing firsthand all the emotions that come with life on Earth and the struggles of adolescence.
"I'm the fourth alien," De Ravin says of her character, "and since I really am an alien in Los Angeles, I can relate!"
"On the show, we hatched out of pods and the other three hatched slightly earlier, so they left me behind. I grew up with the head alien until I met up with my fellow teenage aliens again, but because I've been around this powerful alien guy all my life, I'm a bit more in touch with my powers than they are and this creates a lot of problems for everybody."
De Ravin's own resident alien adventure began in December, 1999, after the former student of the Australian Ballet Company who had danced since she was nine decided she wanted to shift her focus to acting. "I just wanted to get into the more theatrical aspects of performing and I did a couple of episodes of Beastmaster, but I never really acted in Australia" she says.
So what possessed this soft spoken blond teenager to head off to Hollywood to begin that transition without knowing a soul?
"Everything happens here and it's just such a bigger pool of everything happening than in Australia," comes out of the mouth of the babe. "Practically everyone who lives in LA is in this business one way or another and I thought I'd give it a go."
"I didn't know anyone when I got off the plane but I came for a week to get an agent and that out of the way and I stayed in a hotel and made my appointments and got an agent and went home."
De Ravin then moved to Los Angeles in February and studied with Prime Time Actors Studio workshop while looking for work.
She landed the Roswell role in her first week of Auditions before she had even found an apartment!
By Jenny Higgons
To see original article click here.
While some people might hesitate to relocate to a city that's a 14-hour plane ride from their family and friends, it was a minor consideration for Roswell's Emilie de Ravin when she left Melbourne, Australia, for Los Angeles.
"I'm very into persevering," says the 19-year-old who plays Tess, one of the four teen extraterrestrials on the WB show. "Nothing stops me. If I want to do something, I'll do it."
De Ravin had the support of her parents and two older sisters when, in December 1999, she visited the City of Angels to find an agent. Her mission quickly accomplished, she went home for the holidays. Meanwhile, a 20th Century Fox casting honcho, who'd seen her as Demon Curupira on the Australia-based syndicated TV series Beastmaster, phoned her Down Under to request an appointment. When de Ravin returned to L.A. for good six weeks later, meetings with the Fox casting people soon yielded her a place on Roswell.
"I was very lucky," she recalls. "I'd just done a year on and off of [Beastmaster] and just decided to give it a go in L.A."
Beastmaster was her first acting job after having pursued a career in ballet since the age of 13. She'd attended a number of ballet academies — including the demanding Australian Ballet School — before deciding to expand her career options by giving acting a two-month try; if it didn't pan out, she'd return to dancing. But Beastmaster came along, and she hung up her toe shoes.
"I totally miss it," de Ravin says of ballet. "It's a wonderful way to express yourself, another form of acting, in a way. But if I were to [resume it], it would take me about five years to get back to the professional standard I was at."
De Ravin's had plenty of time to hone her skills as an actor, though, after guest-starring on Roswell last spring and then graduating to full-time status in October.
"I'm really happy with the progression of the character, especially in the second season," she explains. "It's given me a lot more to work with."
Tess, once an outsider, is now happily ensconced in the lives of the three other alien teens and their human pals.
"She's shown Max [Jason Behr], Isabel [Katherine Heigl] and Michael [Brendan Fehr] what their alien skills are," explains de Ravin, who picked up an American accent in a snap. "She's no longer the new girl on the block, and they're treating her like family. I think she's just trying to work out what's best for the four of them and their planet. She's a very sweet girl."
Tess' otherworldly pursuits aside, de Ravin likes to exercise, paint, shop and spend time with her new American buddies. When asked for pointers on making chums in a new city, her answer reflects her pioneer spirit: "You just go out and meet people. It's actually fun to not know anyone and go out and find friends — or let them find you!"
The Fourth Alien: Emilie de Ravin Learns All About Otherworldly Roswell Love
Date: May 2001
Source: Starlog Magazine
Tess Harding was an enigma when she appeared on the scene for the final six episodes of Roswell's rookie season. At first, Tess pretended to be just another new kid at Roswell High, but Max was strangely drawn to her, raising suspicions about her true identity. For a while, it seemed that Tess might be the dangerous, shape-shifting Nasedo. Finally, it became clear she was the long-lost fourth alien, left behind when Max, Michael and Isabel came out of the pods. Even more intriguing was the discovery that in another place and time, Tess - not Max's human love Liz- was his wife.
