So, what do shows like Smallville, Fringe, Supernatural and iZombie have in common? The talented and beautiful actress, Elysia Rotaru, that’s what. Elysia happens to be the perfect combo of brains (focusing on psychology in college), beauty (and I’m talking drop-dead gorgeous) and childhood innocence (she loves climbing trees and collecting rocks and bugs). So yeah, you can say she’s the total package.
Fortunately for the world, she decided to change out of her psychology major and focus on the arts instead – a love she had from a child, dancing and singing in her living room. Obviously, this was the best of choices for her, and the best of luck for us, as she’s had the opportunity to act in a smorgasbord of our favorite shows. An extended amount actually; with a portfolio that includes Psych, Smallville, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Sanctuary, Fringe, Supernatural, and the recent Backstrom and iZombie.
Don’t Forget a Towel had the opportunity to chat with this amazing girl and get to know a little more about her… how she started off her career, her favorites films, her top Superheros and what the future holds for her. So check it out below, and get to know her a little better yourself.
DFAT: Hello Elysia, I wanted to start off by thanking you for giving us this chance to talk. We’re huge fans here, and you kind of hit all our sweet spots with all the the amazing shows you’ve been in.
Elysia: Thanks so much, I love what I do and I’m elated to chat with you.
DFAT: The pleasure is all ours. Lets start off with a little bit about you… it looks like you grew up always being involved in the arts, but you officially changed your career when you changed your major from psychology to focus on theater. Tell us… how did you come about this official change? Was it something that was building up? Was there a specific moment where you just told yourself “tomorrow I’m changing classes”?
Elysia: I suppose the build up started to happen as I was in second year. Ever since I can remember I was always interested in the stranger things in life. So in University, I loved learning about abnormal psych, behaviour and developmental stages, but something was missing and I couldn’t figure it out yet. The clouds parted one day as I was sitting in my statistics class, I was zoning out, day dreaming about how I would “act out” the topics we were discussing instead. I would rather be “up” on a stage right now than “sitting” in a chair and crunching numbers. After that class I asked my myself “why am I in this class right now?”
So, I walked to the admissions office and placed in my request to change majors from psych to theatre. I was already taking theatre and psych classes, so now, I had set myself to really dive into “the work” and focus on acting. I realized that I adore Psychology and that I needed to use that knowledge in a more active way, with my body, voice and imagination up on stage, telling stories.
DFAT: That must have been a great day. I remember I myself was focusing in Legal Studies (only dabbling in Writing and Film at the time), when I went to see Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream. I was so astonished by that film, I literally changed my major the next day. What film (or even show) has had an influence on you that just has stuck with you?
Elysia: I remember watching a lot of films I probably wasn’t allowed to as a kid and one of those films was “Leon: The Professional”. In retrospect, I think that was one of the movies that propelled my dreams to be a strong female actor. Natalie Portman’s character was one of the first female leads that I remember defying traditional gender roles. “La Femme Nikita” was another one.
DFAT: HA! Leon is one our favorite films as well… a masterpiece in its own right. Speaking of movies and shows, it looks like you have worked with both… any preference?
Elysia: Hmmmm, both mediums have aspects that attract me. I am a pretty versatile actor so right now I’m focusing on films so I can explore a variety of characters and work some out of my system, lol. I love the opportunity films offer to really immerse yourself in the work/role for a concentrated period of time and then you get to move forward on to another; I feel the same way about guest star roles on a series, but on a smaller scale. Playing a supporting, recurring or lead on a series really trains your actor muscles to reinvest in and honor the character over an extended period of time. I like to keep on my toes and always be active-pun intended.
DFAT: I can see what you mean. That being said, I also have a double question for you, as in my experience, these can differ…
One, what has been your favorite character/story you have ever worked on?
Elysia: In my last year of University we put on a modern adaptation of the greek tragedy Eurydice and that was one of my favorite characters and stories I have had the chance to play.
DFAT: Great answer (I’m Greek btw and had to study that back in school). And the second part of that question… what has been the most exciting/fun production you’ve worked on?
Elysia: Aside from my voice over career which is just as fun and exciting, for on camera work it’s the SPX, CGI and stunts and all that kinda stuff that tickles my fancy. Working on green screen is as always a blast, because I find that it really stimulates my imagination and technique. I really liked being lit up in flames on “Supernatural”, or having a ghostly foot up my nose in “Dairy Of a Wimpy Kid 2”.
