Rachael Taylor on ‘666 Park Avenue’

The star of ABC’s supernatural show says she’s more herself on this spooky series than when she was kicking butt in “Charlie’s Angels” or Transformers.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

The title “666 Park Avenue” is enough to alert us that something is up with The Drake, but the characters on the show don’t have that information. It’s actually 999 within the series, but 666 to us.

Rachael Taylor plays Jane, the new manager of The Drake for owner Gavin (Terry O’Quinn). Every week she explores more mysteries of the building while new residents pay for their deals with the devil. We got an exclusive interview with Taylor at the ABC party for the Television Critics Association.

CraveOnline: What do you think Jane’s temptation is?

Rachael Taylor: I don't know about her temptation, but I think her biggest potential downfall could be her curious nature. She’s very curious and interested in solving the puzzle of the building and I think the more she finds out, the more likelier will be that she’ll be in peril.

CraveOnline: You’ve gotten to play so many different professions – doctor, secret agent, computer hacker – do you do research for each one?

Rachael Taylor: A little bit. Now I just kind of feel it up. I definitely feel like with the character of Jane, she’s probably closer to myself than stuff that I’ve done recently.

For example, I really enjoyed working on “Charlie’s Angels” and I loved the physical nature, the martial arts aspect of that job, but I’m a lot more like Jane. She’s an ordinary girl. She’s from a small town. She’s a moral person. She’s a good person. She loves her partner. She’s just curious and she’s investigative. I kind of relate to that a little better than I do to some of the things I’ve done previously.

CraveOnline: Did action turn out to be more exhausting than you expected?

Rachael Taylor: Yes, in some ways, but it was also more rewarding than I respected. I definitely wouldn’t shy away from doing another action based project, but I feel like my forte is more like playing real, ordinary people. I’m a girl’s girl.

CraveOnline: How much did Transformers change things for you?

Rachael Taylor: I think it changed me more as a person than anything else.

CraveOnline: That’s interesting. I assumed the industry took more notice of you, but how did it change you as a person?

Rachael Taylor: Well, I realized that I’m a soft person. I think I’m sensitive. I wanted very much to be tough and I think movie stars have a certain kind of resilience and toughness to them, but I’m quite a sensitive young lady in some respects.

CraveOnline: Is TV more your comfort zone?

Rachael Taylor: I’m not sure, but it’s what feels right, right now. Maybe yes. I really like working in television and I like exploring a character over a longer period of time, and I like the consistency of television.

I’m an actor that likes to go to work. I like going to work every day. I’m a worker by nature. I’m not someone who does one film a year and feels satisfied by that. I like going to work every day so it’s a good fit for me.

CraveOnline: Did you have questions about Jane you had to ask the producers?

Rachael Taylor: Yes. A lot of it was in the script and our director was very hands on but I’m interested in her past. She seems like a very positive and very optimistic person but also very isolated and solitary. Even though her relationship is great, I see her as a very solitary girl and I was interested in that. I think the show will reveal more about her past and where she comes from.

CraveOnline: Are you looking forward to some dramatic face-offs with Terry O’Quinn?

Rachael Taylor: Yes. Working with Terry O’Quinn is the most incredible treat. He’s such an elegant actor. I’m looking forward to all of the dramatic elements of this show. I’ve already been locked in a basement at work this week so I’m sure there’s more to come.

CraveOnline: Does “666 Park Avenue” feel at all like the horror movie Shutter you made?

Rachael Taylor: That’s a really good question and a couple of people have asked me. What’s interesting though is the characters, even though they’re both called Jane, are actually really different. Jane in “666 Park Avenue” is much more proactive. The reason why she’s investigating this mystery is because she loves old architecture. She’s very proactive whereas the character in Shutter was a little more stranded in a situation outside of her control whereas Jane’s actually curious and I love that. I’m loving playing her.

CraveOnline: How about to be the lead versus sharing it three ways or in other ensembles you’ve been a part of?

Rachael Taylor: I definitely feel like I’m on an ensemble show. I feel like Jane is the innocent, but we share it around and we all get really interesting storylines which is great schedule-wise as well.

CraveOnline: Are you working more with different guest stars each week?

Rachael Taylor: I’ve already shot a couple of bits and pieces with different guest stars but what’s cool that I think people can expect is there’s not one bad way to end at The Drake. For example, not everyone gets sucked into a wall. There’s a whole different bunch of ways that people put themselves at peril and that’s going to happen to some of our main cast and some of our guest stars.

CraveOnline: How is that experience having your main cast and having new cast each week?

Rachael Taylor: It’s great. We’re obviously very privileged to be working in New York where some of the best actors in the world reside. So we’re a good bunch of people. We’re a nice cast together. The guest stars just come in and pump new energy into the work that we’re already doing so it’s exciting.

CraveOnline: Did you relocate to New York just for “666?”

Rachael Taylor: Yes.

CraveOnline: How do you like living there?

Rachael Taylor: I’m loving it and I’m not sure that I’ll ever leave to be honest. I think maybe I’ll just live in New York for the next 10 years or so, whatever happens now. Something about it feels really right. I’m not sure why. And I was ready for a sea change.

There’s no better way to do it than on a show that you’re really enjoying working on, that’s challenging me as an actor. It’s quite difficult blending this kind of girl next door almost Joey Potter-esque aspect with the supernatural element of the show. It’s definitely putting me through my paces. So to be challenged every day and be on a network show is a real sweet spot.