All of these dizzying plot revelations threw the group of human and alien friends into tur- moil, but Emilie de Ravin, who plays Tess on the WB's SF-teen romance show, took it all in stride. "Tess is a girl who is very sure of herself in some ways, but also very unsure in other ways," she says of her screen persona. "Tess came to the group much more self-conscious of her alien side, because she didn't have the same upbring- ing as Max, Michael and Isabel. They had humans around them. Tess wasn't brought up by human families like they were, so she was isolated from the human world. She only had Nasedo, which made for a totally different experience. But now that she has spent a year with these aliens and their human friends, she has taken alot from her experiences and learned from them. Tess is coming to understand her own human side. It's quite hard for her, but she's dealing with it pretty well. She's a sweet girl who just wants to let the others know what she knows from their planet, while not stirring up any unnecessary danger for them all."
Being the newcomer in a close-knit group made Tess feel like an outsider at the beginning, says de Ravin, but those feelings have faded- just as they have for the actress herself "The other three alien characters have really accepted Tess and they've come to realize it's inevitable that they stay together," she comments. "They have to be together for their powers to work, and that kind of thing. Besides, they're great friends now.
"As for myself, I thought joining the cast midway through as I did would be much harder than it turned out to be," she continues. "The other actors had all been together for months. But everyone was really great and accepted me in a friendly way. The only hard thing was that I didn't have as much of a grasp of the ongoing storyline as everyone else. When I got the role of Tess, I went back and watched all of the episodes-it was my own Roswell marathon. But it's not the same. Being a part of the filming gives you more of an insight towards what's going on."
"It was only 18 months ago that de Ravin traveled to Los Angeles from her native Australia. A few days after her arrival, she auditioned for the role of Tess, and after the requi-site callbacks, she got the part. "It has definitely been a big change, moving from Australia," she muses. "It has been great because I'm working. I am doing what I wanted to do."
Even so, playing an alien teenager every week is not without its unique challenges. "How do you play an alien?" de Ravin asks rhetorically. "You can't draw ftom anything, can you? I try to look for any strange experiences I've had in my life, and draw from those. I also try to alienate myself from the rest of the world in my thoughts. I mean, at some point, I just have to use my imagination to picture what it would be like (to really be an alien). I try to make it realistic, as hard as that can be, but I think the four of us are doing OK. We pull it off."
She speaks highly of her working relationship with Jason Behr (Max), Brendan Fehr (Michael) and Katherine Heigl (Isabel), who share the challenge of breathing life into alien characters. "We get along and we strategize well. When we have scenes together, we rehearse for a while and get it down, really working at the intricacies we find. We talk about the movements of the scene and the things we may want to change. We work well together, and we're usually pretty happy with the scenes involving the four of us."
But de Ravin is quick to point out that, in terms of on-set relationships, she hasn't seen any gravitation of the actors into alien and human camps. "We all realize none of us are aliens," she laughs. "We all get on. It's a fun set."
Some of Tess' most engaging moments have come in her scenes with Sheriff Valenti (William Sadler) and his son Kyle (Nick Wechsler), such as those in "A Roswell Christmas Carol" and "To Serve and Protect." "Those two guys are crazy," de Ravin says with an affectionate laugh. "It's so much fun working with them. I can't stop laughing, especially with Nick. They're both great actors and very funny people. The scenes we had at their house were fun because I got to sort of let loose, get pissed off, tease Kyle and so on, Those are a more human kind of interaction than the scenes I often have with Max or Michael, for example."
The budding relationship between Tess and Kyle will not blossom into a romance, however. In the season's final episodes, says de Ravin, "Kyle tells Tess he feels she is she a sister to him. He really cares about her, but not in a romantic way. Tess is totally fine with that. She never really had a thing for him, although she has played with his emotions- but not in a bad way. She likes him a lot, but just as a friend. They're both relieved about getting all that out into the open."
Does the actress agree with the writers' resolution to that relationship? "Yes, I do, because of the way that my relationship grows with Max. It's going to be, um, kind of full bore."
