The Verge: Rose McIver


Playing that other Salmon girl in Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lovely Bones, Kiwi actress Rose McIver turned Lindsey -- older sister to Saoirse Ronan's Susie -- into one of the film's more grounded and enjoyable elements: part Nancy Drew, part budding action hero, and always convincing in her transformation from gawky tweendom through young adulthood. We spoke with the young actress, who might be familiar to your kids as one of the stars of Power Rangers Racing Performance Machines, on a recent visit to L.A. for Bones's U.S. premiere.

You've been an actress since you were a child in New Zealand. What's the scene like down there?

It's quite small. Some of the people I worked with this year I've known since I was three.

So it's like a family? Do you keep running into the same people over and over again?

Absolutely, and I feel very secure and looked after there.

Had you ever worked with Peter Jackson before?

No, never. He's from Wellington.

Wow, really? I thought the whole country was in Lord of the Rings. So you hadn't met him until you auditioned for The Lovely Bones.

No, I hadn't.

I understand he looked at hundreds of actresses trying to cast this part. How did you feel going into the audition?

I was certain I didn't have a chance. So I turned up in track pants and a big teddy bear T-shirt that I wear to the gym. And that worked in my favor because it turns out that was exactly what Lindsey is.

You had to play this character over an extended period of growth.

Yes, 11 to 19.

It was a very convincing transformation. How old are you now?

I'm 21 now.

What techniques did you use to achieve that illusion?

So much of that is the makeup and the hair and the costumes. I had hair weaves and braces and freckles and all sorts of things that help you think outside yourself. But I've played all ages, and so it was also really a matter of where I was in my head, and how I felt, and how I carried myself.

How did Peter Jackson suggest you capture the cellphone and YouTube-free '70s?

He had an amazingly designed set. The interiors just blew us away. I got to help with Lindsey's room.

Were you told at all what the afterlife would look like?

Well in the big print in the script you could gauge certain things, but it was impossible to imagine really what he was going to create. And the first time I saw that was a couple of months ago, and I thought he did a fantastic job.

Were you present for any of the more disturbing sequences? Like her murder?

Maybe I was for a very small portion. We knew what was happening.

And what was the mood on the set?

It was incredibly light, all things considered. Peter made sure we had a light environment.