Rachel Hendrix – The Perfect Wave
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) Right now I’m working on the movie Allegiant, which is the third installment in the Divergent series.
Q) Please tell us the premise for The Perfect Wave and about how your character Anabel was described to you originally.
A) I filmed it actually in 2012. It’s good that it is actually getting some air time. The story follows a young man who is in his early 20’s who is trying to figure out things in his life, like a lot of people do. He realizes living at home with his parents isn’t what he wants to do. So, he sets out on an adventure to surf across the world and kind of travel for the perfect summer. He meets a lot of awesome people along the way and has great encounters. In the end, he is part of an accident that happens to him and changes the course of his life. It’s a really powerful story about a man who goes through quite an ordeal to find the meaning of his life. My character, Anabel, is a young woman he meets on his journey. On his adventures, he meets a lot of pretty girls who are just superficial relationships and don’t really offer anything. He meets this girl who is different and he falls in love with her. He really loses himself there. She was originally described to me as a woman who was searching, but really confident and independent. She was also very lost and it was certainly an interesting dynamic. I really liked the character so I was happy to sign on to it.
Q) Was there instant chemistry when you began working with Scott Eastwood or did you spend time together to bond?
A) They did a really good job on set of giving us time to really get to know each other. We had breakfast together in the hotels and were trying to learn what made each other tick and our acting methods. It was easy to get along with Scott. He’s a friendly guy and was great to everybody. We enjoyed working together. I think they did a great job of bringing out this sweet romance with us and, ultimately, it was certainly a good experience.
Q) What was it that you added to your role that wasn’t originally scripted for you?
A) One thing that stood out was that they had written her really bohemian, hippy, nature worshiping woman. I really walked into it thinking she was a lot simpler than that. She was a traveler, a sojourner if you will. I thought the simplicity of that would not allow her to be this bohemian, trendy, stylish girl. We ended up going with a different wardrobe with Anabel than originally planned. We ended up putting her in cut jeans and a t-shirt at some point to make it more believable that she kind of lived out of her backpack and didn’t care too much to put herself together. It was fun to have the freedom to play her the way I interpreted her in the script. To see that come to life on screen, I think worked really well.
Q) What did you take away from working with director Bruce Macdonald?
A) Bruce is a talented man and has a lot of experience. Working together really created a friendship and a trust relationship that you need as an actor. He took his time. Trevor Michael Brown, our Director of Photography, really worked well with him to set up shots that really told a story and that this story is not just about a man who went through an incredible ordeal, but also that the world is beautiful. We celebrated that by showing beautiful footage of surf, the ocean and the traveling that we did. Bruce, with his director’s eye, worked with the DP and it really informed what you see on camera. It was really enjoyable knowing they were making this beautiful film and the story would have an impact. Bruce is always encouraging and he’s a big hugger. He was always laughing and is very lighthearted on set. He was always very complimentary to us with our performances. So, we sort of sat with our security there. We didn’t have to worry that he wasn’t getting what he wanted. That is always a good experience for the actors. Bruce is a sweetheart and I think his heart was in the right place to make this film.
Q) What were some of your most Memorable moments from filming?
A) It was the first time I surfed! I was popping up and I was able to be on the white water, but until I was able to catch a wave and ride the face…It was pretty spectacular. This was the first time I had surfed. Many hours were spent in the freezing ocean, but I was happy to do it. Scott Eastwood, on the first day I was there, was laying on the beach stretching. He was like, “Okay! This is how you pop up…” And there is a scene in the movie where he actually does that with Anabel, but in real life he did that the first day we were on set. I had a surf instructor as well, but Scott was out there the first day watching me. I got up on the wave the first day and I really attribute that to the energy and kindness of everybody. They were like, “This is her first time! Let’s come together and support her!” We had professional surfers who were hanging out and they saw me get up on my first wave. They were all screaming, “Yeah!” The support I had was incredible and I miss everybody.
Q) You are a part of social media. Are you looking forward to the instant fan feedback you will receive when the film premieres?
A) I hope so! I’m going to be working on a film in Fresno so I don’t know if I’m going to be able to respond and get involved in the way I was originally planning. So, I really hope that it works out. I do know that my mom will be watching with my grandparents and my aunt. This is the first time they will see it and I’m excited for them to tune in. I’m excited to hear feedback from the fans and see what they think about it. I’m really hoping I can be involved.
Q) You also mentioned you are currently working on the third Allegiant, which is the third installment in the Divergent series. What has it been like working with such incredibly talented actors?
A) We sang “Happy Birthday” to Maggie Q and Octavia Spencer. Octavia is just so kind and so gracious. She is just such a warm person to have on set as were Naomi Watts, Theo James and Shailene Woodley. I could go on and on about the cast. Getting to sit with them and hang out with them between takes…We would talk about life and their kids, things that are very normal and make us human. It’s very humbling because the role that I am playing takes place in this big scene. It’s a high energy pivotal moment in the film and it’s really neat to be there with everybody rallying. It was a good day and all week the kindness and graciousness on set from everybody I didn’t expect. I didn’t expect this big Hollywood film to be such a sweet place. Working in the independent market most of the time, you depend on your relationship with friends. I think that is how everyone works in this business. When you are on set and you don’t have friends and you aren’t enjoying yourself then what are you doing? You could go do something else that you actually have fun doing. I loved learning that this week and I’m really changing my perspective of what I thought hundred million dollar movies were going to be like. I thought there would be a stiffness and strictness to high budget films. This is really the first large budget film I’ve worked on and they had nothing, but kindness, which was awesome.
Q) What would you like to say to your fans and supporters?
A) Thank you for your kindness! It’s crazy. I’m always grateful for support and people who are touched by the stories we tell. This industry wouldn’t work unless it were for the fans who come to the movies. I, for one, am already blown away by the support I’ve received. I can only imagine what it would be like on a platform where you have larger reach and you have a louder voice. People can hear you from all around and I think that with that comes a lot of responsibility. At this point, I haven’t really experienced the negative side as much as the positive. I hope it stays that way and I think that it will. You always have to just be careful and keep your private life your private life. I’m just thrilled by anyone who is willing to sit down and listen to a story we want to tell as actors.