The Römance of
ELISABETH RÖHM – By Stacey Gualandi By the time the summer of ‘17 arrived earlier this year,
many people were set for a long, leisurely vacation. Not Elisabeth Röhm. This versatile actress couldn’t catch a break, but that was a good thing. In May 2017, she played a cop-on-horseback for the longtime Mark Harmon crime series favorite NCIS; then in June, she was a recovering alcoholic alongside Will Arnett in Netflix’s second season of Flaked. Switching gears, she played Ryan Philippe’s wife in the big-screen thriller Wish Upon about a magical-yet-menacing box. Oh, and in August, Röhm wrapped her FBI agent role on Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s new Crackle’s series, The Oath in Puerto Rico. Whew. And that’s just the summer. Born in Germany and raised in New York City, the single mom may just be one of Hollywood’s busiest character actors on TV, film, and live streaming. But this Röhm wasn’t built in a day. Long after making her Hollywood mark as steely lesbian assistant DA Serena Southerlyn on NBC’s Law & Order, she spent a decade acting in lesser-known independent films…until director David O. Russell came calling. Röhm played against type in Russell’s American Hustle and in Joy opposite Jennifer Lawrence, roles which gave way to her bountiful summer and allowed her to be more choosy about filming roles, literally in her backyard. “I chose Flaked specifically because I live in Venice, Calif. I love it. We’ve lived here 10 years and I’m completely devoted to this community.” On cool morning in June, the heart of Venice was just where we broke banana bread, at the Rose Café. Wearing her self-described beach chic style, and flanked by her trusty team—9-year-old daughter Easton (with a fresh new set of braces)—and their rescue pup Blue, Röhm fit right in. It was a chance for her to reflect on the past year, and to catch her breath before competing with fellow TV lawyers on a nostalgic reboot of Battle of the Network Stars. “I felt like, particularly this year, I wanted to do lots of different things. I wanted to have fun and challenge myself,” says Röhm.
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But she’s not finished yet. Up next, this actor-with-a-cause will appear in Love is All You Need?, a movie that flips the script to show a world where heterosexuality is taboo, and Will Gardner, the story of a war veteran on a cross-country trek to find himself. She’ll wrap up a very good year by starring in The Tribes of Palos Verdes opposite Jennifer Garner. Perhaps then Elisabeth Röhm can take a vacation. ----Deluxe Version Magazine: Are you able now to pick and choose which characters to play? Elisabeth Röhm: Yes! It started with Joy. Joy was very much a David O. Russell invention and both characters I’ve played for him are physically very different from me, and I think that really set the tone of what was going to be a really exciting year. Then I did The Last Ship and played the villain—the chief of staff who believed in democracy as a luxury, not a reality by advocating a communist plot! Then I was off to do Hawaii 5-0 and played a crazy kind of Hannibal Lector-type therapist who choreographs murder…and then to be asked by Mark Harmon to do this character [a mounted police officer] on NCIS! DV: It definitely keeps life interesting! RÖHM: I don’t think any of us can totally pick and choose everything. Obviously, we have to pay our bills and take care of our families and provide: Let’s not live in La La Land. But I think that it’s nice as I get older now and I’ve done this longer that I’m not typecast at all. When I left Law & Order I was very typecast: it was a really big obstacle and it was hard for me to overcome. I had to do a lot of independent films I think to change people’s opinions. DV: Did that ultimately open more doors for you? RÖHM: Having done so much independent film in the last 10 years led to getting to do American Hustle [in 2014]. I believe that a filmmaker could respond to me as not just a TV actor. It came from the risks of doing independent film and I’ve sort of stayed very loyal to doing [that]. DV: Do you still feel you have to audition? RÖHM: You always have to audition; to perform. You always have to convince somebody that you’re not something that they think you are. There were some intense years while doing American Hustle and Joy and, for me, this has been a fun year. I’m going to do a cameo with John Goodman in Once Upon a Time in Venice and I did this great little love interest part in Flaked. I’m flitting around and being really creative because there were so many different characters but less long time commitments.
Travel 2017 | Issue Nº09 Featuring Eden Sassoon www.deluxe-version.com