Read our exclusive interview with actress Rachel Boston, who portrays the free-spirited New Yorker Mindy in the comedy-drama ‘The Pill.’ In the film, which is scheduled to be released on VOD and Broadband on February 28, 2012, Mindy has a one-night stand with Fred, played by Noah Bean. After learning that Mindy isn’t on birth control, Fred spends the following day with her, pretending that he wants a serious relationship, to make sure she takes both doses of the morning after pill. Boston, who is also known for portraying Detective Abigail Chaffee on the USA series ‘In Plain Sight,’ discusses why she decided to take on the role of Mindy in ‘The Pill,’ and how working in movies compares to appearing on television.
ShockYa (SY): You star as the free-spirited New Yorker Mindy in the independent comedy drama ‘The Pill.’ What was it about the story-line that you found compelling, and convinced you to take on the role of Mindy?
Rachel Boston (RB): I grew up on a mountain in Tennessee and moved to New York City when I was 17. I didn’t know a single person in the entire city when I landed. So I’ve experienced building a life and falling down and getting back up along the way in Manhattan. Mindy was such a great role to explore boundaries. Deep down she is an incredibly strong woman, but is limiting parts of herself and her heart to be loved. She knows the deepest and most rewarding things in life are intangible. Love, confusion, passion, faith; they shape who we are. I found it very compelling how two lives were shaped dramatically by strangers in one day.
SY: Mindy claims that the birth control pill is against her religious beliefs, and is resistant to trying to prevent a pregnancy. Do you relate to Mindy in any way, and how did you prepare for the role?
RB: Mark Twain said, “Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.” I certainly relate to that!
SY: What was your work relationship like with Noah Bean, who played Fred in the film?
RB: Oh, the wonderful Noah Bean. He is incredibly focused and brings so much truth to his roles. We met years ago working on a show in Los Angeles, and I had a feeling we would work together again. When we filmed nights on ‘The Pill,’ we would ride the subway home together at 5am, discussing all the scenes for the next day. We’ve been on location in Palomar Mountain for the past month, working on a film and living in the woods and wandering around by flashlight. Very different locations but the same approach. When you are working on indie films of this size, you have to throw yourself into the project. The work is very pure because there is very little time.
SY: J.C. Khoury made his feature writing and directing debut with ‘The Pill.’ What was the process like working with him on the movie, since he was a first time filmmaker?
RB: J.C. wrote, directed, camera operated, edited, managed to clean the set every night and had boundless energy every step of the way. He set up a very free environment and we were encouraged to improv from the table read to the last day of filming. Every day was an exploration and many of our “mistakes” ended up in the film.
SY: Since ‘The Pill’ is an independent film, were there any limitations or difficulties you experienced while shooting?
RB: Well, we shot the film in the middle of a heat wave, so we were blessed with humidity. We filmed all over New York, so we looked like the traveling circus trying not to melt.
SY: Anna Chlumsky, who is most remembered for her childhood role in ‘My Girl,’ portrays Nelly, Fred’s girlfriend who he cheats on with Mindy. What was it like working with her on ‘The Pill,’ and were there any acting tips you learned from her while on the set?
RB: I stopped by the set when Noah and Anna were filming and she is lovely. We didn’t have any scenes together so hopefully we will work together on another project where we are both happily in love and no one is being cheated on.
SY: ‘The Pill’ is reflective of the reality of New York’s twenty-something dating scene, in the sense young adults often find it difficult to find a serious relationship in the city. Do you feel audiences in New York, and across America, can relate to Mindy’s desire to have a relationship, and Fred’s reluctance to have a child with someone he had a one-night stand with?
RB: My best friend from childhood has a precious 3 year old daughter Lucy. Just today Lucy said, “I can’t wait to know who my husband is!” She’s 3 and already relates to the desire to have a relationship. My grandparents were married for 56 years and shared a beautiful love story, so I’ve seen it. My 93 year old grandmother is filled with love and light from the life they had together, so from 3 to 93, it’s there for many people and it evolves along the way.
SY: For your performance as Mindy, you have earned praise on the festival circuit, including the Best Actress Award from the San Diego Film Festival, the Stargazer Award from New York’s Gen Art Film Festival and the Emerging Artist Award from the Big Apple Film Festival. What is the feeling like, knowing critics appreciate, and honored, your work?
RB: When I found out about the Gen Art award, I was filming in New Mexico and on a lavender farm with goats and chickens. I look back on the day I decided to move to New York and am so grateful I trusted that voice inside that told me to go. So the feeling is one of gratitude. I am very, very grateful.
SY: You have also wrapped production on another independent film with Noah, ‘Black Marigolds.’ The movie follows your characters, Kate and Ryan, a young married couple who sets off into the wilderness. What was it like reuniting with Noah on the drama?
RB: You learn a lot about each other when you set off into the wilderness. In the film, we have been married for 10 years, so it was wonderful working with a friend who I trust and respect. We lived in a little cabin while we were filming, and the first night I kept hearing noises on the roof. I ran down to his room with a flashlight. Here we are in the middle of nowhere, and I’m standing at his door at 3am with a flashlight in my face. Oh, how I scared him. Turns out there was a huge tree above our cabin and acorns were hitting the roof. Noah will never let me live that down. I’m afraid of acorns.
SY: You also appear as Lexi Kivel in the indie comedy ‘It’s A Disaster.’ The movie follows four couples who meet for Sunday brunch, only to find themselves stranded in a house together as the world may be about to end. What attracted you to the role of Lexi, and convinced you to take on the role?
RB: Lexi is a glockenspiel playing, open-hearted, dancing wild card who is deeply in denial that the world is going to end. I loved playing her. She has a freedom that I truly admire, and she sees the world through heart shaped glasses. Her life choices may not always live up to moral standards, but she has a deep amount of forgiveness and resilience that we can all learn from.
SY: Julia Stiles and America Ferrara also appear in ‘It’s A Disaster.’ What was it like working with such respected actresses?
RB: They are both incredibly strong women and bring so much heart to their work. We play childhood best friends and met four days before we started filming. We had ladies night the weekend before we started work and went to a concert at The Hollywood Bowl. We also all share a love of karaoke, so our wrap party was extraordinary.
SY: You also portray Detective Abigail Chaffee on the USA series ‘In Plain Sight.’ What attracted you to the role-are you a fan of police dramas?
RB: Two years ago, I was filming an ABC series in Albuquerque, New Mexico and my car was broken into in a church parking lot. Two months later, I got a call from Detective Willoughby from The Albuquerque Police Department who found my phone and caught the guy who robbed me. ‘In Plain Sight’ also films in New Mexico, so I called up Detective Willoughby and he invited me over to the police station. He took me on a ride along and showed me the ropes of law enforcement. I’ve been shooting guns, studying martial arts, and meeting so many amazing women in the police force. I love playing strong women. Abigail has such a big heart, and she’s not afraid to fight for the people she loves.
SY: Are there any differences in appearing on television and in films? Do you have a preference of one medium over the other?
RB: My grandma prefers TV because she can record it on her VCR. I love exploring different worlds and characters and working with new people. I feel so fortunate to have a balance of TV and film, and look forward to being back on stage as well.
Written by: Karen Benardello