Who Is Valerie On 'The Catch'? Rose Rollins Is A Breakout Shondaland Star

There's so much to love about The Catch, Shonda Rhimes' latest addition to ABC's brilliant TGIT lineup — and, personally, I don't want this addictive game of cat and mouse to end anytime soon. One of the things that makes the show amazing is its cast, and Rose Rollins, who plays Valerie on The Catch, is definitely a rising star to watch. A brainy, quick-witted former cop, Valerie is Alice Vaughan's business partner and BFF who runs all the business aspects of their private investigation company.

Although we're only two episodes into the season, it's hard to imagine anyone other than Rollins as Valerie — but, in an interview with Bustle, Rollins says she initially tested for the role of Margot Bishop, which ultimately went to Sonya Walder. "The Catch was one of my favorite pilots of the season, so I was devastated when I didn't get the part," she says. Luckily, she received another call shortly thereafter with the news that she was being considered for the role of Valerie. "It was meant to be," Rollins says. "There was another project for ABC that I was up for and I didn't get the day before, but I wasn't even upset because something in my gut told me it would all come around."

Her favorite part of The Catch is the other actors — the stellar ensemble includes Mireille Enos, Peter Krause, Alimi Ballard, Jay Hayden, Jacky Ido, Sonya Walger, and Elvy Yost. "Everyone is so genuine and sweet. There are no egos. It's really refreshing and rare and I love, love them," Rollins says. Despite the fact that they sometimes work up to 17 hours per day, she adds that "we laugh so much together" on the set.

If you love Valerie (and, really, who doesn't?), you can thank Rollins for helping shape the character. When the pilot was re-tooled, she sat down with Allan Heinberg (the show's developer and executive producer) and he asked Rollins about her strong suits and the trajectory she had in mind for Valerie's character in Season 1. "He really listened, because she's exactly who I wanted her to be and it's pretty amazing."

Rollins says her favorite things about Valerie are "her one-liners and her clothes" and says that we're going to learn a lot more about her character's personal life as the season progresses. Rollins says that the April 7 episode, "The Trial," marks a new beginning of the show and it's one of her favorites of the season — but we'll have to wait to find out why. She teases that, "There are a lot of 'holy crap!' moments and you get to know a lot of the characters on another level" in the upcoming episode. "I'm excited when we get into Valerie's personal life a bit. Now she's running everything, but she's got a personal side that's gonna be fun to watch and exciting to see."

Rollins is a natural on the screen, so it's no surprise that she quickly landed on her feet when she decided to pursue her passion. "Towards the end of high school, I realized how much I loved acting," she says. Three weeks after deciding that she wanted to become an actress, Rollins bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles at the encouragement of a friend. "I think my naiveté was the driving force," she says, laughing. "But, funny enough, I got a break within two days."

Although her career itself didn't take off until later, Rollins found agency representation within two days of her arrival — something which is basically unheard of in the industry. "My friend's girlfriend invited me to a screening and her agent was there," she recalls. "I told him that I was 19 and I had moved to L.A. to be a star. He liked my spunk."

Still, Rollins certainly had to pay her dues — she spent her nights bar-tending and working at various clubs so she could attend auditions during the day. Her big break came when she was cast as Tasha on The L Word in 2007 and, since then, she's appeared on shows including Chase and Bosch. Although The Catch is Rollins' first foray into ShondaLand, it's safe to say that her performance has been a huge success already. Due to the grueling shooting schedule, she's focusing on The Catch right now — but Rollins has her eye on visiting some film opportunities over the summer.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Although her acting career is booming in L.A., Rollins recently made Atlanta her permanent residence. "I'd been in L.A. for 18 years and it was time for a change," she says. "I love Atlanta and I love the life my boyfriend and I have created there. It's fun to start somewhere new. We have a new routine and our favorite restaurants. It's refreshing."

Off the set, Rollins' favorite activity is throwing dinner parties for her friends. "If I weren't an actress, I'd be a private chef," she says. "I cook for my friends all the time. I'm constantly creating my own recipes and finding new ones." Her specialty dish is caribbean jerk chicken — and Rollins' friends routinely call her asking for a pan they can come pick up. "I'm feeding it to my friends on a weekly basis," she laughs.

The Catch undoubtedly has plenty of surprises in store for us this season — but one thing we can count on is an amazing performance from Rollins in each and every episode. And, of course, plenty more enviable outfits and fantastic one-liners.

Images: Richard Cartwright (2), Kelsey McNeal/ABC