by Sablegreen - October 19, 2012
Award-winning actress Rachel Miner is puzzling, ever-changing, phenomenal and mysterious, just like the SUPERNATURAL character she plays, and the more one looks, the more the mystery deepens.
To some, she’s known as “Hollywood’s kooky indie princess,” for her work in critically acclaimed films such as “Bully.” To others, she’s known as a noteworthy theatrical actress for her work in “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Blue Serge.” To still others she’s the ambitious, amoral secretary Dani in “Californication.” She has even garnered the title of “Scream Queen” for her parts in “Hide,” “Fear Itself,” and my favorite “Penny Dreadful.”
Born in New York City, she represents the third generation of Miners to grace the stage and screen. She began working as an actress almost as soon as she could talk. At age twelve she appeared as the young Mia Farrow in Woody Allen’s “Alice” and began a five year contract portraying Michelle Bauer on “Guiding Light” where she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy, two Soap Opera Awards, a Hollywood Reporter Young Star Award and received three Youth in Film Awards. She has since continued to work in countless popular TV shows, independent films and theatrical productions.
She has played roles ranging from addicts, prostitutes, murderers and murder victims to innocent brides, perceptive veterinary techs, saucy sex-pot secretaries, and one self-reliant, tough as nails, totally kick-ass demon. Whether terrorized by a psychopath or portraying one, there seems little this quiet, self confident, self possessed actress can’t or won’t do.
Of course, we know her best as the bad-assed frenemy Meg Masters, a demon who hates her former master but is irrevocably loyal to Lucifer, thus putting her at odds with Crowley big time. She is sadistic, unbearably clever and will do anything to stay alive, even teaming up with angels and hunters if warranted. And she will make good on her promises, but all bets are off when the deal ends. And that’s what we like about her the most….the mysterious enigma that is Meg Masters. She has given so much grief to the brothers while delivering so much entertainment to all her SUPERNATURAL fans.
“I like the character and her strength, even though she’s not a good guy,” Miner states. “Meg is definitely tough, always has that sense of flirting, and is trying to keep some sense of integrity, even in the worst-case scenario. Unlike some characters, who are total victims in certain circumstances, she’s trying to hold onto a position of power when she obviously doesn’t have it.”
A very sincere thank you to Rachel for agreeing to do the interview. Given her busy schedule these days, we were very grateful to her for taking the time to answer questions for us. I hope you all enjoy reading it.
You’re the third generation of Miners to grace the stage and screen and you knew you wanted to act since the age of two. Was it from your family history that you acquired an interest in acting at such a young age or was there another reason? Did you ever feel that maybe you might want a different profession?
Having family involved in the entertainment industry was certainly influential in launching my fascination with acting. I have early memories of visiting my father at work (he was directing the soap opera “One Life to Live”) and wanting to be a part of what he was doing. There were other influences as well though. I had a vivid imagination and would often act out the characters I saw in films and I feel like on some level I believed that through acting I would be able to visit the magical realms I saw in my favorite movies (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Star Wars,” ” Labyrinth,” “Legend,” “Never Ending Story”….) And yes there were/are many, many other professions I was and am interested in. I can recall at an early age probably about 4, wanting to be an astronaut, a ballerina, a chef, and a paleontologist and that is just a small sampling. In fact I believe this final factor is the most influential in my becoming an actress, being that I could never pursue all the things which captured my interest [but] at least as an actress I could pretend to do many of them.
You began working with an acting coach at eight, had an agent at nine and by ten, you had not only worked for Woody Allen, as young Mia Farrow in “Alice”, but had been cast on Guiding Light” for a recurring part which evolved into a five year contract. What was it like being a child actor? Do you feel your childhood was rewarding?
I LOVED acting as a child, it was something I pushed for and worked very hard for; as opposed to being pushed by my parents, though I certainly could not have done it without their incredible help and support. Of course there are things I gave up but there was so much I gained from getting to work at a young age.
The funniest thing to me looking back is that I really had no idea how young I was or what that meant. I took acting very, very seriously and would focus on my work so much and now when I see clips of myself at that age I think “goodness I really could have relaxed because when you’re that little it really doesn’t matter what you do… you’re pretty much going to be cute regardless.”
Did you find it difficult to make the transition from child roles to adult characters?
The transition into adult roles wasn’t difficult for me as, I suppose, I was an adult-minded child. The hardest part of that transition was the fact that I looked young for my age but gave the impression of being older. I just recall casting directors saying they weren’t sure what roles I was age appropriate for. I do recall the excitement when I finally began to look old enough to play the adult roles I enjoyed playing.
