LARUICCI X PHOTOBOOK
Elisabeth Rohm, a German-American actress, has had roles in major films: “Bombshell, “Joy,” “American Hustle,” “The Starling,” and “The Tribes of Palos Verdes.” She stars in the upcoming film “Starlight” about the escapist fantasies of a traumatized orphan. She also has a robust portfolio of television roles including Serena Southerlyn on “Law & Order” and Kate Lockley on “Angel,” as well as roles on “Jane the Virgin,” “Stalker,” “The Last Ship,” and “Flaked.” Elisabeth recently directed Anne Heche in “Girl in Room 13” about human trafficking.
How did you get into acting?
I started acting at Sarah Lawrence College and was an intern at the ensemble studio theater. My first big break was a studio contract with “One Life to Live” and shortly thereafter I was lucky to forge the relationship with Dick Wolf that brought me a pilot and the eventual game changer, “Law and Order.” After that I did several other shows and movies. But I owe a debt of gratitude to Dick Wolf for taking a chance on a newbie and giving me my first huge opportunity. Having champions in your life can define your career. And I have been very lucky to have several meaningful ones.
Do you bring anything you learned from your training in writing and European History at Sara Laurence to your acting career? You wrote an unpublished novel – would you ever like to be a screenwriter?
I went to Sarah Lawrence to be a writer and my major was European history. Both endeavors really inspired my passion for being a storyteller. While I was exploring acting on the side I developed a love for being a part of the storytelling as an actor. Sarah Lawrence has an incredible theater department and thankfully I had the right acting teachers who helped me bring stories to life as a character. My love of getting underneath the play or screenplay and the portrayal of characters and their journeys has been my motivation for thirty years now.
LARUICCI Dream Lover Necklace from SS22 Collection
s there anything in particular you look for when choosing projects to work on?
First, I read the script and see if it speaks to me just simply. Am I moved, excited by it and or turned on by the material. If it feels like there’s something there that’s important to tell whether a drama, comedy, or romance, then I’m in. It’s a nuanced and intuitive choice often times. The genre isn’t necessarily that important. The thing it has more to do with the point of the script, the journey, or the arc of the storytelling and then of course as far as acting is concerned who the director and producers are. Who are the people that I am going to collaborate with on the vision. That’s hugely important. If I am the keeper of the flame, the one who is in charge of the vision coming to life, then I have to feel a burning passion to invest a large part of my life into that project. The why if it has to be clear and that creativity has a positive impact it necessary impact. So like I said, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a drama, comedy, etc., but it does need to have a purpose for me.
What was it like working with Jennifer Laurence on both “Joy” and “American Hustle?”
Working with Jennifer Lawrence was electrifying. I’ve never seen an actress so dynamic and inspiring. The way she works with the camera and an incredible Director like David O Russell is just magnificent. She is wise, funny, kind, and just a phenomenal talent. I was thrilled to do two movies with her and would love to do again!
What was it like working with David O. Russell twice?
Meeting David O Russell was such a pivotal and important moment in my life. I had done so much television and although I was proud of the shows I had done I had never had the freedom to embody a character like I was able to in “American Hustle.” It changed my way of working entirely. David is so brilliant, inspiring, and loves actors who freefall and trust him entirely. To put myself in the hands of another person like that was such an exciting experience. Then to get to do it a second time was a privilege and to collaborate again with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro. etc. a meaningful part of my life. I’m so thankful to David for changing the way I act and my desire to tell stories not only in front of the camera but behind. He is a beautiful force of nature and an incredible spirit.
How did you prepare to play Martha MacCallum in “Bombshell?” Was it a challenge to portray a real person?
I wanted to work with Jay Roach so badly and was such a huge fan of his. It seems like a fantastic opportunity to try to embody Martha McCallum in “Bombshell.” I think playing a real person, especially living is such an exciting challenge because on one hand you want to make it really true to who that person is but on the other hand you have to find your way into the material. So, there is a very specific amount of attention you have to pay to body language, accent, etc. I like that kind of detailed challenging work. I hope Martha felt that I represented her appropriately.
What was it like directing “Girl in Room 13?” What stood out to you about the story? Is directing a path you’d like to continue down?
Directing “Girl in Room 13” appealed to me because I felt like it was a difficult topic and a necessary one to look deeper into human trafficking. I had wanted to explore the film because Lifetime is so responsible when it comes to their stop violence against women platform, I knew that they would do a great job promoting the film as well as they aligned us with a nonprofit called Polaris. Along with Polaris and the stars of the movie Anne Heche and Larissa Dias we did a PSA for Polaris to draw more attention to their incredible organization. Directing has become a great passion of mine and “Girl in Room 13” is the third film that I’ve directed.
What was it like portraying the intensities of a mother-son relationship strained by drug abuse in “The Runner?” Did you take anything you learned about teen drug abuse to your director role on “Girl in Room 13?”
“The Runner” was a beautifully done movie by the cinematographer Pierluigi Malavasi that I’ve worked with as a director on my first two films, “Girl in the Basement” starring Judd Nelson and “Switched before Birth” staring Justina Machado. He’s a marvel as a cinematographer. So, I’m a huge fan of “The Runner” aesthetically. I didn’t relate to the dynamic between the mother and son in “The Runner,” thought I found it inspiring to portray the complexities of the relationship between a working mom trying to provide a great life and a son who is troubled and who gets into a world of self-destruction. It’s painful to watch the dynamic between these two and it was a real privilege working with the cast with the Director, Michelle Danner. As far as understanding teen drug abuse that isn’t really what “Girl in Room 13” was about. That was just a small part of the story. “Girl in Room 13” was about a mother with unwavering faith in her daughter and the resilience of a young women abducted for human trafficking.
What inspired you o start your baby bottle brand, Emulait?
I was approached by Emulait to partner with them, and what inspired me the most was the innovation and science around the bottle itself. Having a child, I know the emotional road of breast-feeding. The mental health and well-being of mothers and young families is important to me and I know that breast-feeding can be a challenging journey for some. Also, having balance in your life and bottle feeding while still maintaining connection is something that I very much tried to have in my own life. Emulait would have been the answer that I was looking for at the time when I needed to go back to work and began to bottle feed more frequently and then eventually dried up and was no longer able to breast-feed. The science behind Emulait is that we emulate the actual breast of a woman and it allows for a complete connection to your child whether you are only bottle feeding or bottle feeding and pumping or breast and bottle feeding. It tells the individual story of each woman because we create bottles based on your individual breast.
PhotoBook Editor-In-Chief: Alison Hernon
PhotoBook Creative Director: Mike Ruiz + @mikeruiz.one
Photographer: Samantha Rapp
Talent: Elisabeth Rohm
Fashion Editor: Alison Hernon
Fashion Stylist: Tanya Tamburin
Fashion Stylist Assistant Imoya Monroque
Hair: Liam Dunn using Oribe , Makeup by Liam Dunn using CLARINS USA represented by IMAJ Artists
Tearsheets by Daniel López, Associate Art Director, PhotoBook Magazine
Interview by Sienna Ropert, Contributor, PhotoBook Magazine