Birth Name: Frances Rose McIver
Birth Place: Auckland, New Zealand
Date of Birth: October 10, 1988
Height: 162cm
Mother: Ann “Annie” Coney
Father: John George Whitfield McIver
Siblings: Paul McIver
Boyfriend: George Byrne
Official Links: Twitter | Instagram | Agency Profile
Years Active: 1991–present
Education: Avondale College
Occupation: Actress, Director, Writer, Producer
Current Project: Ghosts (CBS)
000. Biography (below)
001. Awards & Nominations
002. Astrology
004. Fan Mail
005. Rose’s Favorites
006. Family & Friends
007. Hometown, Home & Garden
008. Name Analysis
009. Style, Fashion & Beauty Files
010. Timeline & Through the years
011. Trivia
012. Public events and Conventions

Frances Rose McIver was born on October 10, 1988 to ceramicist Ann “Annie” Coney and photographer John George “Mac” Whitfield McIver. She was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and raised in the suburb of Titirangi with her parents and older brother Paul. As a child, McIver was talkative and precocious. It was her older brother, now a musician, who led her into acting ; at four he was scouted at a bank and had gone on to do a TV ad. “My parents were very hesitant at first. They didn’t want us to be out there as working children but we enjoyed it, so they thought, ‘what’s the harm?’”

Rose says the family’s home in Titirangi is filled with happy childhood memories of summers spent on the beach playing on the rocks with her brother in French Bay. The home was also filled with colour – the family lounge features her mother Annie’s ceramic artwork, as well as her father Mac’s photography and vintage radio collection.

She studied ballet and jazz dance until she was thirteen, and running has always been one of her favorite hobbies. McIver also enjoys writing, and is inspired by the works of John Steinbeck, Wally Lamb and Franz Kafka. She also enjoys crossword puzzles and Sudoku. She attended Avondale College and was a prefect in her final year; she graduated in 2006.

Rose has been acting for so long she can’t really remember her earliest jobs, which was (according to her) “wandering around” in a commercial at age 2, and appearing in Aileen O’Sullivan’s short film The Joker. At the age of 3, she staggered across the stage with a full bladder in Oscar-winner The Piano. Rose appeared in the background of a few scenes as part of a stage play, where she and several other girls were dressed as angels, along with one of the film’s main characters Flora McGrath (played by Anna Paquin).

From there, enamoured casting directors hired McIver not just for the preppy schoolgirl roles – in the Disney films, Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off and Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board, she plays bright-as-a-button, complete with American accent – but edgier parts too. Harry Sinclair let her improvise in Topless Women and Toy Love. She tightrope-walked her way through Margaret Mahy’s apocalyptic fantasy series Maddigan’s Quest, in which she played the lead part of Garland. In Rude Awakenings, one of her favourite roles because it allowed her the chance to play nasty, she sported brown hair, glasses and a conniving nature. “That’s what I like about acting,” Rose says. “You can step into someone else’s personality for a while and then leave it and not have to treat people like that. Some kids played hockey in their school holidays and I just worked. Acting was always more of a hobby than a serious pursuit.”

In 2008, Rose landed what would become her biggest movie role to date. She got cast as Lindsey in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, a film adaptation of the award-winning and best-selling 2002 novel of the same name by Alice Sebold. McIver held her own opposite Susan Sarandon, Rachel Weisz and Mark Wahlberg, having studied the grieving process under the tutelage of local actress Miranda Harcourt. The film received mixed reviews, but Rose was praised for her performance.

After shooting The Lovely Bones, a role with the potential to catapult her into Hollywood, McIver could have moved to Los Angeles, capitalising on the acclaim she received playing the grieving teen forced to grow up after her sister is murdered and her family life begins to crack. Instead, she enrolled at the University of Auckland to study psychology, anthropology and linguistics, subjects with the potential to inform her acting. While actively shooting the 2010 film Predictament, Rose juggled both university classes and an acting career with school grades suffering as a downside, though she stated what was most important is exploring topics of interest and not worrying about coming up on top all the time. “I crave knowledge. So studying seems like the obvious thing to do while I can, while I have no dependents.” Deciding the school arts degree could wait, she dropped out and made a spontaneous move to Wellington in 2010 with her then architect boyfriend Benjamin Hoeksema.

In March 2010, Rose starred in That Face, her first professional theatre role, a challenge she’d long been hoping to take on. The long rehearsal process, the exploratory work nailing a character, was a new process for an actress used to relying on instinct. She’s earlier starred in “Arcadia” (2003) on Titirangi Theatre in Auckland, as Thomasina Coverly, and in “Blood Brothers” (2008) at the Peach Theatre Company. From 19 March to 10 April 2010 she appeared on stage at the Herald Theatre as Izzy, the best friend of the main character in That Face. McIver was also selected to participate in the 2010 Show Me Shorts Film Festival.

Rose often jokes that she’s naturally a bit of a hoarder, and living out of a suitcase has been second nature for her the last years. Although she is mostly based in Los Angeles these days, all the transit can’t shake the Kiwi out of her. When she’s not working, Rose likes to take fleeting trips home to New Zealand, where she visits her family and boyfriend. “I really crave New Zealand when I’m away. Everything seems so green and roomy. You take it for granted – practically every house has a backyard. I’m glad I now have an environment in LA where I have friends and a life there. But it certainly is such a treat to come home and spend time with family and friends,

While she’s away, Rose stays in touch with her family via Skype. “They’re everything to me, so that’s what’s great about Skype – it’s completely revolutionised being away from home. “It’s just like having a Sunday night dinner, but you have a Sunday Skype session. It doesn’t feel like you’re away from home. “I’m back and forth at the moment, so that’s the way it has to work with me and [Ben],” she says.

