Actress Elisabeth Rohm recently had a very spirited guest star role as mounted police woman, May Dawson, on NCIS and will be back this summer (June 2) on Netflix’s second season of Flaked with Will Arnett. She’s also in two new films; Once Upon A Time in Venice with Bruce Willis this summer and Will Gardner with Robert Patrick this fall. Finally, if the rumors are true, Officer May Dawson just may be back on NCIS. Fans on Twitter have voiced their opinions and seem to love her in this strong female role, something she became known for while playing an assistant district attorney on Law & Order. Inspirer spoke to Rohm about her penchant for these roles as well women who inspire her and what she tells her nine-year-old daughter, Easton.
“Complex, F-upped women, happen to have a great “voice” and I relate to these characters’ journey, as all of us have overcome adversity of some kind. It’s a gender-less human condition.”
Who’s your favorite inspiring woman fiction or nonfiction?
There have been numerous women throughout my life that have inspired me in different ways. Currently, Arianna Huffington is a woman that I truly admire and respect. She has brilliantly and boldly continued to change the face of society, while at the same time [has been] mystifying and exquisite in her work. I continue to be impressed by her reinvention and unrelenting compassion. Arianna traverses through life with real heart and real soul; she is exquisite, thoughtful and kind.
When I was promoting my book, Baby Steps, Arianna graciously answered my email within the same day. We should all take a page from her book and adopt her life’s view.
Do you have a favorite inspiring female singer and/or musician that you listen to?
Barbra Streisand is a multifaceted artist where I find a lot of commonality. As a singer, actress, as well as filmmaker/director, she is another woman many women and I can aspire to, even if they’re not in the entertainment industry. She is such a significant participant through her art and has indelible messages to deliver. As a woman who is also a mother actor and political activist, I continue to want to evolve, as she has, into more writing and directing scenarios.
I absolutely love Beyoncé. She is an incredible example of creativity, power and femininity while balancing work and family beautifully. Few women have achieved the harmony between strength and womanliness and packaged it into an empowering message for women of all ages. She’s bold, fierce and unafraid to unleash her true, raw feelings creatively.
You’ve played almost nothing but strong women on TV and in films, agent and casting coincidence or your preference?
I think it may have begun with agent and casting preference, possibly because I had strong collegiate credentials and a bit of a serious, lawyer vibe. As I grew in my craft however, I was drawn to strong female characters, their layers, and their defects. So, I’m compelled to play these women because of their power but also because of their flaws. I can act out the strength but strive to show the complicated emotional and mercurial part that is inside . . . . a part of the human experience we all share. Complex, “F-upped” women, happen to have a great “voice” and I relate to these characters’ journey, as all of us have overcome adversity of some kind. It’s a gender-less human condition.
How are you raising your daughter, Easton to be a strong person?
I’ve always believed that the two most important things for Easton to have inside of herself is a sense of the bigness of this life and to believe in the things that she can’t see or touch that is our Universe. Also, communication is key; I talk to her about everything very honestly and encourage her to do the same. I hope to instill integrity in her and want her to be an empathic communicator with herself and others. She will learn that I’ve found peace in knowing “I did my very best,” and that, combined with faith; she can be very grounded in this life.
You’ve written three books, two fiction and one about the road to motherhood, do you plan to write more?
I do. I am currently finishing a book entitled, Desire, of which there’s interest in my developing it into a screenplay. In addition, I am hoping to publish a children’s book in the near future that I co-wrote with my mother and daughter that’s kind of a sequel to Baby Steps.
You work with a lot of organizations; Step Up Women’s Network, MakeTheConnection.org, Juno Baby, GlobalGreen, Refugees International, Humane Society, why are these so important to you?
Throughout my career, I have always found philanthropy and working with various organizations extremely rewarding. It seems my activism spills over into my work and visa versa. The new movie coming out this winter, Will Gardner, is about wounded warriors and I’ll in fact, be making visits to the Walter Reed Society affiliates. Another film, Love is All You Need, is focused on bullying and intolerance as it relates to LGBTQ families.
Other organizations where I focus time and effort are the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, St. Jude’s and the ARC. Global Green is a great advocacy platform for positive environmental change and sustainability initiatives that I like to support.
How do you explain the chemistry that happened between you and Mark Harmon on ‘NCIS?’
It’s just one of those inexplicable things between two artists. You either have it, or you don’t. I genuinely loved working with Mark. He’s electrifying, generous and endlessly creative.