PopWrap devotees will know that I have, for whatever reason, an unhealthy obsession with certain heads of hair. Now, I don't mean that in a fetish or Hair-Doll kind of way. There are simply some actors whose tender tresses seem able to catch the light and wind a little more effectively than others. Rachelle Lefevre is one of those people.
But even I couldn't have anticipated that our interview would go to Care-A-Lot by me simply mentioning her curly locks. Thankfully for "Off The Map" fans, I recalibrated halfway through and got you some very intriguing scoop as well.
PopWrap: Ok, so I know this might be a little weird, but I'm incredibly enamored with your hair.
Rachelle Lefevre: [laughs] Oh my god, I love you. I don’t get that from a lot of men, but it takes all kinds [laughs].
PW: How's that working for you in Hawaii?
Rachelle: Oh, it's fantastic. The back of my neck is like a waterfall [laughs]. Sweating all day, but my hairdresser is very, very busy. We keep the anti-frizz glossing cream industry in business. I think the majority of our show budget goes to keeping my hair under control.
PW: But filming in Hawaii has to have its advantages as well, right?
Rachelle: Yea, it’s unbelievable. There’s something about constant sunshine and rainbows that kind of makes everything ok. I’m sitting in the worst traffic right now and just as I was about to freak out, a rainbow appeared in the sky. It’s like Care-A-Lot, I swear.
PW: Oh, nice Care Bear reference. Do you have a favorite one?
Rachelle: I liked Grumpy Bear. I loved that he was always sad and assumed he was the outsider because of the rain cloud on his tummy. But The Care Bear Stare wasn’t complete without him.
PW: Ok, I could talk about Care Bears all day, but I think ABC would like me to ask some show questions, so ... you weren't originally part of the show. How did you come to join the cast?
Rachelle: Well, I had met Shonda [Rhimes], Betsy [Beers] and Jenna [Bans] previously and when they were retooling the pilot, they wanted to add a character for me. Someone who was conceived but not yet written. So I went in for a meeting where they pitched me a character, which was amazing, because I got to have some input.
PW: What in particular excited you about Ryan?
Rachelle: She has this great backstory that is finally revealed in episode 6 – it's a wowza, cartoon eyes coming out of their sockets moment that they told me in that first meeting. The minute they told me why she was this impulsive free spirit I was very interested.
PW: Any hesitation about signing on?
Rachelle: I was nervous about moving to Hawaii but Betsy looked right at me and said, “they have a Whole Foods.” That clinched it. [laughs]
PW: What can you tease about this backstory?
Rachelle: I will say that, people tend to make things overly complicated for themselves – so much about human behavior is about not dealing with your feelings and Ryan runs so far in the other direction that when you finally figure out her "secret," you want to say to her, “are you effing crazy? This is how you’re dealing with this?” She’s not insane, she’s just damaged and terrified from this thing that she’s running from.
PW: A couple of your co-stars have cited the jargon as this job's toughest aspect. Is that true for you?
Rachelle: I can get my head around the words – and thank god for Wikipedia, because I’m always on that – but there’s a way that doctors handle people that has been the toughest for me.
PW: How so?
Rachelle: The way they touch them -- there's such confidence in that. The most crass way to describe it is that by the time you get out of med school you’ve had a hand in every human orifice, so you’re incredibly comfortable around the human body. Non-doctors don’t have that. So I’m still struggling to look comfortable manhandling people.
PW: Did you ever want to be a doctor growing up?
Rachelle: Most actors will tell you that it takes a while to figure out what you want to be because we just want to do everything we see on TV and don't know that "actor" is a job yet. I wanted to be a lawyer, a teacher, a marine biologist – everything! But never doctor. That never factored in. The only time I actually want to be one is when something happens in real life – like on a plane -- and you think, how rockstar would it be if I got to be the person who stands up when a flight attendant asks, is there a doctor on the plane?
"Off The Map" airs Wednesdays at 10pm on ABC
Photo: WireImage; ABC