DFAT: It must be lots of fun seeing the finished product after all is said and done. Green screening elements are such an internal part of most the films we watch. Just in case you didn’t realize this about us here at Don’t Forget A Towel, we’re huge into the science fiction, superheroes and Zombies… and it looks like you’ve been awesome enough to work on everything, from Smallville, Fringe, to Supernatural to your recent iZombie. Any of these shows on your favorites list?
Elysia: All these shows have a sweet spot on that list, they each have a certain quality that I am attracted to. And thanks for thinking I am awesome, you guys are pretty rad too.
DFAT: Well, thanks for that. We try 🙂 More importantly, we love what we do because actresses like yourself love what you do! And we’re talking about these types of shows and things we love… who’s your favorite superhero?
Elysia: I love Wonder Woman, she’s a mentor of mine LOL. I also adore Rogue from X-Men and was stuck on Witchblade for years. These strong, smart, sexy babes inspire my imagination and encourage me.
DFAT: Good picks! I completely forgot about Witchblade… I use to love that comic. You know, if they ever decide to giving that another shot as a show, that role totally needs to be yours! How about your favorite zombie movie?
Elysia: Ahhhhhhh, there are so many wicked zombie movies, “28 Days Later”, “Resident Evil”, “Night of the Living Dead”, “Pet Cemetery” etc…but I think my fav zombie movie that came to mind right away is “My Boyfriend’s Back”.
DFAT: I actually don’t think I’ve ever seen that one… Putting it on my To Do list. 28 Days is definitely on my top. Speaking of Zombies and apocalyptic scenarios, it looks like you recently worked on a short, Earthlickers. How did you get involved in that and how was working on it?
Elysia: I knew the writers so I was excited for the audition and it was a lot of fun in that room. Filming the short film Earthlickers was such a great experience, it was an action packed couple of days and we had a really talented and passionate cast and crew. I am looking forward to having them win CineCoup, so I can hopefully have the opportunity to play goddess O again on the big screen. http://www.cinecoup.com/earthlickers/hype
DFAT: We’re going to have to check it out! How about some other recent stuff you’ve worked on. As a huge fan of the Office (and obviously of Rainn Wilson), I’ve become a fan of Backstrom. The entire cast is perfect, obviously including yourself. How was working on that? Did you get to hang out with Rainn at all off set?
Elysia: The Backstrom set was a lot of fun for me because my character got to play with fire. I didn’t get a chance to meet Rainn as I didn’t have scenes with him, but Genevieve and Kristoffer were so welcoming and very cool to work with and taking in Alex Chapple’s detailed direction was very enthralling.
DFAT: Yeah, the show is very well produced. THat always makes being on set a pleasant experience. How about working on iZombie? Any memorable moments from set?
Elysia: Working on that set was cool because people were just buzzing with that “pilot” vibe. The most memorable moments on that set were getting to act in my mother tongue of Romanian, meeting Robert Buckley and playing alongside Rose McIver and Malcom Goodwin. Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero have such a great presence and just getting to work on their project was a privilege.
DFAT: That’s awesome. Working with good and talented people are always such a positive experience. Who would you say the biggest name you’ve had the opportunity to meet has been – or even better, who was the most interesting in person?
Elysia: Well, the one person I know who answers both those questions is someone I have been great friends with for years now, Shay Mitchell.
DFAT: Shay Mitchell from Pretty Little Liars? That’s great. I’m sure you two have plenty of interesting stories we might need to hear one day. I guess we can wrap this up with some info on your upcoming projects… looks like you’re working on a few shorts and some more TV appearances. Can you tell us about any of these?
Elysia: We are in post-production for a couple of short films I worked on called “Run” and “The Wall”. I also will be featured in a upcoming music video for a song called “Save it on a page”, which is written and produced by my friend Michael Daingerfield. You can check info about that project and vote for it here: http://www.storyhive.com/project/show/id/566.
DFAT: Once again, thanks so much for your time. It’s been great talking to you and we’re very excited to see you in future projects!
Elysia: Thank YOU for your interest and support and I look forward to chatting with you again. And from now on I will always remember my towel. lol.
So, for all you new (and old) Elysia fans, keep an eye on this gem cause we’re sure she’ll be showing up in every show we love, and films too. And maybe this is a good time to start a petition to give Witchblade another go as a show, with Elysia as Sara Pezzini!
Stay tuned with us here at Don’t Forget a Towel and we bring you any news we get from Elysia, along with all other geekly information we come across!