Max and Liz have a big blow-up, de Ravin relates, and Liz tells Max she's not interested in him anymore. Besides, Liz has a new love interest at the moment: Sean De Luca, Maria's cousin. "Yes, another little hot boy," de Ravin chuckles. "That's a funny, cute relationship Liz and Sean have going. And it leaves it open for Max and Tess to get together. I think the writers have been trying to make this happen for a while, but it was a hard transition for the viewers. It had to be taken very gently because the fans were so used to seeing Max with Liz."
Roswell plunged deeper into science fiction this season, departing somewhat from the romance and teen angst of the first year. It's de Ravin's opinion that the series works best when it has equal portions of both elements. "The combination broadens the audience," she observes. "It's nice when we concentrate on both things. Of course, we do some episodes that are more about relationships and some that are more SF, so it tends to equal out."
"Meet the Dupes" and "Max in the City" gave fans a wild look at punk versions of Tess and her fellow aliens. "That was kind of schizophrenic!" de Ravin exclaims. "But it was fun, too, dressing totally differently, having that different mindset, the accent, the whole thing. Then the next day, I would be back as Tess. It was hard for us all, but we had a great time doing it and hopefully it looked good."
Before Roswell, de Ravin had a recurring role as the Demon Curupira on BeastMaster. In fact, as the innocent yet petulant forest spirit, she blessed the hero with his animal powers to begin with. "I've only been acting professionally for two-and-a-half years, and that was my first job. Let's start with that," she says. "Daniel Goddard [who plays the BeastMaster Dar] was great, a real professional. We had fun doing scenes together. I actually hung out with him the other night; we're still friends."
On the whole, de Ravin remembers her BeastMaster experience fondly. "For one thing, it was shot back home [in Australia]. For another, it got me noticed and led to my role on Roswell. Also, we shot on location in the Queensland Rainforest, which was just beautiful. BeastMaster was a fun show, a great first thing to do."
Of the very strange costume de Ravin wore, she says, "I was a ballet dancer until I got that part. During ballet performances, we would wear lycra body suits [reminiscent of the BeastMaster outfit]. So to me, it really wasn't a strange costume at all."
Turning to the future, de Ravin ponders the fate of Roswell, which the WB will announce this month. "I think we have a good chance [of being renewed], especially because the last six episodes to air at the end are so good," she says. "The previous set ["The Hybrid Chronicles"] were really interesting, intense episodes, too. I hope we get renewed. But, at this point, we have no idea."
Beyond Roswell, de Ravin admits to having many of the same dreams that most television actors seem to share. "I want to move into films. I want to pursue as much of a serious acting career as I can, not just a flimsy overnight career. I take it very seriously," she says, "and I really want to pursue it for the rest of my life."
Emilie de Ravin closes with a direct expression of thanks to Roswell's fans. "They've been so supportive; they pretty much brought us back last season. I doubt we would be where we are now without them. Thank you for watching! I'm glad you enjoy Roswell."
FHM, July/August 2001 Issue
Emilie de Ravin
Sci-Fi ID: Tess, the 4th alien on Roswell
"My main one is being able to mind warp people into thinking something is going on when it isn't. For example, I could close my eyes and make you think there was a whole room of people here. It is a talent that has helped me save us from alien hunters and a whole lot of bad situations. It's called 'thought transference' and it would be a wonderful thing to have in real life. I could make people think I was 5-foot-10 and all sorts of amazing things."
"At first I got terrible mail. I wasn't welcome because Tess broke up a relationship between 2 other characters, Max and Liz. It was hard for viewers to accept another girl in Max's life and it was like 'Get away from him'. But they've warmed up to me a little more now."
Best Alien Contact? "When I kiss Max, he gets memory flashes from our home planet. That certainly gets his attention: 'Man I get stars when I kiss chicks. She must be real special'"
Best Sci-Fi Moment?
"Not many people get to save the world during their working day, but I do it nearly every week. My best world-saving moment came when we were pretty much about to be killed by the bad aliens, and Tess - that's me - closed her eyes and made the entire room burst into flames. I did it knowing the script, but I opened my eyes and thought 'What the hell did I do?' That was incredible to watch later."
Favorite Sci-Fi Thing?
"I've watched all the Star Wars movies and I love them, but apart from that, I'm not a big Sci-Fi fan. I'm more into the genre now that I'm on Roswell, because I like to see what other people have done and I feel I can use it in my work."
Do you believe in aliens?
"I'm still trying to work that out. I've had no extraterrestrial or UFO experience, so I'm not really sure either way."