An Interview with Actress Rachel Alig
Rachel, You were exceptional in Ghostline as Chelsea Watkins! Tell us about your character Ginger Hutson in Kill Me Once.
Rachel: Thank you for the kind words regarding my work in GHOSTLINE. Ginger Hutson, who I will be playing in KILL ME ONCE, is drastically different from Chelsea who I played in GHOSTLINE. Chelsea was extremely loving and nurturing to her love interest. Ginger, however, is struggling with her husband, Donald and is no longer happy in the relationship. While Chelsea was considerate and thoughtful, Ginger is quite selfish. Ginger puts herself first along with her own needs and doesn't always take into account how her actions may impact others. I would say that Ginger is battling with an internal conflict and has lost her grounding. Her most redeeming quality is the fact that she is a loving mother.
Which scenes in Kill Me Once were you most excited to see translated from page to screen?
Rachel: KILL ME ONCE is full of twists and turns that truly make it a great screenplay. It's these unexpected events that I am looking forward to creating and seeing on the big screen. Many of these moments are between my character, Ginger, and her husband, Donald, who is being played by the talented Andrew Bongiorno. The dynamic between these two characters is very tense and that will need to be created. Ginger, who I believe to be a strong woman by nature, is going to be tested to her limits.
How do you prepare so that you'll bring the right amount of realism and emotion to a scene?
Rachel: As an actor, I really believe in doing your homework. For me, that includes writing a back story for my character so that I know her history. Although this is true, we don't live in the past; I use it as a tool to give characters life and their own experiences to pull from. I then dive into the script. I break down each scene to understand the true language and what is being said. I notate at the top of each scene what has happened thus far, so I know where my character is at emotionally and what she has already gone through. It's really about understanding the entire script and then each individual scene.
How do you stay in the moment?
Rachel: Focus. Commitment. And then, let go. In order to stay in a moment, you must believe what you are saying. As actors, writers, directors, artists in general, we are seeking to find the truth in our work. When I can focus my attention and thoughts to the space I'm in, the words I'm saying, and the words I'm hearing, I feel as if there is truth in that. As much training and preparation I do, once I'm in a scene, I insist that I let go. This allows for natural responses and real feelings to spark. At that point I feel like I'm emoting the correct feelings and that's when things feel alive.
What determines your interest in a role?
Rachel: For me to be interested in a role, she must be complex. We, as human beings, are very complex creatures. We have needs and wants at all levels; physical desires, mental needs, want of fulfillment. That is what I need as an actor to want to play a character. I need to see that there are multiple layers to this person. I always hope to see vulnerability as well. Even if the character is a strong, intelligent woman, we all have our own vulnerabilities.
What do you look for in a director?
Rachel: When working with a director, it's most important that he/she has superb, communication skills. If a director can clearly communicate what he/she needs from me, I can execute that. If a director can't clearly explain what it is they are looking for from my performance, I won't know how to adjust and deliver. By no means, do I need to have a director hold my hands, because I already go into my scenes with strong choices, but I am always grateful when the director and I can speak back and forth about what it is we are trying to achieve. A safe, and comfortable environment is also greatly appreciated on my end. When a director can make you feel comfortable, all fear is eliminated.
What are your greatest achievements – both personally and professionally?
Rachel: My greatest professional achievement, is being able to sustain myself as a working actor. I feel so blessed to say that I am a working actor living on the income I make through my acting work. The fulfillment and joy that I receive everyday on an acting job is beyond anything I could ask for. To feel alive and stimulated by my work is the ultimate gift.
My greatest personal achievement is knowing and understanding the quality of people I value and wish to share my life with. When I came to the realization of what type of person I respected and cherished, more and more of them came into my life. I feel like that is quite an accomplishment to say I am proud of the people I surround myself with.
Thank you Rachel for taking time out of your busy schedule for an interview! You rock!!
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