Metaphysically Mag

Disney Channel Magazine - March/April 1990 - Page 22

Mag Ruffman's dark chestnut hair is swept up in a French roll, revealing a slender neck and antique jade errings. At age 33, she is the perfect portrait of a turn-of-the-century sophisticate. "I fit into a corset like hand in glove," Ruffman jests. "I feel very connected to the Victorian era - and the character I'm playing."

In Avonlea, Ruffman portrays Sara Stanley's Aunt Olivia, the shy and romantic antithesis of her older, regimental sister Hetty. Ruffman describes the relationship between siblings as a good cop/bad cop scenario. "Hetty is the disciplinarian," Ruffman explains. "I'm the goofy sister with the big picture view of the world.

"Olivia is the closest thing to myself I've ever played - and it's kinda of scary," Ruffman reveals. Her philosophy on choosing roles approaches the ethereal: "You always end up playing a role that is metaphysically appropriate for yourself," she offers, "roles that make you see something about yourself - even if it's a negative aspect of your personality."

The Avonlea series wasn't Ruffman's first time working under Kevin Sullivan's direction. She played the storekeeper Alice Lawson in his production Anne of Green Gables - a role she was surprised to land after flubbing the audition. "I remember Kevin asking me about myself and I answered, 'I'm not really exciting - I'm quite a dull girl, actually.' And for some crazy reason he hired me anyway!"

The combination clicked and Sullivan decided to cast her again in his new series - and continue a relationship Ruffman is thrilled to be a part of. "I adore Kevin as a director," she says. "He is so passionate about what he's doing. He sits there like a nuclear reactor generating all this energy - and it's completely genuine.

"I truly wish entertainers could be that genuine," Ruffman adds. "I mean nobody ever says to David Letterman, 'What are you doing!' when he's sarcastic or biting. I'd love to go on his show sometime and call him on it. I'd never get asked back, but so what? It'd be really juicy."

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