Ruby Modine: On-Screen Villain, Real-Life Advocate

Ruby Modine may play a villain on-screen, but that’s just about as far as her mean streak goes. A genuinely kind-hearted artist, rising star Modine is not only profusely talented, she is also deeply passionate about equality, protecting animals and Mother Earth. We talked to the multi-talented Ruby about her inspiration as an artist, the importance of acting as a positive role model and her involvement with charity organisations.

S: You played an incredible villain in Happy Death Day. How did you find playing the evil character & did you come across any challenges in playing that role?

Ruby: I was really excited when I got that role. I always liked playing the villain. The challenges are really just surrounding the repetitiveness in each scene – “Oh, she finally roles in,” that was really exciting to work with Chris (Landon) on, and I know a lot of my cast mates feel the same way about that. I loved the role – before I went for the audition I got to read the script and I noticed that as I was reading the script I was so excitedly turning the page. I had no idea who the villain was and when I found out it was Lori, I just thought “no way.”

S: Yes, it was a great movie. I watched it again a few nights ago, and you gave an amazing performance.

Ruby: Thank you so much. I really do appreciate that. It was so much fun filming. That set is absolutely wild – I can tell you that everyone is always laughing because we’re always trying to scare one another.

S: I can imagine! It’s sure seems like it would be a lot of fun. Were there any horror films that inspired your performance?

Ruby: I tried to go back more to my years in high school. This is a bit of a cliché, but we go through those “Mean Girls” years, we encounter those mean girls and sometimes you fall into that role. So I kind of went back and thought about those experiences with my classmates – Regina George was a good example. I love thriller films, I watched, for some reason, *laughs*, American Psycho quite a bit.

Ruby Modine

S: So in the film, the same day is lived over and over again until Tree figures out who the murderer is. If you could pick any day in your life to relive, what day would that be and why?

Ruby: I have a lot of them, I think I would go back to…what year was that? I was on an amazing trip all over Europe. There was this one day when I went on a wonderful adventure down rapids; we jumped off cliffs into the water and then the instructor that we were with, proceeded to very kindly invite me, my dad and my brother to his home. There was a huge family and everyone was talking, there were candles everywhere, trees all along the hillside, Christmas lights everywhere, glowing teak in the wind. I remember the sun shining, and when it hit the grass it was really lovely. That’s the first thing that comes to mind, just a beautiful day with my family and some friends. 

S: Wow, that sounds absolutely amazing! Happy Death Day was not only a great horror/ comedy film, but also had a lot of vital underlying messages including fighting body shaming, self-acceptance & visibility for the LGBTQ+ community. Will the sequel be continuing to expand on these themes?

Ruby: I think they’re themes that are going to be explored in a lot of the films that Chris brings out because he brings people together. Everyone understands that we are all equal, nobody is better than one another, we all want to work. I feel safe to say that the whole cast feels that way in the production; that everyone is very supportive of one another, there’s no judgement and I think that’s a theme that you’ll see a lot throughout the sequel. There’s a lot of character on camera obviously, but each one of the cast mates has a really big part, and we want everyone to feel safe and happy with the film.

Ruby Modine

S: You have been really vocal on social media about your stance on immigration, LGBTQ+ rights & gun control. How important is it to you to maintain a clear voice about your opinions & act as a positive role for your fans?

Ruby: Absolutely 100 percent. All of the time. I don’t ever stop. I don’t know if you saw but a few months ago actually, I said that I hadn’t been doing enough on my social media. That was because there’s just so much happening that, it was really overwhelming. I don’t know, I wasn’t standing on my platform as much as I wanted to, but I plan on being a voice for that all the time. It’s very, very important to me that everyone understands that they’re all equal. There’s no room for judgement in my industry and I stand for that.

S: Your band Ruby Modine & The Disease released its debut EP in late 2018. How did your path into music begin? 

My EP was pulled from a place in my journal actually. I was looking through it when I decided that I wanted to release something very honest that mattered to me a lot. So I went to a recording studio with my business partner Zachary Murdoch, and we got the album out. I love absolutely all of the songs and I been getting some great feedback from them, which I really appreciate.

S: Do you have any upcoming performances or touring scheduled?

Ruby: I plan on doing some performances mainly in California but I have to get my voice a little stronger, because I’m having a little bit of vocal issues. So once I overcome that I plan on performing as much as possible for everyone.

S: What inspires you as an artist, both musically and in acting, and have there been any artists that have influenced your work?

Ruby: I grew up in a very artistic family and my parents sent me to artistic schools all the time. I did a lot of plays, and a lot of performances in music. As for inspiration, I watched a lot of films as I was growing up from the 30’s and 50’s, alongside being on set with my father, which shrouded everything. I would watch these people that I was spending time with on set, and then watch them transform into other people as they put these clothes on and become other human beings, and I thought that was so incredible. I wanted to do that, I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps.

There are a lot of actresses though, like Sofia Loren, and oh my gosh Emma Stone has become one of my all-time favourite actresses, although she’s close in age to me. As a singer Amy Winehouse really stuck out to me, in my first song “Plastic Jesus,” it is interesting because I actually have footage of me in the blues, and I always used to pray thinking that this is going to get me one step closer to performing with her. So she had a very big influence on my music because I really respected and looked up to her honesty in writing, which is where my EP really came from.

Ruby Modine

S: You recently got involved in a charity group, The Best Friends Organisation. Can you tell me more about the organisation and your work with them?

Ruby: I have yet to start with them, it’s just a new project that I signed up with in the New Year. I’m really excited to start working with them because I absolutely love animals and I want to protect as many as I can, all over planet earth. I’m trying to step into the waters, and I want to get involved with as many organisations as possible to help protect not only animals, but I also want to get involved with trying to do what I can for the environment. I’m a huge advocate for Mother Earth.

S: Are there any actors or directors that you would like to work with? Who would be your dream team?

Ruby: Oh my gosh. I have no answer for that! *Laughs* There’s so many directors, so many actors that I’m hoping to work alongside with. I’m a huge fan of Guillermo Del Toro, and I love Quentin Tarantino. But there’s so many great artists in the industry, directors, producers, directors of photography, actors, actresses. Any opportunity that I’m faced with or offered I’m going to find joy and be ecstatic, no matter what. In other words, everyone is my dream team!

S: You have quite a few projects slated for release this year, including the sequel Happy Death Day 2 U. Are there any projects currently in production that you can share with us?

Ruby: Not currently in production, the films that I’ve worked on are in post-production. One is Satanic Panic directed by the absolutely wonderful Chelsea Stardust. And then an independent film called American Desert, which I have a meeting with the director today to find out what direction it’s going. So that’s exciting to find out what’s happening with the films you have worked on. So those are the two that I have coming up. They were both wonderful experiences that were beautiful and different in so many ways. I’m really excited for the public to see them.

Catch Ruby in Happy Death Day 2 Uout in cinemas on the 13th of February.

Images by Tiziano Lugli.

Interview by Sahar Nicolette.


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