18th March 2000
Ingrid Ruz shares her Above The law character’s no-nonsense approach to life.
IF there’s one thing Ingrid Ruz particularly likes about her character Vicki Giovanelli on Above The Law, it’s that TV’s newer paramedic is smart, no-nonsense and a straight-shooter.
“I find those traits kind of endearing,” says the actress who was born in Chile and raised in Sydney.
Vicki is direct and to the point, but it soon because evident that so is Ingrid when it comes to personal matters. When asked how old she is, and about her one-time love affairs with fellow cast member Jolson James (who plays Con Stavros), the twentysomething Ingrid replies with a curt “Next question!”
With that the matter is closed and she quickly move on to other topics. Instantly, Ingrid relaxes and shares a laugh about working on the Network Ten drama series with such guest stars as Peta Toppano, who plays her mother in coming weeks.
“Peta is beautiful and mad and so much fun,” says Ingrid, with a laugh.
She also speaks fondly of Teo Gebert, who plays her brother Skeez, and tells of a day the pair drove from Sydney to the coastal NSW city of Wollongong to research their characters’ background.
“That was such a good experience, and both of us really knew what we were playing with after that,” she says.
“It gave us a mental picture of the background of this brother and sister.”
Ingrid’s own family background has had its fair share of drama and adventure. Her parents were Chilean, but during the 1970’s they escaped the optical turmoil of the South American country and emigrated to Australia.
The family settled in Sydney and Ingrid has two brothers. She says that her performing ambitions demand attention even at an early age, and laughs as she recounts such experiences.
“I would sit mum down in front of a cleared space and just say, ‘Watch this!’ as I put on a little show,” she says. “I was told I was quite entertaining as a child.”
Ingrid’s father is a physiotherapist who currently works for the Hiroshima soccer club in Japan’s J League competition and who used to work with the Japanese national soccer team. He has also worked at the past few Olympic Games.
“I grew up with a healthy love of soccer,” Ingrid says. “Soccer at its peak is an amazing sport to watch. My brothers were heavily into it, but I played netball instead.”
Besides meeting Jolyon at acting college, Ingrid also shared classes at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) with All Saints’ Kirrily White, and at one time shared a flat with Lisa McCune.
However, Ingrid’s most famous brush with fame came when she worked on the blockbuster movie Mission Impossible 2 last year. In the sequel to the 1996 hit, Ingrid has a small role as a flower vendor. Apart from that, she can reveal little about the plot – like the rest of the cast, she had to sign a confidentiality agreement.
“I had two short scenes with Tom Cruise and he was really polite and chatty,” she says. “A nice guy and a real gentleman.
“I’d never been a huge fan of his, but I could certainly see his charm. It was an experience. I kept waiting to be feverous, but the day would fly by and then it was time to go home.”
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