SOMETHING ABOUT REBECCA" by Larissa Phillips
taken from jan.2000 issue of 101 Hairstyles
is it? Certainly, it could be that mass of auburn locks framing her face.
Those tumbling Raphaelite tresses would have a 17th Century wigmaker swooning
and reaching for his smelling salts. And though they might be tamed and straightened
in her current role on ABC's Wasteland, we're anything but fooled. This
girl's got hair. Then there's her stunning presence, well noted ever since she
created a minor phenomenon in her modeling days as a fresh-faced "Noxzema Girl."
Combine a sparkling skin tone with those eyebrows, which couldn't be more arched and dramatic and fabulous if Isaac Mizrahi had drawn them on himself! Oh yeah, she does have a penchant for acting--a talent that wowed L.A. critics in her theatre debut last year in The Last Days of Ballyhoo. But then again, there's still her amazing hair. Whatever it is (and as much as we love her hair, we think it just might be the whole package), the buzz on Rebecca Gayheart just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Anyone who saw her in Scream 2 will understand. And although her role in the feature was small, she did leave a specific and memorable mark on the film written by the same scribe who recruited her talents for her new series. And who doesn't remember her turn as Dylan's ill-fated-love interest on Beverly Hills 90210 several years ago? The gangster's daughter? That missing cat? The bullet meant for Dylan? It was like the small screen version of "Romeo and Juliet."
After came her turn on the well-publicized teenaged flick Urban Legend, the movie that really put Rebecca on the under-twenty-something map to fame. Nevermind the fact that Wasteland looks like another version of Friends--one of the best things that it's got going for it, or on which everyone seems to agree, anyway, is Rebecca Gayheart.
Rebecca plays Sam, the southern belle desperate to be taken seriously. In the first episode her character was a homicide detective. Since the pilot episode, however, the producers have toned it down a little and now she's a social worker--a slightly more believable profession of her knock-out of a Kentucky girl character with perfectly blow-dried hair. Slightly. Well, who can blame Sam for wanting to be taken seriously, surrounded by those confused roommates (the soapstar,the bartender, the virgin..) all of them struggling with life in the Big Apple?
Whatever happens to the show, we're pretty sure Rebecca will survive unfazed. For someone who has inhabited the glittery world of show business for over 10 years, she seems amazingly grounded. Even her beauty secrets are rustic and earthy, to say the least.
"I drink at least five bottles of water a day and always get eight hours of sleep," she says. And she swears be her MAC lip gloss. Lip gloss, sleep and water? Um, can we package that and sell it? If that's all it takes, we could all be that gorgeous!
It wouldn't hurt to have her kind of drive, either. This Kentucky native moved to New York City at the tender age of 15 , and enrolled in the Professional Children's School. Unaccustomed to the hectic pace (not to mention the black-on-black uniform) of the average New Yorker, she claims she was in a nerdy clique at first. But it didn't take her long to get herself some Doc Martens and get into the swing of things. First there was modeling, and a contract with Noxzema. (the "Noxzema Girl" nickname follows her to this day; she says she doesn't mind). From there she landed a daytime soap (Loving). And soon after that she moved to nighttime soaps (Beverly Hills 90210). Naturally, a movie role was not far behind (Nothing to Lose).
Suddenly, her career took a turn and she became the next sci-fi scream queen. There was Scream 2 followed by Urban Legend and an appearance on the TV show Sliders.
She was also in the darkly comic Jawbreaker, a scathing look at high school hierarchies, a la that 80's classic, Heathers. And she has yet another movie forthcoming, From Dusk to Dawn III in early 2000.
You'd think all this success would go to her head but Rebecca insists she's still the same down home southern gal. She and her fiancee, Brett Ratner (he directed Jackie Chan's action-comedy, Rush Hour) have been together for more than 10 years. And she still loves remembering her New York Life pre-fame--like the time she and her roommate, both of them struggling actresses, dressed up in their most glamorous clothes, went to a five-star restaurant and spent their last $60 on dessert and cappuccino! At least her attitude towards her hair has changed. Believe it or not, she used to hate her curls.
"I think everyone with curly hair goes through a period of wishing it were straight," she says. Once she even tried cutting it off, a decision she now remembers as a disaster: "I looked like I had big bushy helmet on my head!"
Now that she's learned to love her gorgeous locks she knows how to handle them, too. Even though she says she's of the "wash n go" school of haircare, every now and then she has to do damage control on the frizzies--if you've got curly hair or have ever spent time in the south, you can probably relate. Want to know her secret? "Lots of conditioner!" Sometimes she says she just wets her hair and combs in conditioner; either that or she'll use Kiehl's Silk Groom followed by a liberal dose of gel.
While Wasteland may have completely straightened her locks (her character on the show sports a face-framing blow out that eliminates all evidence of curl), we all know the gorgeous truth behind the blow drier: like her driven ambition, her curls, whether straightened or free-spirited, will not be kept down.