Emilie de RavinLeading

Emilie at Gist.com

Thanks to Megan and Karen for sending this in.

From Entertainment MSN:

True Grit
WB, Mondays, 9 to 10 p.m. ET

By Jenny Higgons

While some people might hesitate to relocate to a city that’s a 14-hour plane ride from their family and friends, it was a minor consideration for Roswell’s Emilie de Ravin when she left Melbourne, Australia, for Los Angeles.

“I’m very into persevering,” says the 19-year-old who plays Tess, one of the four teen extraterrestrials on the WB show. “Nothing stops me. If I want to do something, I’ll do it.”

De Ravin had the support of her parents and two older sisters when, in December 1999, she visited the City of Angels to find an agent. Her mission quickly accomplished, she went home for the holidays. Meanwhile, a 20th Century Fox casting honcho, who’d seen her as Demon Curupira on the Australia-based syndicated TV series Beastmaster, phoned her Down Under to request an appointment. When de Ravin returned to L.A. for good six weeks later, meetings with the Fox casting people soon yielded her a place on Roswell.

“I was very lucky,” she recalls. “I’d just done a year on and off of [Beastmaster] and just decided to give it a go in L.A.”

Beastmaster was her first acting job after having pursued a career in ballet since the age of 13. She’d attended a number of ballet academies — including the demanding Australian Ballet School — before deciding to expand her career options by giving acting a two-month try; if it didn’t pan out, she’d return to dancing. But Beastmaster came along, and she hung up her toe shoes.

“I totally miss it,” de Ravin says of ballet. “It’s a wonderful way to express yourself, another form of acting, in a way. But if I were to [resume it], it would take me about five years to get back to the professional standard I was at.”

De Ravin’s had plenty of time to hone her skills as an actor, though, after guest-starring on Roswell last spring and then graduating to full-time status in October.

“I’m really happy with the progression of the character, especially in the second season,” she explains. “It’s given me a lot more to work with.”

Tess, once an outsider, is now happily ensconced in the lives of the three other alien teens and their human pals.

“She’s shown Max [Jason Behr], Isabel [Katherine Heigl] and Michael [Brendan Fehr] what their alien skills are,” explains de Ravin, who picked up an American accent in a snap. “She’s no longer the new girl on the block, and they’re treating her like family. I think she’s just trying to work out what’s best for the four of them and their planet. She’s a very sweet girl.”

Tess’ otherworldly pursuits aside, de Ravin likes to exercise, paint, shop and spend time with her new American buddies. When asked for pointers on making chums in a new city, her answer reflects her pioneer spirit: “You just go out and meet people. It’s actually fun to not know anyone and go out and find friends — or let them find you!”