Rachael Taylor: A New Kind of Girl
photography by Aleksandar Tomovic
One late morning in March, I waited by my cell phone for a call. Another assignment: I was to interview an actress…nothing more, nothing less. Close to half an hour later, I was still on the phone with said actress. We had moved on from the sometimes overdone and mundane (yet mandatory) career questions to a much more casual tone in conversation. Not having known much on my subject, I assumed that she would naturally be guarded. I found out she was far from such a thing. With growing enthusiasm, we had graduated to little talks about nightlife and living in New York vs. L.A. My morning was already off to a good start. The actress was Rachael Taylor, a 29-year-young blonde bombshell sure to make any heterosexual man squeal.
It’s been nearly ten years since she was introduced to American audiences in Michael Bay’s action packed sci-fi film franchise, Transformers. Now, with a string of American projects under her belt, she’s coming to us in a new light, and I don’t mean the dozens of billboards strategically splattered all over Los Angeles of her new NBC series, Crisis.
An Australian native, Rachael Taylor was born in Launceston, Tasmania, a town so quaint it seems as if the lights and madness of the 21st century have yet to reach it. She’s a small-town girl with a well-traveled mindset, something she knew at a very young age. Having adored the area where she grew up, but so desperately seeking life elsewhere, Taylor’s the kind of woman who wows with her intellect, endears with her humility, and leaves you wide-eyed at her beauty. Covering BELLO’s Travel issue is not something this lady took lightly. A natural muse, she performs for the photographer as if carrying out a scene in the middle of a take: precise and to the point. Have ever the colors and patterns of spring hung so beautifully as they do on every page of Taylor’s spread? Playfully posing, she delivered slim to zero bad shots. It simply isn’t possible for her. Like any seasoned actress would, Taylor found her light. Don’t forget her shoulder-length sandy blonde hair, sure to be a trademark in the years to come.
What is it about Taylor that has her morphing into such contrasting characters so fluidly? Having played the superintendent of a New York building riddled with supernatural forces in ABC’s 666 Park Avenue, and now playing Agent Susie Dunn on the NBC thriller Crisis, the Headland star simply says it’s all in how she’s feeling in life at the moment. “The character I’m playing now [Agent Susie Dunn] feels right to me at this time in my life. Just as characters grow, so do I. I’ve never played a character quite like her before. I guess you could say I’m into playing strong female characters right now. Years from now, I’ll be in a completely different phase in my life as well as my career, and the characters I feel drawn to will also have changed.”
To prepare for the role of Agent Susie Dunn, a not-so-normal woman who’s extremely knowledgeable and good at her job, Taylor went straight for the horse’s mouth when it came to research time, deciding to speak with two former FBI agents. “The agents I spoke to were very valuable in the process of creating this character,” she says. “I didn’t dwell too much on the technicalities of the job. We spoke more on what it does to you as a person, and your home life. That’s what I thought mattered here. Our careers and day-to-day jobs affect us very much. Being a federal agent and having that happen was something I found very interesting and really wanted to explore.”
Her body of work is that of a quiet success. Steadily proving herself with every film or television role, she has been slowly but surely pulling us deeper in love with such raw talent and idealistic beauty. It wasn’t until that morning’s phone call that I had matched my ability to talk hours on end, bouncing from one topic to another. I had found my match in Rachael Taylor.
As the cool kids say, though, don’t get it twisted. Taylor’s face may be up on billboards for all of Los Angeles to see, but this Aussie wasn’t cut with cloth from the bougie isle. In fact, she couldn’t be more comfortable kicking back and entertaining for friends under her own roof rather than at some lavish Hollywood hotspot, frequented by both celebrities and those who live off their worst behavior, the paparazzo.
“I prefer staying in. I’m the one out of my friends that’s always like, why do we have to go to chateau? I’ll get the drinks and we can just hang at my place. I [would] much rather unwind with a good glass of something and skip going out.”
Lucky for us, it’s too late for Australia to want Rachael Taylor back; if they did, the Americans (me being one of them) simply wouldn’t have it. A universe short of such a creature would be quite the crisis.
PHOTOGRAPHY ALEKSANDAR TOMOVIC / WWW.ALEKANDSTEPH.COM
STYLING WARREN ALFIE BAKER / WWW.WARRENALFIEBAKER.COM
MAKEUP NICOLE WALMSLEY / WWW.NICOLEWALMSLEY.COM
HAIR SIENREE USING ORIBE HAIR CARE / WWW.SIENREE.COM
Production Bello Media Group | words by Dio Anthony