“I always just loved the escapism of cinema and I didn't understand that it was something that you could actually do. I didn't understand that film was actually an industry and that people had jobs in that. All I knew was that it was a make believe world and I wanted to be a part of that.” Rachael Taylor
Australian television and film actress Rachael Taylor first became prominent in her native country as Sasha Forbes in the short-lived soap opera “Headland” (2005-2006), from which she received a Logie nomination. After the series' cancellation, the former teen model, who appeared in the U.S. produced TV film “The Mystery of Natalie Wood” (2004), gained a major boost in Hollywood thanks to her portrayal of Maggie Madsen in the hit movie “Transformers” (2007), from Michael Bay. On landing a role in “Transformer,” she stated, “It was not unlike any other. The only significant difference was, I mean you show up, you audition for a casting director and then they call you back and you have another reading with a cast director and I think by the third audition I was work-shopping with Michael and then the fourth one we went to the studio and the difference for ‘Transformers’ was, because it's such a pop culture phenomenon in a way, they didn't release the script. So essentially when you're auditioning you're working just off of sight. You have no idea what the story is or what the character is or where it goes. So I didn't actually read the script until the fourth audition at which you have to sign a confidentiality agreement and you go and sit in a room and it's just a complete lockdown. So it was the only sort of significant difference.”
“Transformers” was Taylor's third film after the horror flicks “Man-Thing” (2005) and “See No Evil” (2006). Her more recent and upcoming credits include “Bottle Shock” (2008), “Shutter” (2008), “Deception” (2008), “Cedar Boys” (2009), “Splinterheads” (2009) and “Ghost Machine” (2009). Taylor revisited series TV with the HBO comedy show “Washingtonienne,” where she will star as a working girl named Jackie. The show debuted in April 2009.
Miss Teen Tasmania
Childhood and Family:
“I grew up in Tasmania and I had a different childhood. I'm an only child and I grew up playing make believe in the back yard. I was an absolute little girl. I was completely girly and I was in the back yard and I had this fairy thing. I was always doing some sort of mystical fairy, far away land thing. I was a bit of a geek and I would just geek out over Enid Blyton books, like ‘The Magic Faraway Tree,’ and stuff like that.” Rachael Taylor
Rachael Taylor was born on July 11, 1984, in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. She attended Riverside High School in Launceston. Thanks to her natural good looks, Rachael emerged as a model when she was a teenager and was represented by the Skye-Jilly International agency. She was also a beauty queen. In 1998, Rachael competed in the Miss Teen Tasmania, which she won, and later successfully made it to the finals of Miss Universe/Miss World.
Following the suggestion of her English professor and modeling agent, Rebecca Miller, Rachael moved to Sydney in 2000 at age 17. During this period, she enrolled at the University of Sydney to study politics and history. She later dropped out to chase a career in acting.
Starting out as a teen model, Rachael Taylor made her television acting debut in 2004 when she landed a bit part in the Peter Bogdanovich-helmed “The Mystery of Natalie Wood,” which was shot in Sydney. The television movie starred Justine Waddell as Natalie Wood. The following year, Taylor appeared as Catherine Oxenberg in the U.S. made-for-TV movie “Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure,” opposite Pamela Reed, John Terry and Melora Hardin. She also made a guest appearance in an episode of the Aussie long-running drama series “McLeod's Daughters,” as Natalie Louise Brown.
In 2005, Taylor kicked off her film career with a costarring role opposite Matthew Le Nevez in Lions Gate Films' “Man-Thing,” directed by Brett Leonard. The bloody science fiction movie saw her portray a character named Teri Elizabeth Richards. After this, she returned to the small screen to play the Sphinx in the Hallmark Entertainment film “Hercules” (also 2005), which was nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special.
Taylor's first big breakthrough arrived when she was cast in the regular role of Sasha Forbes in the drama series “Headland,” which also starred the Californian-born Brooke Harmon and fellow Australian newcomers Adrienne Pickering and Reshad Strik. Debuting in Australia on November 15, 2005, the show ran for one season before being cancelled in February 2006. Despite the quick cancellation, she was nominated for a 2006 Logie award in the category of Most Popular New Female Talent. “Headland,” which aired in Australia on 7 Network, was shown worldwide through Channel 4 International. The show made its debut in the United Kingdom in 2006.
After the demise of “Headland,” Taylor received the notable role of Zoe in the horror film “See No Evil” (2006), which was directed by Gregory Dark and starred Glen Jacobs. However, it was her next film role that made Taylor a recognizable face in Hollywood. She was cast in the supporting role of Maggie Madsen in Michael Bay's “Transformers,” opposite Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight and John Turturro. The film earned mixed reviews, but was a massive box office hit. Although she gained a lot of notice, Taylor declined the offer to reprise her role for the sequel “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” (2009). She said, “I don't think I'd wanna do it to be honest, and not for any particular reason other than the fact that I've done it.”
In 2008, Taylor was seen as Sam in Randall Miller's “Bottle Shock,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. In the movie, she costarred with Chris Pine, Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Dennis Farina and Eliza Dushku. She also portrayed the wife of Joshua Jackson in the thriller film “Shutter,” a remake of a 2004 Thai movie of the same name. Helmed by Masayuki Ochiai, the film tells the story of newly married couple Ben and Jane Shaw (played by Jackson and Tailor, respectively) who travel to Japan and discover ghostly images in photographs they have taken. Taylor also appeared in the thriller “Deception” (2008), which starred Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams.
Taylor will star as Jackie in the HBO comedy series “Washingtonienne,” which centers on the private and professional lives of three women working on Capitol Hill. Also starring Bitsie Tulloch as April and Amanda Walsh as Laura, the pilot episode aired on April 1, 2009.
As for her film work, Taylor recently completed filming “Cedar Boys” (2009), an Australian drama from director/writer Serhat Caradee. In the movie, she stars alongside Martin Henderson, Les Chantery and Bren Foster. The actress also has two projects in post-production, “Splinterheads” (2009) and “Ghost Machine” (2009). She teams up with Thomas Middleditch, Christopher McDonald and Lea Thompson in the first and Sean Faris and Luke Ford in the latter.