How old were you when you started acting? And where and how did you start?
Rachel - I was ten years old when I started acting. First, I put on shows for my entire family in our living room. Thankfully, my mother and father allowed me to take classes and audition at The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. It was pure bliss for me! By the time I was twelve years old, I had representation at a Cincinnati talent agency, Wing's Model Management. I have been living and working in Los Angeles as a full-time actress for four years.
How is your role in Ghostline different from others that you have previously played?
Rachel - I fell in love with my character in Ghostline almost immediately. 'Chelsea Watkins' knows who she is and is fiercely outspoken and headstrong. She is different from other characters I have previously played in the fact that she is strongly committed to her relationship with her boyfriend, 'Tyler Jantsen', played by Zack Gold. I've never played a character who made their significant other their number one. Chelsea's top priority in life, was Tyler's well-being. With this in mind, it made many of my scenes as 'Chelsea', much more about her love for, 'Tyler'.
Do you identify with your character in any way?
Rachel - I definitely identified with Chelsea in many ways. My own self-awareness is something that I pride myself on and, 'Chelsea', also knew herself very well. Also, I believe Chelsea is selective in who she trust and loves. If she loves you, then she really loves you. When considering friendships and relationships in my own life, I value quality over quantity.
What is your process for acting? Are you a method actor like Daniel Day-Lewis and Meryl Streep, assume a role from the moment you step onto the set the first time, and never leave the role until the film wraps? Or do you prepare or research your roles or characters?
Rachel - I don't like to say I have a specific formula for acting. What I hope to achieve in every scene and every project, is a sense of realness and truthfulness. I do practice techniques of a method actor, but I am willing to step out of character at times. Much of my acting comes from the preparation I do in developing my character and committing to her belief system and maintaining her characteristics. When I am in a scene, I like to let go of everything and allow for real emotions to brew.
Who are your favorite actors, who inspires you, and why?
Rachel - I have a long list of actors who I absolutely admire and respect. Those who really stand out are Sean Penn, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts, Joaquin Phoenix, Jessica Chastain, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Olsen, and of course, Meryl Streep. All of these artists take risks, their screen presence is captivating, and I never doubt them for a minute. They inspire me because they aren't afraid to bare their hearts and souls. Because they have all played a variety of such convincing characters, I feel as if I don't know how they would truly act as themselves. That's what I want to achieve; I want people guessing what 'Rachel Alig' is actually like as a person.
What would be your dream role or what would you like to accomplish as an actor?
Rachel - My dream role requires a total transformation in the physical sense and the emotional state of being. I want a character in which I have to gain 40 pounds, shave my head, and add a few tattoos. I don't want to look like me, resemble me, or have any familiar traits of me. That's the physical transformation I want. As far as the character's emotional state goes, I want it to be on the brink of madness. This person has moments of great clarity but finds themselves tormented by their own demons. I want a challenge! As an actor, I hope I continue to improve, grow, and develop so much that the projects I am on are on a higher tier. I want to be surrounded by professionals who respect the art of acting, film making, and storytelling. It is a craft that I am honored to be practicing as a professional. Eventually, I hope to be producing my own content.
Any advice for aspiring actors?
Rachel - Prepare for the highs and lows. I have found some success and believe I will continue to do so on my acting journey, but even now I'm dealing with a great letdown. It hurts. It sucks. It feels like a slap in the face. However, I know it's only temporary and the next time I get that phone call saying, 'We'd like to offer you the part', the pain will all be worth it. Also, you must be willing to work each and every day. It is rare that I have a day off. If I'm not filming, I'm auditioning. If I'm not auditioning, I'm in class. If I'm not in class, I'm updating my reel and website. It is never ending. You must love it so much, that you give a piece of yourself to your craft everyday.
A fun fact about you that you’d be willing to share?
Rachel - I'm addicted to cheesecake. No, seriously, I have to have a piece a day...... :)
Thank you Rachel! Looking forward to the release of Ghostline! See the entire cast and crew here on IMDb!
An Update: Rachel Alig will be performing the role of Kelly Hooker in The Final Table