Check our interview with talented Actress, Director, and Producer Rachelle Henry.
Rachelle has over 70 credits on IMDb and already won awards as best Director and Actress at the Young Artist Awards. Rachelle Henry is an award winning American actress and filmmaker.
Rachelle won Best Teen Actress in a Short Film at the 38th Young Artist Awards in 2017 for her performance in JERSEY GURL and starred in the short film, GRIFTERS, for which she won Best Young Actress – Short Film at the 2017 Young Entertainer Awards. The short film LOSING IT, starring Rachelle as Sarah Newton, premiered as an Official Selection of the 2017 Slamdance Film Festival and was listed among the best short films at the Film de Cannes Short Film Corner. Rachelle appears in several projects premiering in 2018 including MY SUMMER AS A GOTH and WOODSTOCK OR BUST.
Along with her acting credentials, Rachelle is also an award-winning film producer and director.
In 2016, Rachelle directed and produced the short film, MISSING for which she won the Best Director Award at the 2016 Premio Cinematographico Palena Film Festival in Italy and Best Short Film with Social Message at the 2016 NEZ International Film Festival in India. Rachelle’s film, DEFINING MOMENTS was presented the award for Best Acting Ensemble and Runner Up Best Cinematography at the Best of Los Angeles film awards held at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood and was nominated in nine categories including Best Film, Best Director, Best Writing, and Best Musical Score.
Hi Rachelle, please tell us a little about you?
Rachelle Henry is a professional actress and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. She has won awards for her work in multiple categories for acting, producing, writing and directing; most recently being named Best Producer at the 40th Young Artist Academy Awards. Outside of her work objectives and educational goals, she works with programs designed to give back to her community including those benefiting the homeless and those dedicated to mitigating the impacts of childhood cancer.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Passionate, focused, committed.
Name one your strengths?
Who is your biggest supporter?
Hands down, this is my Grandma. She has been my manager, cheerleader and straight shooter from the very beginning. It is cliché, but it is true; nothing I have done would be possible without her and her words of wisdom will remain with me for years to come. There are others, of course, who have been supportive throughout my career so far, such as other family members, friends, teachers and peers, but hers has been the most powerful and special influence.
How did you get started in the industry?
I have been performing for as long as I can remember. From dance and gymnastics, to putting on my own little shows to singing. At age 6, I went to a cheerleading camp and met a few girls who told me that Nickelodeon was wanting to audition kids with basic cheerleading skills. On the day of the audition, I asked my family what we were going to do that day. After my grandma listed a few options, I said, “Don’t I have an audition today?” and that’s how it all began.
What was your first acting role?
Either the lamb in the Nativity play or the Beautiful Butterfly in “The Hungry Little Caterpillar” for a kindergarten play. I think my first onscreen role was for an ESL (English as a Second Language) Christmas film or a music video for a director’s competition for the new Moby album, “Hello, Future.”
What is the best and worst part of being an Actress/Producer/Director/Writer?
Best is the opportunity to play a variety of characters and be part of a collaborative process. Worst is that you can’t have all the roles.
Best advice ever given?
At age six from the first casting director I met with on my very first audition – “If you want to be an actor, you’ll need to work hard for a very long time.”
At age ten from Angela DiMarco on set of SWITCHMAS with Elliott Gould – “Not everyone is as successful as Mr. Gould. If you are going to be an actor, you might need to have a second job to support yourself.”
Also from Angela DiMarco, one of my coaches/mentors – “Don’t wait, create.”
How do you prepare for a role?
For all roles, I read through the script several times, break down the subtext and the true meaning of the lines, determine my inner monologue and memorize my lines. Some roles require other preparation like journaling or listening to a song to get into the mindset of a character. Other times, I have had to learn a new skill such as ASL, chess and a German accent.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I love a variety of characters, but I always lean towards roles that feature strong female characters. I love strong characters that are flawed and vulnerable.
Now tell us about “MY SUMMER AS A GOTH,” and “WOODSTOCK OR BUST”?
Both projects are near and dear to my heart. Both are coming-of-age films, with female leads and supporting cast and both are written and directed by women.
MY SUMMER AS A GOTH is about a young girl named Joey who falls in love with a goth boy named Victor but will their relationship last? It goes into the topics of identity, labels, societies’ perspectives on goths, first love, friendships and loving yourself. I play Molly, Joey’s loyal best friend who loves her best friend no matter what.
WOODSTOCK OR BUST is the story of two aspiring musicians who decide to risk it all and go perform at Woodstock. I play Jill, a friend of the girls who helps throw a party to raise funds for the trip to Woodstock, but the party, and the trip, don’t go according to plan.
How did you get involved in these projects?
The director of MY SUMMER AS A GOTH auditioned some of the roles from an acting class I attended. The lead, Natalie Shershow who plays Joey, as well as several other supporting cast members were cast from that class. I was asked if I would be interested in auditioning for Molly. Natalie and I have known each other for several years and when we did one of the scenes for Tara, our director, she loved our natural chemistry.