You have played a wide range of roles during your acting career. Do you have any specific type of role that you like more than others? Do you have one specific character that you like the most?
It’s very hard for me to pick favorites. I really have enjoyed each role, but certainly two of the most enjoyable roles to play have been Betty in the film “Hide” and Meg Masters. I definitely feel I’ve been so lucky to get to play such a fun smart strong, just plain cool character as Meg.
Of all the roles I’ve see you play, I remember you best as Penny Dearborn in the movie “Penny Dreadful.” That film terrified me. What was it like working on that movie? Was it as scary to film as it was to watch?
I had a really good time while filming “Penny Dreadful” as everyone I was working with was very nice, but no, it wasn’t scary to film. In fact most of the filming was just me in a car being scared so it’s a testament to the talent of the film makers that they could create such a feeling of terror.
How did you get the role of Meg? Did you audition for the part or were you contacted by the series? Were you aware of the show before you accepted the part?
I did get the role of Meg through an audition and I actually had not seen the show when I got the part (I simply don’t really watch TV, I’m a geek who loves documentaries), I did however rent a bunch of episodes after getting the job and became a fan.
The role of Meg was established early on in the series and was formerly played by Nicki Aycox. Was it more difficult to step into an already established role that was previously played by another actress? Did that pose any problems for you as you continued to develop the part?
Nikki Aycox did such a good job, but when I auditioned I hadn’t seen her (or Jared as Meg) but I did connect with Meg as a character so I figured there wasn’t much point in trying to repeat or copy what someone else did. In short, I have just trusted and used the current writing as my guide, the writers create such a full and consistent character that I hope I haven’t strayed too far. I certainly was aware that the change might be jarring for fans of the show and I did/do hope it wasn’t offensively so.
What I love about Meg is the scope of her experience, just the sheer amount of time she’s lived, from my point of view, leads to her coolness under pressure, her sharp observations and her desire to create mischief just for her own amusement. I suppose being that I spend so much of my time trying to learn about the world I sometimes look at situations from that point of view…you know it’s hard to pay too much heed to a stubbed toe when you are thinking about the causes behind wars existence in our civilization.
You have been in six episodes so far. What was your favorite and which was the hardest for you to do? Do you have a favorite scene that you played in one of them?
I honestly can’t pick a favorite episode or scene and none of them were hard in any way significant enough to outweigh the fun, they were all truly fun to do…Yeah every time I try to choose one I think of something I loved about another, it really has been such a wonderful show to work on.
Throughout the series Meg has done some very bad things, including sending hellhounds to kill Ellen and Jo. She seemed dead set on destroying the Winchesters and causing them as much harm as she could. Recently however that hatred seems to have lessened allowing the formation of alliances with the brothers in “Caged Heat” and again at the end of season seven. Do you feel Meg’s loyalties are shifting? Is Meg beginning to like being on the good side for a change?
I think Meg was being honest when she explained her take. “I’ve figured one thing out about this world …You find a cause, and you serve it. Give yourself over, and it orders your life.” I do also think she has some feelings for Cas, though I don’t think she would ever admit to that, even to herself.
I can honestly say that I count Jared, Jensen, along with the rest of the cast and crew I have had the privilege to work with on “Supernatural” as some of the kindest most decent human beings I have had the pleasure to know. I don’t have memories to share that I think would be of any significance to others, I find the small daily exchanges in my life sometimes mean the most to me, but hold little worth as stories of any intrigue.
What do you have planned for the future? You have a new thriller movie “East of Acadia” in post-production. When will it be released?
You know, I am not aware of any upcoming release dates etc. I really ought to keep better track of these things I suppose, but I tend not to follow these details…as previously established, [I’m a] total geek who spends her days reading and studying and tends to be a bit out of the loop on certain aspects of life.
Just for the record I did ask Rachel at one point if she had been asked to return to SUPERNATURAL for season 8. Her response was that she honestly had no answer to give, but she added, “…the mystery is part of the fun isn’t it?”
I, for one, hope we see that bad-ass demon back with the boys and Castiel sometime soon. And I suspect she and Benny would hit it off right away!
Many thanks again to Ms. Miner for doing the interview. It’s very much appreciated!
You can follow her on Twitter at @RachelMiner and on Facebook at Rachel Miner Rox | Facebook