Ruby Jerins is a very busy actress – between film engagements (“Shutter Island” and “Remember Me,” to name two recent works), a recurring role on television’s “Nurse Jackie”, ballet, and school, she barely has time to just be Ruby. But she was able to carve out some time to talk with Fringe Report’s Kevin Gillette via Skype, and a portrait of a charming, talented and energetic young girl emerged:
Fringe Report – Ruby, I know you’re very busy, so I just want to thank you for taking a few minutes to talk with me. First, how did you get started in acting? You’ve been doing this a very long time.
Ruby Jerins – My mother acted, so when I was young, I sort of did what she did; I went with her. At first I did modelling, when I was a baby, and then I went on my first audition and I booked a commercial, and so that’s how it got started.
FR – How old were you when you did your first commercial? Because you’re only 11 now, correct?
RJ – I think I was 4 years old. And Yes, I’m 11 now.
FR – And in addition to your mother being an actress, your dad is an artist, too – what sort of work does he do?
RJ – Yeah, my dad is an artist. He’s known for his big charcoal drawings, but he also paints in oils and does some pastel work.
FR – What were your first roles, aside from the commercial – say, in film and television?
RJ – Aside from the commercial, I did “Six Degrees” – it’s a TV show – that was sort of my first big role. Before that I had commercials and smaller parts in movies, some of which my mom were in.
FR – You do a lot of kinds of roles – for example, you’ve done some dark comedy with “Nurse Jackie,” and you do some dramatic stuff, such as the first time I ever saw you, which was in “Zoe’s Day.” How do you get into character? I mean, you’re this sweet little kid – how do you do this sort of thing?
RJ – When I audition, or when I prepare for a part, my mom works with me, and we sometimes write some notes about the character; like if it’s a period piece, we might research the time period. And I think about people that I know that remind me of the character. And I also listen to music that also reminds me of the character. When I’m doing more emotional parts, I’ll think about someone I’m familiar with. Usually I get to know the people I’m working with, so it’s easier to be comfortable with them, but if I need to, I can imagine that they’re somebody else and that helps me feel what I need to feel.
FR – Can you tell me a little bit about the training you’ve had?
RJ – I have never actually been in an acting class – some of my friends have – it would be cool, but I had never really thought about it before. My mom helps me with everything, so she’s kind of a built-in acting coach. I dance at Ballet Academy East – I take ballet 5 times a week, and I’ve been taking that for a long time. At the ballet place I go to we have modern dance and pointe once a week, and I’ve taken tap dancing at the 92nd St. Y for a few years. But I got too busy to continue.
FR – You have a very busy schedule – is it hard balancing acting, dance, school, friends, etc.?
RJ – I do a lot of things, that’s true – my school gives a lot of homework, and I usually get home around 8:30, and I tend to go to bed kind of late getting all of that done. With my friends, well, during the weekends sometimes I’m able to see them, but during the week I usually never see any of my friends, except in school and at dance class.
FR – Are there any actors or actresses you’d like to work with, or any roles you’d like to do? With luck, you have a long career ahead of you, so here’s a chance to dream a little bit. What do you think?
RJ – I have to think about this one … I’m not sure if I have any dream *parts* at the moment. All of the genres are fun; comedy I haven’t done as much. I mainly do drama and stuff like that, emotional things, which is fun, but once in a while I like doing comedy. I really just take it as it comes; I’m not really particular. I mean, every single person that I’ve worked with has been really great. There’s not one person that I’ve ever thought, “Oh, I wish I didn’t have to work with that person.” I just saw “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” and really liked Johnny’s [Depp] and Leo’s [DiCaprio] work in that, especially. I also recently saw “Bedtime Stories” and laughed out loud at Adam Sandler and Russell Brand.
FR – Ruby, again, I know you have homework to do, so I’ll let you go, but thank you again for taking time to talk with me. It’s such a pleasure to meet you, and I know you have many great things ahead of you. Don’t forget us little people!
RJ – <laughs> You’re welcome – it was nice to meet you, too.
(c) Kevin Gillette 20 July 2010