Elysia Rotaru – Residue
By: Tara Donahue
Q) You’re starring in a new movie, Residue, tell us a little about the movie.
A) It’s a horror noir film, with some great twists and turns.
Q) How was your character originally described to you?
A) Monica is the love interest of the lead, Luke Harding (James Clayton). She is also the manager and cleaner of the building he and his daughter reside in.
Q) How did you come to be part of such a unique project?
A) I was fortunate enough to land an audition for it, and I had a blast in the room, playing around with James Clayton, who plays the lead and the “Motorcycle Boys.”
Q) What did you find challenging about the role?
A) The challenge was not to play Monica on one level. She has a past, a reason for being there. It was fun to flesh out. It can be an easy trap for an actor to say, “Ok, she cleans, is a manager, single, etc.” and just play on those things, but I always have to ask WHY? On a personal level, it was tough for me to stay away from the “book” in the film. My character didn’t really have a connection with it in the story, but I wanted to see it and touch it.
Q) What were some of your most memorable moments filming Residue?
A) The people. Getting to work with friends always tickles my soul in the right way. And this set was just that.
Q) You’ve been in a lot of my favorite shows! “Smallville,” “Hellcats,” “iZombie” and “Supernatural” to name a few. What has it been like to be part of so many different franchises?
A) I’m so grateful. I’ve been blessed to get a taste of a lot of different experiences in my career thus far and I know it infuses my work and also helps me gain more clarity towards what I truly align with and want to play.
Q) You played not one, but two different characters on “Supernatural.” How did that come to be?
A) I landed an audition, booked it and then a few years later was asked to audition again for a different role and booked it as well. I didn’t think I would because of my previous role, but was glad I did.
Q) What was it like working with Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles?
A) Those two men are hilarious and I love being around their energy. They were always so warm to welcome me to set, so much fun and professional at the same time. You could feel they were in a good groove. The whole set is this well oiled machine.
Q) What was it like working on “Arrow?”
A) To sum it up, I would say it was exciting and a wonderful learning curve. I really grew a lot from working on that show.
Q) Those flashback scenes were all so jungle based, what was it like working on a set like that?
A) One of my favorite parts was being outdoors. We have gorgeous landscapes here in the Pacific Northwest and being able to play in the dirt, mud and fresh air while practicing my craft is a win-win. It makes things more challenging, but more honest, because it is real; fighting against weather changes, or temperature. I mean look at The Revenant. Obviously, my scenes don’t compare, but the idea is there. We also shot in studio and once again, as always, I was blown away by the talented crews I worked with. Walking onto a sound stage that’s been made into a cave is breathtaking. They did a lot to make our “island” feel like one.
Q) In Season Four of “Arrow,” it’s shown that Taiana gets affected by the dark magic that comes from the idol. What did you think of that storyline?
A) I was so pumped for that. I didn’t know what was planned for her and every time I would get a new episode, things became wilder and I really enjoyed that. It gave her an edge I knew she had and that I wanted to bring out in her.
Q) Did you do anything special to prepare for your role on “Arrow?”
A) I did lots of research on Russian dialects, upped my time at the gym and really focused on strength and fight training. This was mostly because I didn’t know what they were going to do with me or how they would use me. James Bamford knew I was up for anything and as the season went on he gave me more acting and stunts. I just always wanted to be ready physically, linguistically, and acting wise.
Q) Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
A) On September 12th I have a movie coming out called Dead Again In Tombstone, where I star alongside Danny Trejo. You can see me in Season Two of Netflix’s “Travelers.” I also star in another indie feature Heart of Clay alongside Mackenzie Gray from “Legion” and I have a plethora of voice work I do, but can’t mention titles yet. But if you’re into magical ponies, you might hear someone you know in Season Seven (wink wink). The best way to see what I’m working on though is through IMDB at Imdb.me/elysiarotaru and, of course, on my Instagram @elysiarotaru.