‘The Pill’ Star Rachel Boston Talks Independent Film & Returning to TV
Fresh off winning the Stargazer Award from the New York GenArt Film Festival, Rachel Boston is someone to watch out for in 2012. Hailing from Tennessee, the 29-year-old actress is as talented as she is charming. With a myriad film and television roles under her belt, Rachel is making a name or herself as one of the best new stars in Hollywood. Her latest film, The Pill, an independent romantic comedy currently in theaters and available On Demand and Video on Demand starting February 28th, tells the story of two young people living in New York and dealing with the ramifications of casual dating. It’s a refreshingly funny and honest portrait of life. In addition to her work in film, Boston joined the cast in In Plain Sight for it’s fourth season in the role of Detective Abigail Chaffee. We caught up with the star on the rise to chat about what attracted her to The Pill, her favorite roles, and working in independent film.
Can you tell us a little bit about the film?
Well, it’s ultimately a soul journey. Two people in very different places in their life meet one night and make choices they can’t take back when the sun comes up. Both are struggling to find where they belong in the world and constantly battling to tell the truth. There are no heroes in this film. No one has the answers. These are people falling down and trying to pave their way while getting into extremely awkward situations.
What attracted you to the script?
I grew up on a mountain in Tennessee in a very conservative household and moved to New York City when I was 17. The script reminded me of many of the women I met when I first arrived in the city and their struggles to discover who they are. Mindy is extremely determined and tenacious but keeps getting her heart broken. It was a really fun role to explore boundaries. Deep down all the characters know what kind of relationship they hope to have but are searching for the courage to ask for it.
How was working with Noah Bean? Did you two develop a friendship? You seemed quite natural together.
Noah and I have been on location in Palomar Mountain while filming our second movie Black Marigolds. We went from riding home together by subway in New York during The Pill”to walking home by flashlight in the wilderness on Black Marigolds. He’s an incredibly talented actor. We were at the San Diego Film Festival for a screening of The Pill, and I told him about a film I was producing, sent him the script, and I’m thrilled it worked out. We play a happily married couple in Black Marigolds so it was a nice shift.
With a smaller film like this, it seems in a sense you have more freedom to play around. Did you guys do any improv or playing with the scenes to develop them?
Noah and I worked with the director in his apartment for about a week before we started shooting and shot most of the film in his apartment so it felt like a family project from day one. During the shoot we had freedom to improv and [director] J.C. Khoury would keep the cameras rolling before and after takes to see what would happen. Some of our mistakes ended up in the final cut of the film. No matter what happened we just kept going.
You have such a varied resume. Has there been a film or show that has particularly effected you as an actress?
I loved working on American Dreams. It was a family show set in the ’60s with story lines ranging from Vietnam to the feminist movement. It inspired family values while remaining very truthful to the complexities of growing up and making choices from your own heart and intuition. I would love to work on another show like that. And I played an Amish woman on Grey’s Anatomy who had tremendous courage and heart. She was very kind and very brave and left her family and everything she knew to start a life on her own.
How has working on In Plain Sight been?
It’s an incredible cast and crew, and I’m so grateful to work with such great group. I play a detective so for research I’ve been going on ride-alongs with the Albuquerque Police Department and spending time at the shooting range.
Do you enjoy doing more independent film work?
I love the collaboration and adventure of independent film making. On Black Marigolds we all lived in little cabins in the woods an hour away from civilization. Indies are labors of love and in some ways force you to be more creative because there is no extra time. We shot Black Marigolds in 12 days and “The Pill” in 14 days. Everyone is very focused and you have to be so intimate with the work. It’s pure.
Photo by John Barr