As one of New Zealand’s only child stars, McIver has emerged from the spotlight with a healthy sense of confidence and poise, and none of the damaged goods behaviour of some of her US peers. “[My parents] have always been quick to remind me that I’m like everyone else,”. “When I’d come home I’d be expected to pick up my washing. And I’ve never been told acting is an unrealistic thing to do or that I’m wasting my time, which has given me quite a lot of faith in myself.”

In August 2011, McIver moved from the home she shared in Wellington with her long-term boyfriend, architect Benjamin Hoeksema to Los Angeles, where she lived in the East Hollywood suburb of Silver Lake for a year with her good friend and fellow kiwi actor Fleur Saville. She then later moved to Hollywood with internet comedians Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld.

In July 2013, it was announced that Rose landed the role of Tinker Bell for a multi-episode story arc on the series, Once Upon a Time. Rose immeditely became a fan favorite, and appeared in a total of 8 episodes in the series third season. During the same period, she also stared in a multi-episode storyline as Vivian Scully in the popular TV drama “Masters of Sex”. In February 2014, McIver was cast as the adult Cathy Dollanganger in the Lifetime television film Petals on the Wind, adapted from the book by V. C. Andrews. She also kept busy in her spare time this year, filming a string of short films with her good friends Jennifer Morrison and Karen Gillan – such as “Mattresside”, “Warning Labels” and “Coward”.

In March 2014, McIver was announced to star in CW’s new series iZombie as Olivia ‘Liv’ Moore, the main character. Filming started later that year, and the show premiered in March 2015. Early may, it was revealed that the show had been picked up for a second season, after gaining great reviews from critics and good ratings. Rose received immense praise for her portrayal of new character traits every single week, and really got to show her incredible acting skills by having new “brains” thrown at her with each new episode. The show went on to receive 5 seasons in total, and was given the chance to wrap up their storylines by the Network The CW, who alerted the producers that it would be the final season of the show before they started filming. The final episode “All’s Well That Ends Well” aired on August 1st, 2019, and while that closed the iZombie chapter of Rose’s life, it’s still a popular show – and Rose and her co-stars continue to meet with fans at comic cons around the world whenever they get the chance.

In Mid-February 2017, Rose revealed on her social media that she had traveled to Romania for professional reasons. At the time, no information on what she was doing there were shared – but we eventually learned through her co-star Sarah Douglas that she was filming a movie for Netflix. Sarah explained that she was “Delighted to be working with Alice Krige on a Netflix project. Heading off to Romania 2 re-connect with old mates” (February 24, 2017), but also that she was not allowed to share anything about the production or cast. On March 12th, Sarah explained that she was on her final days in Romania – but we later learned that Rose stayed for a little while longer. In April we found out that the film was titled A Christmas Prince – a Netflix Original movie, set to be released at the streaming platform that following Christmas. The film was a huge success, and received two sequels the consecutive holiday seasons – A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding in 2018, and A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby in 2019.

In 2018, Rose starred alongside Alex Russell as Rachel Kinley in the TV film Brampton’s Own. The film followed struggling minor league baseball player retires and woefully returns to his small hometown, carefully dodging old wounds until confronted with the one that hurts the most – the girl that got away. It was released on October 19, 2018, to mixed ratings. The following year she played the lead in the 2019 film Daffodils, a bittersweet love story told with beautiful re-imaginings of iconic New Zealand songs. Rose and her co-star George had previously done a screen-test for a TV role that ironically neither of them got in the end, but the casting directors Miranda and Tina had seen their performance and thought they had on-screen chemistry. The producer David Stubbs said he always had Rose in his mind for the role, but was unsure whether it would work timing wise. Rose still auditioned for the part, and started filming at the beginning of 2018. She wrapped filming on April 14 the same year.

In 2019, Rose starred as a guest in an episode of I’m Sorry, starring her iZombie co-star Andrea Savage. Rose appeared in the episode “The Small of my Back”, which was the 6th episode of season 2 of the show. Then in 2020, she went on to portray Adrienne in a string of episodes on the Hulu show “Woke”.

In March 2020, it was announced that Rose had scored her next big television gig – the lead role “Samantha” in the American CBS produced Ghosts, a re-make of the British BBC show with the same name. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, production and casting was unfortunately haltered for the majority of the year. Rose got to travel back home to her family in New Zealand, where she did chemistry tests over Zoom while they looked for her male co-star. Utkarsh Amudkar was eventually cast in July, and they began filming the pilot in early December 2020. On March 31, 2021, it was finally revealed that CBS had picked up the series, and they began filming the first season in Montreal, Canada, on August 8 the same year.

Rose McIver is represented by Sue Barnett and Associates in Australia, William Morris Endeavor in California, and Johnson and Laird Management in New Zealand.

Biography is written exclusively by the Rose McIver Online staff. Please do not re-publish elsewhere.
Last update: October 6, 2021

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