"Lonelygirl15" takes another shot at Web fame
CANBERRA (Reuters) - Actress Jessica Rose stumbled into Internet fame as "lonelygirl15" in a fictional hit video series, but she is back and fully aware of online power in a new project that further blurs the line between TV and the Web.
After Rose's character Bree was killed off from the "lonelygirl15" series last year, she tried her luck in mainstream TV appearing in a family serial "Greek" and the box office flop "I Know Who Killed Me," starring Lindsay Lohan.
Rose has now returned to the Internet in a 40-episode just-for-the-web mystery/drama "Sorority Forever," a project by social network site MySpace and Warner Bros. whose TV network was disbanded in 2006 but is now back as online entity TheWB.com.
"I have no reservations about being a Web star if that is what I am and I can make a living from it to pay my rent and feed my dog, who is the love of my life," Rose, 21, an American-New Zealand actress, told Reuters in a telephone interview.
"I didn't leave the Web with the intention of not coming back and thinking it was stupid or anything. I did think it was a great launching pad."
Before being cast as Bree in 2006, Rose admitted she had little interest in the Internet and online acting projects were seen as dodgy, with few big media companies then involved.
When she was being interviewed for the role, she didn't realize that it was for a Web-based position and would probably have backed out if this had been made clear from the outset.
"I never used to be (into the Internet) but now that I am so prominent on the Web I have become a lot better at using the Internet and go on a lot more than I used to," she said.
"But it is still the basics. I don't really play video games or chat to random people on line."
In "Sorority Forever," she plays the lead female role who finds out all the secrets along with the audience.
"Her mother and sister are adamant about her joining the sorority so she joins and hates every minute but soon starts to realize that there is something weird going on and you follow her experiences trying to solve the mystery," said Rose.
"Compared to Bree she is more jaded and she is a very girlish tomboy. She dresses punk cute."
Over the course of the series, some of the characters talk into the camera and they all have MySpace pages where the characters interact with viewers and talk about themselves.
"Sorority Forever" will be on MySpaceTV (here) and TheWeb.com, with episodes shown each weekday.
Rose said she also had two other Internet projects in the works, a mini-series called "Blood Cell" and an HBO Web series "Hooking Up."
Although Rose said she makes more money in TV or film, she is enjoying her Web experience and said it does have its benefits compared to Hollywood stardom.
"It is not crazy. It is not like I have bodyguards. Sometimes people come up and say they recognize me but can't quite put their finger on it and where from," she said.
(Editing by Miral Fahmy)