I was thrilled to be invited to submit an audition tape for WOODSTOCK OR BUST! I remember I wore a striped shirt that reminded me of Marsha Brady, I had to pretend to be smoking weed and I got to do my character’s Ed Sullivan impression. I don’t smoke weed, so I had to be coached on how to look like a stoner. It was such a fun audition tape to film.
Now tell us about your awards for best Director and Actress at the Young Artist Awards?
I have been so blessed to have been nominated 3 consecutive years at the Young Artist Awards. In 2017, I won Best Actress in a Short Film for JERSEY GURL. In 2019, I was nominated for Best Supporting Young Artist in a Feature Film for my role in MY SUMMER AS A GOTH. Also in 2019, Young Artist Awards added three new categories that I was nominated in for Best Writer, Best Director and Best Producer. I won Best Producer for my film, ENIGMATIC, and was thrilled to have the award presented by the legendary Eric Roberts and City Gala founder, Ryan Long
What other projects you have been part of?
I’ve been privileged to be part of a lot of amazing projects! Please check out my attached IMDb link, but some favorites have been not only WOODSTOCK OR BUST and MY SUMMER AS A GOTH, but CREASED, MEHNDI, and LOSING IT. LOSING IT premiered at Slamdance and was an Official Selection in the Cannes Short Film Corner. I also have a special place for the films I’ve produced: MISSING, GRIFTERS, JERSEY GURL, ALMOST BOYFRIENDS, HITCHED, MINOR DYSPHORIA, ENIGMATIC, and DEFINING MOMENTS, which was an Official Selection at Beverly Hills Film Festival. (imdb.me/rachellehenry)
What is next for Rachelle Henry in 2019?
Along with upcoming releases for WOODSTOCK OR BUST and MY SUMMER AS A GOTH, I just finished filming the feature film MARTINGALE starring Young and the Restless star, Kelly Sullivan. I always am auditioning and have multiple projects in the works. My mind is nonstop brewing with script ideas.
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?
I have so many actors I admire. I have always been a huge fan of Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Tim Curry, Helen Mirren, Viggo Mortensen, Dame Judi Dench, Viola Davis, etc. I really adore Rami Malek’s work and Evan Rachel Wood. I miss Alan Rickman, Robin Williams, Heath Ledger, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, etc. I learn something from each of them.
What music do you like?
I grew up listening to a lot of 70s music like Earth, Wind & Fire, Carole King, Carpenters, Bee Gees, Bachman Turner-Overdrive, Chicago, etc. I am the biggest fan of Queen and Freddie Mercury’s solo work as well. I love the duets of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. My boyfriend introduced me to City and Color and You + Me so now I am hooked. I also listen to some Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish, Macklemore, etc. I am more artist specific than genre specific.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
I love doing activities with my friends and loved ones. I am perfectly content listening to music while driving around or going to the beach, hiking, playing mini golf. My perfect Sunday is all about who I am with.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Contentment and gratitude. Being surrounded by those you love, sharing a laugh and counting your blessings.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
Digital Marketing is so relevant to all businesses right now that I recommend reading these: Jab Jab Jab Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World
Mobile Marketing: How Mobile Technology is Revolutionizing Marketing, Communications and Advertising
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
For living, it would be Meryl Streep. Not only is she arguably the greatest living actor, she is such a strong role model to all and she seems genuinely kind. I would love to hear her ideas and thoughts on a variety of subjects. For someone who has passed on, it would be Freddie Mercury. He had such a fire and passion within him, his story is incredible, and he was such a complex person.
What do you like to watch on Tv?
My two favorite shows are Breaking Bad and Sherlock. I just finished watching Dexter which I loved. I like a lot of crime drama/thriller series. DARK is one of the best series I have ever watched and I can’t wait for Season 3.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I actually love healthy food and have always loved veggies. I love salads and there is a specific quinoa salad that I am addicted to.
And your favorite cheat food?
I love nachos. I also don’t mind a doughnut here and there.
Do you support any charities?
When I made my directorial debut, MISSING, as part of the Adobe Pitch Project, it was required we team up with a non-profit. I worked with Emerald City Pet Rescue and PAWS and I still support their work. I run 5ks for causes like Seattle Children’s Hospital’s pediatric brain tumor research, and Toys for Tots. I have built microhomes for Camp Second Chance and would love to help build more soon. I’ve considered checking out Habitat for Humanity’s program. I am passionate about many causes and am always willing to help.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “Courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” ~Maya Angelou
Holiday Destination: Vancouver, B.C.
Song: Silver and Gold by City and Colour
Sports Team: Since I grew up in Seattle, I’ll go with Seahawks
Movie: I have a hard time limiting myself, so here are my top 5: Clue, The Dark Knight, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Birdcage and Fargo.