The Evolution of Emmy Rossum

The 'Brilliant Creatures' actress reveals how she went from 'terrified' starlet to 'evil villain.'

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Emmy Rossum made her Hollywood breakthrough in 2004 as Christine, the ingénue who captures the attention of the disfigured title character in Phantom of the Opera. Nine years later, Rossum is playing Ridley, one of the villainesses in Beautiful Creatures who menaces a young woman (played by Alice Englert).

The transition from would-be victim to antagonist has played out on screen as well as in life for Rossum, who has taken on increasingly mature acting challenges as she’s gotten older.

 

“I wonder if I looked or seemed as terrified as I actually was when you first met me,” she told Celebuzz, whichpoor  first spoke to Rossum for Opera. “I was not ready for everything that came with that movie, and I was out of my element and had no idea how to handle myself.”

In Beautiful Creatures, Rossum faced not only the prospect of playing a bad guy – or girl – but vamping it up, old-Hollywood style, unlike she’s ever attempted before.

“She kind of channels different old movie stars from Rita Hayworth to Marilyn Monroe,” Rossum explains. “Embracing those different looks was incredibly fun. I loved the challenge of playing this likeable evil villain.”

Although the idea of an “evil villain” somehow being “likeable” might seem counterintuitive – not to mention a tough task for an actor – Rossum says that it’s precisely because of her on- and off-screen evolution that she’s capable of handling the part.

“I guess the roles that I’ve gone after have been more challenging and more adult as I’ve felt able to take on different things,” she says.

Beautiful Creatures opens in theaters nationwide February 14. Watch Celebuzz’s exclusive interview with Rossum, and then head to the comments section and tell us:  what do you think of Rossum as an actress? Is she capable of being really, really bad?

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