Rachael Taylor Heats Up '666 Park Avenue'
by mickey rapkin
Nothing drives a true New Yorker crazier than real estate. In the case of ABC’s new series 666 Park Avenue, that’s certainly the case. The story line reads as such: When her husband lands a job as the super at a posh Park Avenue address, Jane Van Veen (Australian actress Rachael Taylor) happily trades their sublet in Queens for a palatial two-bedroom, two-bath with a gas fireplace and a claw-foot tub. It sure seems like a sweetheart deal, until the tenants start disappearing one-by-one. As Taylor explains, the show is part ghost story, part Shakespearean tragedy. “The premise is: What are people prepared to do to get what they want?” she says. “It’s a Faustian bargain.”
It almost seems as if the actress struck her own deal with the Devil. After briefly studying law in her native Australia (“I wanted to be Ally McBeal, not a lawyer,” she says), Taylor set out to find work as an actress. Eventually, she decamped to Hollywood, where she was quickly cast in the blockbuster Transformers with Shia LaBeouf. And Taylor has worked steadily ever since; last fall she costarred in the short-lived ABC reboot of Charlie’s Angels.
Taylor, 28, has higher hopes for the Rosemary’s Baby-esque 666 Park Avenue, which features Vanessa Williams as the up-to-no-good wife of a shady Donald Trump–type, Lost veteran Terry O’Quinn, and Dave Annable as Taylor’s husband. If nothing else, it’s given her an excuse to take in the Manhattan sights as the crew has shot on location at Lincoln Center and downtown. “I’ve been wandering around the city thinking, Why would you live anywhere else?” says Taylor.
Unlike her character on 666 Park Avenue, when it came time to find an apartment, she wasn’t looking for a soaking tub and a mile of marble so much as a little downtown charm. “I prefer not to have a doorman,” says the actress, who settled in the West Village. “I don’t want people knowing when I’m coming and going. I always thought that was kind of creepy.”
So far, she’s loving the up-all-night pulse and convenience of Manhattan life. “I could throw a stone out of my window and hit a really good restaurant,” she says. For Italian food, she’s currently enchanted by Aria Wine Bar in the West Village; for craft cocktails she’s partial to Death + Company in the East Village. And like a New York native, she’s already developed fierce caffeine loyalties. “I go to Jack’s [Stir Brew] for cold brew,” she says, “and Joe for a cappuccino.” As for shopping, she says with a laugh: “It’s a huge problem.”
photography by Gregg Delman. styling by sarah liebowitz. Royal Albert Hall coat ($6,700) and ballet heels ($1,100), Dior. 21 E. 57th St., 212-931-2950; dior.com. makeup by Chris colbeck for Christian Dior at Art Department. hair by Juan Carlos Maciques for Leonor Greyl at See Management. shot on location at the crown Restaurant, 646-559-4880; crown81.com